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Beer flights on the go: KoP’s Workhorse Brewing Co. rolls out new canning program

April 18, 2019

Source, Philadelphia Business Journal, Kenneth Hilario

A majority of beer consumers visit brewpubs to taste and sample different and unique brews, and now Montgomery County’s Workhorse Brewing Co. is bringing that ability for consumption at home — and everywhere else.

Workhorse Brewing has rolled out Flights To Go, a new canning program featuring six of its year-round beers in 8-ounce cans, including three ales and three lagers: New England IPA, West Coast IPA, Pale Ale, Helles, Vienna Lager and Pilsner.

The $10 six-packs will be available in the Workhorse taproom at 250 King Manor Drive as well as select bars, bottle shops, distributors and restaurants in the region.

The brewery, when it opened last September, became King of Prussia’s only brewery. It now has between 20 and 25 full- and part-time employees, and its beers are available in about 175 locations throughout the region.

Flights To Go traces back to the first few months of Workhorse distributing its products, packaging beer in 8-ounce cans as samples to potential accounts. They received positive, unprompted responses on the cans, said CEO and co-founder Dan Hershberg in an interview with the Philadelphia Business Journal.

“Everyone was commenting on them on their own. We were sitting around the taproom and someone ordered a flight, and then it clicked in our head,” Hershberg said. “There’s no portable beer flight on the market. Everyone goes to a brewery and buys a flight to sample different styles.”

They decided to use the 8-ounce cans as a way to bring flights out of the taproom.

A majority of consumers visit brewpubs to taste and sample a variety of things, according to a report by Nielsen, which “reinforces the point that flights and samples are vital to enhancing the experience of today’s consumers.”

But the biggest reason consumers don’t visit brewpubs because of the limited or inconsistent food offerings, according to Nielsen, giving companies opportunities to engage with drinkers in non-traditional venues.

Not only can a sample lead to future sales for Workhorse, it also eliminates potential buyer’s remorse, therefore enhancing consumers’ perception of the brand.

“To an aficionado, nothing is worse than ordering an entire 12 ounce of something and realize you don’t like it,” said Matt Simpson, the owner of craft beer consultancy firm The Beer Sommelier.

Beer flights and offering samples is “one of the most seminal, enlightened practices” an on-premise facility can do.

“To flip the script and make it accessible for all premise, to drink at home, is even better,” Simpson said of Workhorse Brewing’s Flights To Go program.

“I’ve never heard of it before,” Simpson said. “In roughly 30 years of being into craft beer, I have never seen or heard of anyone selling many flights to go. It makes me giggle and reawakens my little old beer geek self.”

Competition is stiff. There were over 7,300 breweries in operation in the United States, up 13.2 year over year, according to the Brewers Association. And the Flights To Go program can help Workhorse stand out.

“Differentiation is no longer chasing the unicorn. Differentiation is bringing your own brand and finding your own voice,” Hershberg said.

“It’s not a gimmick,” he said. “It fits a need and solves a problem [consumers] have. It’s not a new idea; we’ve had variety packs before and 8-ounce cans exist. It’s just a combination of them.”

Workhorse Brewing Co. has a two-week launch plan with nearly a dozen events at their taproom and with local partners, including an indoor skydiving and beer sampling event at iFly King of Prussia. More information on their site.