The popularity of boutique wineries and craft breweries has grown exponentially in recent years.
There’s something about a quirky-tasting brew bottled up with an artist-inspired label that draws people in. There’s a craft beer or niche wine for every taste, personality, and character.
We’re rallying to fight back against the corporate juggernauts and give the small mom-and-pop businesses a chance – even though big brands have taken over many craft breweries and boutique wineries!
But how do these micro-businesses connect with their ideal audience? How do they find their tribe?
Instagram is an excellent platform for breweries and wineries to build a brand, show off their unique creations, and gather die-hard fans.
Here are some best-practice examples you can draw inspiration from.
Tank Garage Winery
Tank Garage Winery is based in Napa Valley in California – but it’s not your average winery. They’ve refurbished a vintage service station and turned the garage into a bar. It’s one of the most unique and interesting hole-in-the-wall wineries I’ve seen.
The quirkiness of the location and the vintage style of the refurb are represented throughout its Instagram feed. It’s almost like a flashback to the 70s with style and character to transport its followers back in time. From the splashes of aqua green to the snippets of denim and freewill vibes, Tank does a wonderful job of creating nostalgic feelings and being memorable in the process.
What can you learn from this winery? Aim to develop a brand that resonates with your ideal customers and represent it in every piece of Instagram content you create.
Wölffer Estate Vineyard
Wölffer Estate Vineyard isn’t as niche as Tank, but they’re doing something right given the 78 thousand followers of their Instagram account.
The primary tactic that stood out as I was scrolling through this Insta feed was the themed periods of color tones and seasonal products. Wölffer strategically focuses on a specific product for a set period, and it dominates its feed. The colors, images, messaging, and cultural surroundings tell a compelling story about the product on show.
For example, the snippet below is a section of the images designed to promote their summer rosé. The product is shown in some (not all) photos, but the colors and connection between the grid are noticeable.
Below is another example of how they use this tactic. In this case, it’s for the Botanical Cider, where oranges and yellows are the colors associated with this product.
You can tell a lot of thought has gone into the Instagram grid, the product packaging, and how it reflects the tastes and preferences of its audience. I feel like I can taste these products with my eyes!
Croteaux Vineyards markets itself as the only US vineyard dedicated to rosé wine. This laser focus on one style of product works well on Instagram where the best feeds target a narrow audience with a common interest.
Beyond simply showing its wines, Croteaux shares a range of imagery that captures the experience of visiting its vineyard with photos and videos of the surroundings.
Visiting a vineyard is not just about the wine; it’s about the experience. Helping your Instagram followers visualize what it’s like to come for a tasting at your venue adds layers to the attractiveness of your winery.
Based in Pittstown, New Jersey, Beneduce Vineyards is a stunning winery with a growing reputation.
What I love about its Instagram feed is that it takes the time to go beyond the end product. Much of its content focuses on the produce they use to develop wines and the process of doing so. See below.
Going behind the scenes is a great tactic to highlight the beautiful produce your winery uses, and it also humanizes your brand. Wine is more than a drink; it’s a story, and most wine lovers want to hear that story. There is no better place than Instagram for sharing yours.
The Emperor’s Brewery is a Star Wars themed brewhouse making Imperial Stouts. As you can imagine, its Instagram feed is all about the characters of Star Wars – one of the world’s most popular movie franchises.
The theme starts with its bio, where they riff on a similar angle to the beginning of the Star Wars movies… “A long time ago, in a brewery far, far away…”
Then, they double down on the Star Wars themed paraphernalia with nuanced imagery throughout the feed.
While not every brewery will have an epic movie brand associated with its beer, this example highlights the importance of brand reinforcement and finding your niche audience.
Willie the Boatman
Willie the Boatman is an Australian brewery that releases “beer with characters.” Its beers have an interesting caricature on the can that tells a story about the beer’s flavor.
Its Instagram feed has a patriotic undertone. From the face of the latest Prime Minister on one of its beers, as you can see below…
…to the “Australian Christmas Carols” themed party they hosted (“How to Make Gravy” is a famous Australian Christmas song by Paul Kelly).
Willie the Boatman understands its audience – patriotic Australians who typically vote for a certain political party. The better you can understand your audience, and the more you embed their interests in your product, marketing, and Instagram content, the more engagement you will receive.
Nevada Brew Works
Nevada Brew Works is a dog and kid-friendly brewery with Neapolitan pizzas, beer-brined wings, and craft beers to go with your food.
The food aspect of this brewery’s menu makes its Instagram feed interesting. Attending a brewery isn’t all about beer; it’s great to gather with friends for lunch or dinner, too!
Check out some of the mouth-watering food snaps Nevada Brew Works shares on its Insta feed below:
Attracting customers to your brewery isn’t all about the beer – think about the entire experience they have at your venue and incorporate elements of that experience into your feed.
4 Pines Brewing Co.
4 Pines Brewing Co. is a local brewery here in Sydney, Australia where I live. It’s one of my favorites because it sponsors my sports team, but it also does some amazing work on Instagram.
For example, they regularly run Instagram giveaways that engage their audience and increase their reach. Here is one example where they are giving away four cases of beer:
Below is another example, which has a whopping 5,500 comments! That is astronomically more than any of their other posts. The key with this one? They’ve partnered up with Ben & Jerry’s. It shows how powerful strategic partnerships can be when running promotions on Instagram.
If you want to increase your reach on Instagram and improve audience engagement, consider running a giveaway. They never fail! ShortStack has a range of features suitable for running campaigns like this for wineries and breweries.
Instagram is the perfect place for wineries and breweries to engage with their audience and build a cult-like following.
The first aspect of taste starts with our eyes – what we see plays a huge role in how we experience beer and wine. You can use clever branding, collaborations, color tones, and filters or styles on Instagram to entice followers to visit your venue. Just like the examples above.