Upscale craft beer franchise The Brass Tap is all about bringing a standout experience to its customers. A place where those looking for a neighborhood craft beer bar with a robust menu will immediately feel at home.
“We pride ourselves on being a craft beer bar and entertainment venue known for extensive localized brewery offerings, specialty cocktails and premium wines paired perfectly with a select menu of upscale shareables and serving amazing communities and customers,” said The Brass Tap’s Chief Marketing Officer Heather Boggs.
Brass Tap franchisee Nick Marking, who has lived about ten minutes south of Greenfield, Wisconsin for the last eight years, knew that the welcoming atmosphere and elevated offerings of a Brass Tap would lend itself not only to a community of regular patrons but to the needs of the local area as well.
When asked about the importance of fostering community connection, Marking was clear.
“It’s very important to us to give back to charities and organizations because it shows that you want to be a part of the community,” said Marking.
This approach to community also lives at the heart of The Brass Tap’s brand mission, Boggs noted.
“Nick and other franchisees understand the importance of local community connection. It’s a part of The Brass Tap’s DNA,” said Boggs. “We teach it in our training and carry it through all our marketing programs. We always push to have community engagement as part of our overall brand initiatives.”
Bolstered by this mentality upon opening his Brass Tap location in 2015, Marking spearheaded a once-a-month shared charity operation and partnered with local sports teams and schools on their fundraising efforts.
“That was a big push for us the first couple of years we were open. It let people know we were here and willing to get involved,” Marking said.
Since then, the Greenfield Brass Tap has been regularly leading cause-driven initiatives, including an annual “Taptoberfest Street Party” that donated a portion of its 2018 proceeds to Hunger Task Force, plus weekly fish fries around Lent and winter “tap takeovers” that showcase the offerings of various craft breweries, among other events. Turnout at these events has been strong.
This approach by Marking not only exemplifies him as a Brass Tap brand ambassador, but also makes perfect sense to Boggs.
“While we are known for craft beer, we are in the business of people,” Boggs said. “And the best way to support them is to get ingrained in the communities we serve.”
She continued: “We want to offer them an inviting, upbeat social environment and we do that through trivia nights, live music, happy hours, supporting our teachers through exclusive happy hour events, along with sports, beer tastings, tap takeovers and community outreach.”
More recently, the Greenfield Brass Tap joined forces with several other breweries to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation. The location also completed a “Movember” initiative to raise funds for men’s health concerns, including prostate cancer and suicide prevention, partnering with major breweries including Bell’s, New Belgium and Sierra Nevada. The “Movember” event included $1 donations for each pour from a featured brewery’s draft, as well as guest bartenders from each partner brewery who donated their tips to the Movember Foundation.
Marking said that these efforts are endorsed by The Brass Tap franchise, and that his local efforts clearly align with the brand’s national initiatives.
“There are many events that corporate organizes for charity—they raised money for the hurricane survivors in Tallahassee, and led a system-wide initiative to help the Red Cross,” Marking explained.
When asked for advice for other franchisees and business owners who are interested in getting more involved in their community, Marking said to start with schools.
“Reach out to high schools. Sports organizations usually draw a lot of interest.”
Marking also emphasized the importance of leveraging social media: “Once you put [an event] on social media, and get the word out, people really do open up and you get some good engagement,” Marking explained.
So what’s next from the Greenfield Brass Tap? Another relief effort is brewing.
“Sierra Nevada Brewing is going to release a beer called ‘Resilience,” Marking said. “1,300 breweries are offering the beer and donating all of the proceeds to California wildfire relief. They’re hoping to raise $10 million [in relief efforts].”
Here, Marking paused for a moment.
“The craft beer community is really supportive and communal in that way,” Marking said.
Looks like The Brass Tap in Greenfield, Wisconsin is no exception.