Marketing Craft Beer Outside the Taproom: Cabarrus Brewing Co.

The craft beer industry is one of the fastest growing beverage markets in the United States. Most breweries, taprooms and brewpubs rely on the public to turn up en masse and partake in the call to ‘eat, drink and be merry.’ But pandemics have a way of crushing large group gatherings.

The same people who would have visited a brewery, must now pick up their beer from a store. It competes with dozens of other brands in the same crowded isle. We spoke with Cabarrus Brewing Company about how they are maximizing visibility in a Covid world.

Marketing craft beer for Cabarrus Brewing Co with custom packaging.
beer with a community

Cabarrus Brewing Company, located in Concord, North Carolina is deeply rooted in its celebration of local history and tradition. The brewery, known for its quality craft beer and lively atmosphere draws over 7,500 visitors (pre-Covid) each month.

To keep customers happy, the team jumped into action as soon as their tap room shut down. “Covid has put breweries in a place to look at their operations. They can’t just rely on their tap rooms,” explains Mark Thompson, Chief Operations Officer at Cabarrus Brewing Co.

Even now, with capacity capped at 50%, they need to fill the void.  

selling outside the taproom

70% of consumers form their impression of a brand based solely on packaging. Cabarrus Brewing Co. understood this. “Our marketing team said prominent packaging was the way to go. We wanted the essence of the brand to make it to the hands of the consumer,” says Thompson.

Cabarrus Brewing Company custom packaging used to market craft beer.
Photo credit: Cabarrus Brewing Co.

Instead of offering up 4 or 6 packs like everyone else, they decided to shake things up. CompanyBox teamed up with Cabarrus Brewing Co. and Sublmnl Design to create a new 12 pack for their popular Cotton Blonde Ale. The idea was to create a box to mimic their beer cans. “People are used to that yellow can. The packaging needed to be very obvious to the audience,” says Mark Thompson.

“At first it seemed like an intimidating thing. CompanyBox talked us through concepts and we got to hold samples. They made it so easy,” explains Thompson.

To kick things off, the team created a buzz on their social channels by releasing a teaser of the new packaging. Adding this visual aspect instantly got people’s attention.

Once they made the announcement, fans got excited. Cotton Blonde Ale isn’t a new beer, but the larger package provided a better value and saved consumers from making a shopping trip later. The bright yellow color also helped the brew stand out in the 400 retail stores Cabarrus Brewing Co. partners with.


The brewery saw an increase in retail sales for the Cotton Blonde 12 pack. They were also able to pump up a social presence with unboxing videos. “Packaging is what kept us alive and moving. All breweries need to do this,” adds Thompson.  

“Covid is altering the craft beer landscape. We want to offer an additional model for breweries to market their beer,” notes CompanyBox’s founder, Louie DeJesus. “Our in-house team of designers love to get creative with packaging.” 

Let’s work together to shake things up. Contact us to collaborate.

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