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Welcome to Craft Beverage Consultants
Alcohol Beverage Industry Experts
Your One Stop Shop
If we can't do it, we know an expert who can

Welcome to Craft
Beverage Consultants

As a small business owner, you may assume that professional business consulting is a luxury only large companies can afford. Don’t be so sure. Craft Beverage Consultants offers services that not only fit your budget, but usually pay for themselves through increased sales or improved efficiency.

Whether you need a high-level review of your strategy and competition, new ideas for marketing, or tactical advice on information technology, finances, or personnel, we can help. Our consultants have the training to grasp complex business issues – and the experience to know which ones really matter.

Why not let an informed, independent partner help clarify your company’s most critical issues and objectives?

Guiding Small Businesses to Success

Independent Advice, Informed Opinions, Expert Services

Today’s marketing environment is tough. With the economy still on the mend and consumers having more choices than ever for product and service providers, is critical that your business stand out. A great way to separate yourself from the competition is by producing the best marketing materials possible. That’s where Craft Beverage Consulting comes in. We’ll combine your great business ideas with our great creative ideas to develop a campaign that will get noticed.

Contact us right now for your FREE, no obligation business analysis.

Not all budgets allow for a chain account manager or someone to manage multiple distributors but we can assist and execute that role for you.

Contact us right now for your FREE, no obligation business analysis.

Not all budgets allow for a chain account manager, or someone to manage multiple distributors, but we can assist and execute that role.

Our Strategies for Your Success

Development, production and delivery of projects from proposal right up to delivery

Delivering events on time, within budget, that meet (and hopefully exceed) expectations

Setting, communicating and maintaining timelines and priorities on every project

Communicating, maintaining and developing client relationships

Managing supplier, distributor, and retailer relationships

Managing operational and administrative functions to ensure specific projects are delivered efficiently

Providing leadership, motivation, direction, support, enhancement, and growth to your team

Traveling to onsite inspections and project managing events, installations, sales calls, chain account and distributor meetings

Being responsible for all project budgets from start to finish

Ensuring excellent customer service and quality delivery

What could a consultant do for you?

There are seven things our consultants like to
focus on at Craft Beverage Consultants

  • Provide information
  • Solve problems / issues / challenges
  • Diagnose and redefine problems / issues / challenges & opportunities
  • Recommend
  • Implement
  • Build consensus and commitment around corrective action
  • Facilitate client learning
  • Permanently improve organizational effectiveness

The last three are the mark of the ‘better’ and more effective consultant.

Why does an organization engage a consultant?

These are the 12 most common needs for consulting help:

  • Temporary assistance
  • Objective review
  • Third-party request for problem / opportunity identification & resolution / realization
  • Surviving a crisis
  • Initiating change
  • Obtaining funding
  • Selecting key personnel
  • In-house education
  • Conflict resolution
  • Executive assistance
  • Government regulatory assistance
  • Socio-economic and political change

These needs can be broken down into six parts:

  • We must have specific skills
  • We require knowledge
  • We demand experience
  • We will set a timeframe
  • It’s necessary for the consultant to have frequently addressed our needs
  • Objectivity is a necessity

What’s the role of the consultant?

Having defined a need for consulting help, we then consider the consultant’s role in addressing these needs, and there are six:

Coach

Expert

Facilitator

Mentor

Trainer

Temporary Representation

In practice, the consultant’s project role is typically a combination of #2 (the expert in the room) plus one of the others.

Alcohol Beverage Industry Experts - Your One Stop Shop, If we can't do it, we know an expert who can.

We're Here to Help

Dear friends in the alcoholic beverage industry,

As we as an industry, nation and planet collectively try to navigate this unprecedented period the coronavirus has brought us, I’d like you to know that we at Craft Beverage Consultants (the other CBC!) are here to answer any question you may have (or not know you have) about not just surviving this time but positioning yourself to thrive as soon as social distancing measures allow your business to function at full capacity again.

If you schedule a free 60-minute phone or video conferencing consultation with me or any of my 11 highly specialized colleagues, we’ll help you figure out any of your immediate and/or longterm business needs, or “everything but the staffing,” as we like to say. We’re not high-pressure sales kind of people, especially these days, so you don’t have to worry about fending off annoying pitches. Make an appointment on our website or Facebook page, or just call us the old-fashioned way at 314-768-0220.

Our experts have a combined 150 years in the alcoholic beverage industry, with deep knowledge in everything from sales and distribution, production, and regulatory compliance to marketing, package design, event planning, IT, (social) media, hospitality, and even values-based executive coaching. 

For example, I can coach you through this season when chain accounts have canceled their spring resets and distributors have drastically cut orders. Our director of business strategy and compliance can save you money – now – on excise taxes, caution you to avoid naming your beers in ways that risk alienating your buyers (Wuhan Wheat? Coronavirus Cream Ale? Groan. No.), and secure TTB approval for the tastefully named beers you do make. Our creative director and web team can get your e-commerce site up and running and launch a social media campaign that keeps you top of mind for current and future customers. Our director of storytelling can put you in front of the press so you can tell your story to your community. 

Once you’re ready, we can look forward together. Now is the time to talk about post-virus. We all suspect the legal landscape to look different. But how? And how do you prepare yourself in a way that positions you to charge out of the gate ready to maximize the potential and profit of whatever the “new normal” turns out to be? Please get in touch so we can talk about it. 

And if you’d like to feel us out beforehand, join me as I answer all of your questions about sales and distro during my free “Ask Me Anything” presentation May 5 at  — p.m. Central on the Craft Beer Professionals Facebook page. Also, at 11 a.m. Central on April 28 Director of Storytelling, Communications and Public Relations Tara Nurin appears as a special guest of “Ask Me Anything” to share unique – and free – ways to use the media to your advantage now and going forward.

CBC’s roster includes local and regional clients like Epic Brewing, Logboat Brewing, Piney River Brewing, SudWerk Brewing and Common Cider Company.  The agency was founded in 2014 by Jacob and Beth Halls; I, Rick Laxague, joined as a partner in charge of sales, marketing and distribution consulting in 2019. 

I have close to 20 years of experience, a bulk of which was with Crescent Crown Distributing in Arizona. My last role there was Area Sales Manager for the dedicated craft beer division, coaching and leading a sales team to be nationally recognized. In early 2014 I helped take a regional brewery national as their Director of National Accounts and increase that segment of their business from 30,000 cases to almost 300,000 cases in two years, an increase that equates to $4.8 million in IRI dollar sales. 

Co-founder Jacob Halls brings 17 years of experience in regulatory compliance, business strategy, marketing and craft brand management to the company. In his former position as craft brand manager for the N.H. Scheppers Distributing Company in Columbia, Missouri, Jacob helped lead his team to winning the 2016 Distributor of the Year award from New Belgium and to a nomination for the Brewers Association’s Distributor of the Year award. Jacob is also the founder and director of the South East Craft Beer Fest/Sampling & Educational Conference. Beth Halls is Director of Business Operations and Coordinator of Charity Operations for the festivals and events run by CBC, such as the South East Craft Beer Fest, MO Bacon & Bourbon, and many more. 

Again, please reach out to me or my partners for anything. I’m at [email protected] and CBC can be reached at (314) 768-0220 or at craftbeverageconsultants.com.

I look forward to meeting/talking soon.

Sincerely,

Rick Laxague