Skip to Main Content

How Allagash Used Upsiide to Develop a Beer Brand That Works

Allagash, a brewing company, worked with Upsiide and Dig Insights to develop new packaging for a new product.

Upsiide Case Study Allagash
Allagash logo

Project Summary

  1. The Client

    The client is an independent craft brewery based in Portland, Maine. 

  2. The Challenge

    With the closure of on-premise establishments like restaurants and bars during the pandemic, the client wanted to expand their presence in the off-premise market and test out the viability of their new beer brand/its packaging. 

  3. The Solution

    The client conducted a usage & attitudes test with the Dig Insights team and 2 concept tests on Upsiide to understand consumers' needs in the new market and find a differentiated packaging design for their products.

  4. The Impact

    The client found a packaging design their customers love and gleaned valuable consumer insights that their team can use for future marketing activities.

This is how we brew it.

There's something unique in businesses built on a passion for their craft. They just hit different. Allagash Brewing Company is exactly that kind of a business.

Rob Tod opened his brewery in 1995 with the dream of making delicious craft beer. And ever since then, Allagash has been producing award-winning beers, including its signature Allagash White – a Belgian-style wheat beer. 

The company was named Brewery of the Year in 2021 at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). And Rob and his team continually encourage inclusivity and diversity within the craft brewing community through philanthropic giving, grants, beer donations, and more.

Then, COVID hit

Pre-pandemic, Allagash had primarily served its products on-premise, i.e., in restaurants and bars. So, when bars and restaurants closed their doors, the company needed to grow their distribution of beer in other ways.

Off-premise establishments (grocery stores, convenience and liquor shops) became a new opportunity for the brand to tap into. Allagash did preliminary research and understood that this new route to market had great potential for them. But the next question was, "Where do we go from here?"

Jeff Pillet-Shore, Marketing Director at Allagash, adds:

Whenever we asked, "Who likes our beer?", the answer was "Everyone." The product seems to work and has an appeal. But when you're a small company trying to break through in this saturated industry, you really need to understand who you're trying to reach. Off-premise is a new world for us, so we wanted to be humble and better understand how our brand resonated.

At the same time, Allagash was working on introducing a new brand of India Pale Ale (IPA). It was the company's most significant innovation launch, so they also wanted to understand how they should position the branding of the new product.

That's why Allagash approached Upsiide and Dig Insights. 

Making a product that's "going to work."

Jeff comments:

The most important question for us was, "What's going to resonate with new, and established, craft beer fans?" As we were entering a new convoluted category of IPAs, we wanted to understand who would buy our beer, why and how we could serve them well.

Allagash went to Dig Insights to conduct some research on its master brand. Jeff was happy to see the data reveal that the brand's existing customers like drinking IPAs as much as they like other Allagash products. This meant that instead of pushing the new IPA to new consumers, the brand could focus on existing clientele. 

Allagash also leveraged Upsiide for concept testing on a few of its beer brands, including the new IPA they’d developed. The company conducted 2 concept tests. They first screened all ideas and found a few winning ones. After that, they tweaked some package design elements. And later, they tested those refined ideas again to find one winner. 

Upsiide gave us a realistic context to our ideas. We saw exactly where we stand and what makes our products resonate. We were able to push our boundaries and take chances with our ideas. We didn't just choose the safest option or rely solely on hunches. We actually had external data to prove its potential.

It was great to see everyone at Allagash join the project. The sales team at Allagash also found Upsiide's data super helpful in understanding their customers better.

Jeff adds:

Thinking of the first time I saw Upsiide, I knew this was the platform we needed. Upsiide became that objective eye for us. And the Idea Score metric is so helpful in that it’s difficult to misinterpret or run away from.

 We were pumped to work with Allagash and wish them good luck launching their new product.

If you want to learn more about the brewery and its beer, check out their website.

And if you want to see how Upsiide can help your brand find its next successful innovation, book some time with our team now.