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February 16, 2023

Should You Charge for Brewery Tours?

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If you own a brewery, offering tours is an invaluable way to build your brand and provide guests with an enjoyable yet informative experience. Tours allow customers to learn about your brewing process, understand how you make their favorite beer, and explore your facility firsthand. But should you charge for brewery tours?

Many brewers across the industry have debated this age-old question—now it's time to settle on which strategy makes more sense for your business. 

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In this blog, we'll dive into why brewery tour prices are vital to your business so you can decide based on what’s best for your unique circumstances!

So first of all, let’s answer your question. 

Should I charge for brewery tours?

Should you charge for brewery tours? Yes. You should charge for brewery tours, whether five dollars or even twenty. There’s a reason the average brewery tour price rests around $15. Don’t take it from us; there’s data to back it up. 

According to a study by Your Ideas Are Terrible, free events have a 40% no-show rate. But when you charge just $5, that no-show rate drops to 15%. Want it less? Charging $10 transforms your no-show rate from 40% to less than 5%. 

Why is that?

Have you heard of the sunk cost fallacy is? It’s a term used in psychology to describe human behavior around prices and time given. We are more likely to show up or use something when we’ve paid for it or spent a long time on it — we’ve already made an effort, so we consider it a waste if we don’t keep going.

When thinking if you should charge for brewery tours, you activate the sunk cost fallacy and increase the number of people who show up, with a bonus of more revenue.

If people don’t have to pay for an experience or event upfront, there’s no penalty for not showing up. On the other hand, they’re often compelled to use something they’ve already paid for so they don’t wind up feeling like they’ve wasted their money.

Ultimately, if you decide not to charge for your experiences, you can expect that close to half of your bookings won’t appear. That those no-shows won’t have the same opportunity to spend money or become brand fans is a compelling reason to charge for experiences whenever possible.

Brewery tour prices increase your value

What kind of worth are you putting on your experience, and who are you asking to pay? 

By understanding who’s attending, you can decide what to charge and what kinds of bundles to offer. Based on the data, it’s a good idea to go above $10 for your prices to start, but are those brewery tour prices going to be true for all your guests?

For example, Founders Brewing Co was able to analyze who was attending their tours to offer two different kinds of experiences- private and public. After getting guest feedback, they learned some of their customers wanted a less crowded version of their tour, so they optimized it! Now, they offer classes, private events, and different kinds of tours at different prices.

Try thinking about it this way:

  • One price for the public - $10
  • One price for private - $15

Increasing the price for a more private experience, not just a public one, creates a higher premium while still encouraging guests to show up for the tours. You increase your value with a small upcharge. 

The benefits of adding brewery tour prices

If you’re still not convinced by the numbers, let’s dig deeper. After all, adding a brewery tour price to your offerings has more benefits than just improving the no-show rate. You’re also looking at

  • A new revenue stream,
  • branding opportunities,
  • and a better understanding of your customer

A business case for brewery tour prices

Sometimes a tour can be more than a funnel for your bottle sales. You’re already using it as a brewery marketing tool, so why not make it an additional revenue stream

Let’s say you get around ten people on your tour per week. You can do this equation with your existing data if you have more. You have 40% no-shows, which means you’re only getting six people per week into your business. Let’s start charging those people $10, so we can get that less than 5% no-show rate.

In your first week, you get nine people coming in. That’s $90 flat without considering any credit card transaction fees or software costs. 

If you continue that pricing, even without a more expensive private tour, that’s an additional $360 per month. And since you have people showing up, you’re putting some effort into your brewery tour marketing. 

You start getting more people in with word of mouth, references, reviews, and all the good press that comes with increased attendance and value. If one person tells three people, and at least one additional person shows up, you’re looking at a month-over-month revenue growth rate of around 100%

And that’s all from charging $10 and getting 5% no-shows. 

New branding opportunities

We can’t put a dollar amount on your brand, but we can track the lifetime value of a customer who loves the brand they shop with. When you get people into your brewery tour, you’re giving them a more intimate look at how the beer they drink is made. 

Let’s talk about Anchor Brewing Co. They don’t just give tours; they offer tastings with the experience. These tastings serve two excellent purposes:

  1.  To introduce their full range of beer to their customers and
  2.  to offer a more intimate experience, they drink the beer as they watch it get made.

This creates a branding expansion opportunity for breweries where you produce a more three-dimensional experience beyond visual. They now associate a taste and a smell with the experience, making it more special and memorable — a decisive moment in your brewery’s customer touchpoints. 

A better understanding of the brewery customer

Showing up to a brewery tour is half the battle; to take full advantage of anyone coming in or out, you need to get a 360-degree view of who they are. 

Consider a survey after the fact or during sign-up that includes questions like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location 
  • If they’ve ever been to your brewery before
  • How often they’ve enjoyed your beers

These kinds of questions dig deeper than just demographics. They give you information about who’s more likely to attend your brewery tour, who’s new to your brand, and more. 

However, the hard part about collecting this data is that breweries often try to use pen and paper. The challenge with that manual approach is in getting it all into one place that you can analyze over time in a way that helps you make critical decisions about your brewery overall, not just the tours. 

What to include in a brewery tour package

We’ve talked a lot about earning revenue through tours, but in the grand scheme of profit margins and total brewery revenue, the $360 you’d make from a month might seem like slim pickings. Thankfully, instead of just waiting for your interest to compound, you can make your tours into more diversified revenue streams by offering a little more than a simple walk-through. 

We’re talking:

  • Add-ons,
  • discounts,
  • and premiumization

Add-ons for brewery tours

People love to walk away from a brand home experience with something tangible, whether a t-shirt or a full keg of their favorite limited edition beer. Including branded brewery add-ons is a way to take advantage of the moment you’re creating and offer your customers something to walk away with. 

Anchor Brewing Co offers a pint glass with its logo to bring home and drink from during the tour. A story attached to the glass will do the brewery tour marketing work for you. 

It also increases the customer’s lifetime value, as Sierra Nevada found when tracking their tour to gift shop ratio. Their add-ons came after the tour, but they found that infrequent buyers who attended were 93% more likely to remember the brand and buy their beer in the months after the tour.


It might not be as glamorous as a pint glass, but discount codes for brewery tour attendees are a great way to increase the likelihood of new revenue after your tour. Whether it’s 30% off drinks at the bar or 10% off the gift shop, you encourage those attending to spend a little more to enjoy their experience. 

Not only is it a good value, but it also adds a time-sensitive element to the experience, making your patrons more likely to buy then and there. 

Premiumization for brewery tours

It’s no secret that customers love feeling taken care of, and some more than others want a more private experience in their vacations or excursions. Premiumization is an experiential marketing trend to look out for in 2023, and you can now take advantage of the demand by offering a more premium tour. 

Premiumization in a brewery tour looks like:

  • Fewer people,
  • more personal time,
  • and a longer tour.

Because of the perceived increased value, you can set your ticket prices for more and even have a fixed rate for private events. Companies are always looking for ways to improve their employees’ experience, and breweries are becoming more popular than ever with that demographic. 

So, should you charge for your brewery tours?

All of this shows that you should be charging for brewery tours. Not only will it lower your no-show rate, but it will also increase revenue and improve your customers' lifetime value. So what are you waiting for? It's time to start generating more revenue for your brewery! And if you need help gathering customer data, we've just the guide for you.

Step 1: Evaluate Your Scheduling Software Needs

Before researching online booking systems, evaluating your business needs is essential. After all, you don’t want to overspend on bells and whistles when you only need an online form. For newer events looking to scale, a more sophisticated system might be the goal but not the starting point.

Consider the type and size of your business, the nature of your services, and the volume of transactions you handle. For instance, if you run tours and tastings, you should look at solutions meant for high-volume enterprises that can include add-on shirts, beer steins, and more.

Scheduling Software Flowchart

We made a helpful flowchart to help you decide if you’re ready to invest fully in online bookings or look into a free scheduling app, like Google Forms, as a better starting point.

As someone trying to make smart investment decisions, you don’t want to buy a booking and ticketing solution that doesn’t meet your needs. Use our guided questions to determine where you are in your investment journey.

Booking System flowchart
Use the flow to gauge where you are on your journey!

2. Compare Booking Page Features and Pricing

Booking Page Features

Once you have a clear idea of your business needs, you can compare online booking systems that meet your criteria. Have a list of your most essential needs and what would be nice for you to have. Some features you should consider including on your list include:

  • Website integration
  • Branded booking page
  • Configurability to match your brand
  • Payment processing and add-on sales
  • Automated reminders
  • Automatic data analysis
  • Feedback collection and analysis
  1. Website integration
  2. Branded booking page
  3. Configurability to match your brand
  4. Payment processing and add-on sales
  5. Automated reminders
  6. Automatic data analysis
  7. Feedback collection and analysis






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