During a recent panel discussion held at Anchor Brewing – an event co-sponsored by their Bay Area colleagues/competitors at Lagunitas Brewing Company – entrepreneur Eileen Hassi (owner of Ritual Coffee) discussed the idea of local SF coffee roasters creating a disloyalty card emulating the idea conceived by World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies in London. The concept is simple yet runs counterintuitive to capitalist enterprise: Buy the competitors’ products and get one on the house from us. In the barista world, the polar opposite idea of standard punch-cards (buy 10, get one free) is spreading from Seattle to Atlanta.
Beer folks are usually ahead of the curve when it comes to their brewing brethren, but for all the talk of camaraderie and being united against the corporate behemoths, wouldn’t it be great to see this concept emerge in cities with multiple brewpubs or tasting rooms? It’s one thing to brew and sell collaborative beer, but how about a campaign that encourages beer lovers to support each and all of the quote-unquote competition?
In Portland, said card would be awfully bulky since their are dozens of operating brewpubs. San Diego would be difficult too. But virtually every metro area boasts enough breweries to make this work. How awesome would it be to buy some Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and several other pints around Cleveland and be rewarded with a freebie of Fat Head‘s Head Hunter IPA? Or visit 10 breweries around Austin then redeemed your disloyalty card for a glass of (512) Brewing Company’s Pecan Porter?
Think this could work? Which cities and brewpubs would you like to see the first to offer disloyalty incentives?