Navigating Supply Chain Disruption with TapRm Partnership
2022 CASE STUDY
BROOKLYN BORN & BREWED
There's no place like Brooklyn and the innovative, enterprising, and dynamic essence of this iconic borough is embodied in EBBS Beer. In the craft beer world today, many brands focus on over-the-top, fanciful ingredients and flashy branding to demonstrate their inventiveness and uniqueness in the marketplace. Not EBBS -- their cans are sleek, simple, and direct, much like the the way it was brewed.
Founded in 2020 by Tomas Larsson, Bruce Wilpon, Richie Saunders, and Brian Neville, Ebbs is brewed out of Williamsburg. Tomas and Bruce are also the founders of another local success, Fountain: a low-calorie, gluten-free, all-naturally flavored hard seltzer made with famously delicious New York City water. EBBS follows the same path -- made from high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.
The name “EBBS” is strong and simple, evoking imagery of New York’s rivers and harbor. Like the ebbs and flows of those very rivers, this brand was born at an incredibly challenging time in the city. Since then, it has become a staple brew for the kinds of independent, creative, and resilient people that Brooklyn champions. In turn, the spirit of the brand is captured in the brewery’s tagline: “Born in Brooklyn, brewed for the people.”
AN UNLUCKY START
The EBBS team wanted to launch a high-quality brand that resonated with the spirit of New York, but luck was not on their side. Everything came to a standstill at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic -- New York became a ghost town, with almost every bar, restaurant, and brewery closing their doors, and most consumers quarantining at home. The question quickly became: "How do we launch a new brand in a global pandemic?"
EBBS remained resilient, and began to quickly adapt a new strategy around the evolving global situation. Rather than delay their launch entirely, they realized that they had an opportunity to utilize e-commerce as an option to get their product in the hands of consumers despite more traditional routes to brand launch and distribution were closed to them. They needed:
E-Commerce Fulfillment and Marketplace Placement: Without access to most retailers in the city (i.e. bars and restaurants), online alcohol shopping exploded. Optimal online marketplace placement, fast and accurate fulfillment, and a large home-delivery network were all necessary to get started.
Retail Relationships: Despite traditional pipelines being almost entirely at a standstill, partnerships with supermarkets, convenience stores, and the like were still viable options to begin building a core base of wholesale relationships within the first few months of the pandemic. The more connections made when the industry was slowed, the more appealing they would look to bars, restaurants, and other retail partners once the city opened back up.
To capitalize on their launch, EBBS moved quickly and began partnering with TapRm for both e-commerce and distribution. After helping build a custom website that allowed them to launch and sell their products directly to consumers online, TapRm began to provide all e-commerce operations from top to bottom: from e-commerce and distribution shipping and fulfillment, to their team of customer services representatives taking care of any consumer issues that may arise.
The EBBS team was able to launch almost one year earlier than they would have otherwise due to the circumstances. They were able to get "cans in hands" directly, and build up demand for their brewpub locally in Williamsburg prior to the official post-COVID launch. During that waiting period, they secured distribution in over 150 retailers, including bars and restaurants as the city opened back up, ensuring that they could hit the ground running as quarantining restrictions began to lift.
All the while, EBBS maintained a 65% return customer rate with digital consumers, and had been collecting valuable first-party data to support their growth and marketing efforts.
New Bars, Restaurants, and Retail Partners Within 1-year
EBBS x Powered by TapRm™ Partnership
Average Return Customer Rate
Average Monthly Revenue from E-commerce Sales Channel
Distribution Revenue in first year of partnership
Number of On and Off Premise Accounts Distributed to within 6 months of launch