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Craft Brewery Uses Beacons to Draw Customers to Its Taps

Schlafly's app employs Juxtad's TapTalker technology to send push notifications to individuals who come within range of a beer tap fitted with a beacon.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 22, 2016

Craft brewer Saint Louis Brewery, also known as Schlafly Beer, is mounting Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons on the taps that dispense its beers at businesses throughout St. Louis. The beacons, working in conjunction with the brewery's new Brew Finder app, are intended to catch the attention of customers as they enter bars and restaurants, and to share information with them about the beer on tap. The solution, known as TapTalker, was provided by proximity marketing technology startup Juxtad. Schlafly has installed the beacons at approximately 125 businesses to date.

Juxtad began developing its proximity marketing platform and TapTalker beacon in 2014, shortly after its founding that same year. The platform consists of a beer tap beacon, a content-management system hosted on Juxtad's server, and a software development kit enabling data to be shared with consumers via the Schlafly app.

When a user of Schlafly's Brew Finder app comes within approximately 30 meters of a TapTalker beacon, the app displays tailored messages and promotional offers.
Schlafly is an independent Saint Louis craft brewery that opened in 1991, says James Pendegraft, the company's CEO. During the past year, Schlafly has been working with Juxtad on a solution that would help the beer brand reach its customers in a targeted manner that would be useful and non-disruptive to those beer drinkers.

The craft brewer had already been working on designing its Brew Finder app—which, once downloaded, provides consumers with a GPS-based service to inform them of the closest restaurant or bar serving their Schlafly beer of choice. (Only an iOS version of the app is available at present, but an Android version is expected to be released this summer.) The beer company decided to include beacon-based functionality for use with the app as well.

Schlafly's James Pendegraft
When a user downloads the app on his or her Apple iPhone, that individual can receive a push notification upon coming within approximately 30 meters (98.4 feet) of a beacon attached to a Schlafly tap behind a bar's counter, as long as the phone's Bluetooth radio is activated.

When the phone receives the beacon transmission, the Beer Finder app connects to Juxtad's cloud-based software, which sends a notification to the phone. If the user takes no action, the notice will shut itself off. If interested in the notification, however, he or she can slide or select the prompt in order to view a screen indicating a promotion, notes about tasting events or other content. For instance, for every pint of Schlafly beer purchased this week, the brewery will donate $1 to St. Louis Earth Day, a local nonprofit environmental organization that runs the annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival. Selecting the appropriate prompt will bring a user to the St. Louis Earth Day website to view more information about events within the area.

According to Pendegraft, the beer company hopes to learn from the beacon deployment whether notifications lead to greater sales, and when they become excessive. "It's up to us, as marketers, not to send out too many notifications," he says.


Devika Girish 2016-04-27 11:09:26 PM
I must say that attaching beacons to beer taps to send push notifications to customers as they enter bars and restaurants, and to share information with them about the beer on tap sounds like a great idea. Its really interesting to see how beacons are being leveraged across industries to offer engaging customer experiences. However, even today not many marketers are very clear about how to go about deploying beacons. In fact many of customers have told us that a simple guide that can help them keep track of the things that they need to keep a check on to ensure a smooth beacon deployment would be really helpful. We have come up with this ultimate checklist that will help businesses with the same here: http://blog.beaconstac.com/2016/04/the-ultimate-checklist-for-planning-your-first-beacon-deployment/

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