Three months after launching a new 4.8% beer with Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, Robinsons Brewery and its pubs are already seeing the effect that TROOPER and its loyal fans can have on beer sales… a 14%+ effect to be exact.
“When we launched TROOPER we decided to give 20 Robinsons pubs an exclusive VIP cask night ‘ahead of the rest’” explains Robinsons’ new Operations Director Dave Harrison. “The feedback from the pubs was phenomenal- they found that as soon as they put the ‘coming soon’ message on A-boards, posters and websites locally, word spread rapidly and we genuinely had the trade of a busy bank holiday on the 9th May.”
Since then, the impact has been even more noticeable. Recent results show that within the Robinsons estate beer sales of the pubs that have listed this beer are 14% ahead of those which have not. “This has focussed our attention to say the least,” continued Dave, “we need to make sure that when a pub has at least 4 hand-pulls on the bar that one of them is TROOPER. The ironmaidenbeer.com website then shows the pub on a stockist map and we use Facebook to tell the fans where to find it.
TROOPER dominated Facebook as ‘No 1 most liked beer’ and already has well over 60,000 followers making it one of the most followed ales in the UK.”
At a pub level some of the feedback is astonishing. “We had one customer fly over from Canada to drink the beer at The Castle in Manchester and then fly back,” Dave explained.
“People are making a conscious effort to get off trains near our pubs like the Black Horse in Preston to drink the beer before getting back on to continue on their journey from London to Glasgow. We’ve had customers travelling from Devizes to drink the beer and liking it so much they have booked a holiday near our pubs and dozens more stories from our licensees- astonished at how one beer can make such a difference.”
The beer has also had a great impact on demand at the brewery. “In short we are brewing twice as much beer as we were before TROOPER was launched on May 9th and our new £5m brew house is coping nicely,” commented Managing Director Oliver Robinson. “We have never been busier in terms of brewing in our 175 year history. And it’s making a real difference to our pub sales which is fantastic.”
“The beer itself is really very good in terms of quality and taste and hence repeat purchases are high. It is the fastest selling beer Morrisons have ever listed and we now have distribution in Carlsberg, Heineken, Enterprise, Spirit and Punch as well as our own customers.”
Robinsons’ message to potential customers is simple: “TROOPER beer is great and the brewery to – pubs just need to list it and most importantly tell their customers about it – in the pubs, via www.ironmaiden.com and Facebook. The results are pretty consistent- as a licensee you’re going to do well. In fact, 14% better than the rest in our experience.”