You guys know I feature a lot of breweries on here, but once in a while I come across a cool craft beer-related business that does not brew anything… in the literal sense of the word.
I met the guys at Bevv through a craft beer friend and have wanted to feature them for a while. What’s Bevv, you ask? In a few words… It’s a liquid gold delivery company the allows the cutter to shop for beer from all around the country and for craft breweries to make more profit on the same retail price. I could either tell you or let them introduce themselves… What do you say we give the guys at Bevv the stage? Here is founder and CEO Travis Benoit on the line for you! He’ll tell you about all that’s brewing at Bevv.
Who are you guys?
We have a small team of 8 working on everything from technology, to strategic partnerships, to sales and marketing, and social engagement. We have domain expertise in e-commerce with one of our co-founders coming from Amazon and another as a legal officer formerly at Half Price Books (Amazon’s largest e-commerce competitor in the online books space). We are ALL craft beer drinkers. I went to the University of Vermont when Magic Hat was a startup.
How did Bevv start?
I previously founded a crowdfunding website for craft breweries and craft alcohol producers to raise startup capital, expansion capital, etc. When I went to get testimonials, when there were around 3,000 breweries and 50 cideries, the consensus was the following: “The money was helpful and got us to where we needed to be, however there is a larger issue than just money facing craft alcohol producers. That problem is distribution and the lack of shelf space.”
This immediately led me to build a co-founder team consisting of legal, tech, and business development to explore the opportunity to build the first producer-to-consumer craft beer and craft alcohol marketplace allowing for a producer to list their entire SKU and not be limited to the ‘luck of the shelf’ or taproom-only sales.
I wanted to offer a new sales channel to alcohol producers that they have never been offered before. We spent a tremendous amount of time and sweat researching state laws, working with logistics partners and forming relationships, building a technology infrastructure that consists of both an e-commerce solution as well as a discovery marketplace (like Etsy for knitted hats).
I heard directly from the breweries’ mouth about the problem and produced a solution.
How does it work from a customer’s perspective?
Bevv focuses on the producer to end-user sales within the direct-to-consumer market, bypassing the antiquated, three-tier distribution model. Bevv operates within the confines of each of the individual state’s direct-to-consumer sales liquor laws.
Bevv is the direct-to-consumer alcohol sales marketplace that affords the craft producer a new sales channel in conjunction with its current sales offerings. The current market deprives the consumer access to a vast majority of the actual product being produced. I.e. Look at your local retail shelf – ugh….
It is widely accepted that you can order your favorite bottle of Chardonnay straight from a small winery in Napa, and Bevv is positioned to be the platform for consumers to order their favorite bottle of small batch IPA, crisp cider, or smoked porter from a brewery/cidery they visited while on vacation in Oregon or on road trip through New England.
A consumer would find a product or brand they want to purchase. They simply order products as if they were ordering anything online. We do require a consumer to be 21 years of age or older for the U.S. We require signature upon delivery. We also offer drop-ship solutions for those that know they won’t be home for a delivery.
The consumer also has a few more delivery options. Should a consumer live within 10-15 miles of a brewery or cidery on Bevv, they can have the product delivered directly to their home in the same fashion that Pizza Hut would deliver pizza. We offer last mile, local, on-demand delivery directly from the taproom, and directly to the consumer: crowlers, growlers, kegs, cans, bottles, etc.
The consumer is notified via email and SMS if they provide a cell number.
What’s in it for the breweries and how does it work from their perspective?
When a brewery sells via the three-tier system they are giving up roughly 70% margin. On a $10 retail sale and after costs of goods sold, the brewery makes about $1 +/- on that $10 retail sale.
On Bevv, the brewery makes $8.50 on a $10 sale before costs of goods sold. Not only do they now have the ability to sell alcohol online legally, they can also sell their swag to that consumer that has searched out their product.
It’s very easy actually for the brewery or cidery to operate on Bevv. Each ‘vendor’ has their own storefront on their and their own marketplace store on Bevv, giving them multiple locations to sell their products. Bevv handles everything from end-to-end, from payment processing, label generation, logistics, taxation and compliance, and other features.
The vendor receives a notification, prints the label, and packages the product. Our logistics partners will come by and pick up the product and deliver it to the consumer. For local, on-demand orders, there is embedded real-time tracking (both via email and SMS) and for carrier service, a tracking number is provided.
We also offer ‘in-store’ pickup if you wanted to pre-order and pay and have it available for the consumer. This proves to be beneficial for bottle releases and limited releases when the consumer can’t make it to the taproom and doesn’t want to miss out on the new release. So the product is purchased and set aside.
What are you guys working on right now?
We have a number of new features being implemented that we will stay slightly hush on for now. We will be offering our vendors a number of new features as well as the ability to reach more consumers in more states. This has been the ultimate goal since day one and that is to provide the consumer with as much optionality and to provide the vendor with consumers seeking new products.
What are your ultimate dreams and plans for Bevv?
We would like to be the go-to discovery marketplace for all things craft beer, cider, mead, sake, and spirits. If a consumer is looking for a new product or looking to learn more about a brand, I would like to see and envision Bevv being that destination. I would like to see our vendors pushing their e-commerce solutions that sit on their websites to their consumers and to let them all know they can now sell beer direct from the taproom. Not only does this provide the consumer with the most optionality from a single brand, it also helps truly support that brewery / small business.
Anything else you’d like the readers to know about Bevv?
Brands like Goose Island, one of the most widely distributed breweries in the US, produces over 100 types of beer every year (note we don’t work with Goose Island). That may sound crazy, as the antiquated US 3-tier system means only 4 of those are distributed nationally. Over 7,600 breweries around the US face the same distribution headache – meaning they can’t grow and scale or get their incredible products into the hands of thirsty beer fans around the country. Until now.
Bevv is the Etsy/Shopify (2-in-1 solution) for the craft alcohol industry by providing both a marketplace and an e-commerce solution for alcohol producers, which includes logistics. We allow breweries, cideries, and others to sell their entire portfolio directly to consumers – and the way we do that allows producers to increase their margin by more than 55% while increasing consumer optionality.
More photos of Bevv: