Following a string of new contracts for mobile loyalty apps for the craft beverage industry, Boca Raton, Florida-based software designer Daruma Tech has signed on to build an app for the Brewers Guild of Alaska. With the app, Alaska’s craft beer aficionados will be able to find breweries near them, see what’s on tap, and even plan and map their own personalized tours of selected breweries. In addition, they will be able to earn points towards prizes by using the app to check in at participating breweries.
The guild realized a mobile app would be an easy and cost-effective way to help meet this challenge. “We decided to be proactive and get an app with a passport to help keep both locals engaged and to, hopefully, get tourists engaged,” Hill said.
Helping the guild’s member breweries build visibility and name recognition is a special challenge in Alaska because of the state’s vast size and the long distances between populated areas, said Shelly Hill, the guild’s executive director. While the guild has about 50 member breweries, many are long distances from each other. “Our rural communities may only have one, if even that,” she said. “The concentration of our large numbers are in Anchorage and then maybe like a dozen southeast, and there’s four in Fairbanks.”
She envisions tourists getting a helpful benefit from the app because the many cruise ship passengers who debark in Alaska each year looking for a convenient way to learn about the area. She foresees working in collaboration with visitors’ bureaus across the state to help get the word out about the app.
Lee Wood is the treasurer of the Colorado Distillers Guild and like Shelly Hill in Alaska, his goal is to get tourists engaged. Both Guilds are in partnership with Daruma Tech on the development of their app along with its platform and it has been rewarding. “It’s been great,” Wood said. Typically, he said, most of his business comes from out-of-town visitors who come for its famed white-water rafting. “We probably do the majority of our business from visitors as opposed to the people in town,” he said. And like Hill from Alaska, he recognized the app as a way to draw them in and encourage them. “And so, we’re looking at ways that we can encourage folks to try other businesses when they come into town”. Both Hill and Wood are looking to Daruma to help on being able to bring visibility to all that is available, show tourists and locals what is being offered, build foot traffic and increase economic development.
The Brewers Guild of Alaska’s choice of Daruma Tech for the project was easy decision. “We chose Daruma Tech because they came highly recommended by other guilds across the US,” Hill said. “They’ve already done it so many times, have a great foundation and make it financial accessible to smaller guilds.”
While the project is still in its early stages, Hill has been pleased with the experience so far. “Their team has been awesome, very easy to work with. very persistent with keeping me on track,” she said.
“Our experience has enabled us to develop a consistent and cost-effective system for building mobile loyalty apps,” said Susan Erickson of Daruma Tech. “But we never forget that each association or guild we work with, and each app we build, is unique. Our goal is to support local economies by helping communities highlight and celebrate artisanal products you can’t get anywhere else.”
Hill is looking forward to the app helping more craft beer enthusiasts discover Alaska’s unique brewing scene. “Our tagline is ‘Beer in the Last Frontier,’” she said. “I think we have some of the best beer in the US (not to be biased) and we cannot wait to share it with all seeking a little bit of adventure.”
For more information, contact Rick Griswold: 561-990-1625.