The strategy and tactics of tastings

Tastings are critical but expensive to do so a small brand needs to be choosy and strategic in committing resources.  From a priority level, you should look at tastings in

  1. Older off-premise sites that have supported you over the long term.

  2. Newer off-premise accounts that have taken a minimum of a case in.

  3. On-premise accounts with the same priority as above (older first then newer). 

The rationale is simple: you're looking to build brand loyalty, not just hit and runs.  With few resources in the marketplace, concentration and focus affects pull-through, which is the name of your game.  With that, your distributor has a better chance of getting re-orders, and re-orders have always been the weak-spot of small brands, as they typically get overlooked.  With one bottle or an empty slot appearing on a shelf, you're vulnerable to being replaced.  In reality, most retailers have little empathy with a brand's plight, they'll just as easily replace it with something else: someone newer, fancier, more in-tune with their buying habits, etc.

On premise is where you build the brand, off-premise is where you sell volume.