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OUGD601 — Leeds International Beer Festival

Every year — the Leeds International Beer Festival is hosted at the town hall to collectively bring together amazing beers from all across the UK, Europe & America.

The branding this year was designed by a favourite illustrator of mine Drew Millward and the website was designed and built by Passport & Refresh.

After seeing the poster in the city centre I looked up the website and found the list of breweries that were taking part this year and I was lucky to find a lot of the breweries that I have taken an interest in.

I thought this would be a good way of speaking to the people behind the beer in first person at the same time as taking in the aesthetics and marketing ploys from all of the different breweries on site.

I thought of a series of questions to ask each of the breweries I have taken an interest in. Of course I wouldn't limit myself to just those if I found any other interesting ones around.

1 — Amongst the masses of different people who love beer, who is your beer for?

2 — How do you spread the word to those people about your beer?

3 — How would you sell me your beer? What is special about it and why do I want it?

4 — Is there a way you make that clear in any of your marketing? (packaging, advertisements, etc)

5 — How does your packaging capture your audience's eye before they purchase it? Is it familiar, different, heavily dependent on typography, illustration, colour? And why was this chosen to represent your beer?

6 — Is there a noticeable struggle of competition against tasteless beer giants such as Carling, Carlsberg, etc? If not, what is a brewery's primary struggle or weakness?

I also thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk to beer fanatics too so I put together a beer lovers' survey too.

1 — What is your favourite beer at this moment in time?

2 — What made you first try that beer?

3 — Were you familiar with the brewery that made the beer before you tried it? If so — How did you know of that brewery?

4 — Have you since tried any of their other beers or developed a brand loyalty with the brewery?

5 — What is your opinion on the brewery’s image, branding and marketing? (their bottle/can designs, pump clips, logo, website, promotional materials, etc).

6 — Would you say that a brewery’s image or the way they present themselves is quite a big factor in deciding if you want to try it or not?

To my disappointment — the people pulling pints at the festival didn't have a clue about their marketing side of things and were literally there to provide thirsty Leeds. I was advised by several to send it as an email to the breweries and the correct person would get back to me.

Other than that, there were several things I learned from asking punters to take the survey during the festival. People are at a beer festival to get hammered and have a good time with mates, not get pestered by a weedy student to answer surveys. There were few people to actively take part and even act enthusiastic about it and the were usually blokes waiting for their other half to finish in the toilet.

These were my results / answers.

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