04 Dec Tenth Ward Distilling “wards off ordinary”
The Frederick distillery crafts one-of-a-kind spirits and guest experiences
The craft beverage industry has been rising in popularity in recent years, so marketing is becoming more .More essential to stand out from the crowd and grow a loyal fanbase. Monica Pearce, owner and “boss lady” of Tenth Ward Distilling in Frederick, Md, is doing just that. Tenth Ward’s slogan is, fittingly, “Ward off ordinary.” They are known for producing limited edition and seasonal liquors as well as Maryland’s first absinthe.
In this podcast, Monica will talk about how she grows and engages her brand ambassadors through limited edition spirit releases and a Bottle Club that mimics a wine club. She’ll also reveal how she makes visiting Tenth Ward’s tasting room an experience, by reinforcing the Tenth Ward brand in her new space in downtown Frederick and training her employees to be good storytellers and brand experts.
Absinthe and Special Spirits
If you’re familiar with absinthe, you might be familiar with its reputation for being a “dangerous” alcohol (see: “What Is Absinthe, and Does It Make You Hallucinate?”). As part of the release of their Absinthe Nouvelle, Monica and her team at Tenth Ward launched an absinthe myth-debunking campaign on social media. This educated the public on why and how absinthe got its reputation and how it’s no more dangerous than consuming any other alcohol. The debunking campaign created awareness for the unique spirit and established Tenth Ward as absinthe pioneers and experts.
In addition to absinthe, all of Tenth Ward’s spirits have a unique flavor or quality to them. Monica says she’s even created demand for certain products, distilling and releasing small batch, limited edition spirits that are one-time releases. Partnering with a local brewery in Frederick, Tenth Ward distilled a grapefruit IPA and created a one-of-a-kind spirit that quickly sold out. People raved about it. She says to this day, guests come in and ask about it. Since it was a one-time release, that’s all there was.
Build Your Tribe
Members of Tenth Ward’s Bottle Club get exclusive invitation to club-only events and a guaranteed bottle of any first batch or limited releases. It works similar to a wine club, where members commit to the purchase of a bottle every quarter.
Through their Club, Tenth Ward has established and continues to engage with a group of loyal brand ambassadors. These guys rock their merchandise and promote the brand to other people. Building a community around your brand and products is the ultimate goal to ensure the long-term success of your business.
In addition, Monica offers experimental taste testings when Tenth Ward crafts new spirits. This allows guests to come in, sample a few different spirits, and vote for the ones they like the best. Samples with the most votes are then crafted and bottled. Involving customers in the decision-making process of new spirits is a surefire way to increase engagement. Make your customers feel important and impactful.
Make Your Tasting Room an Experience
Monica’s front-of-house employees receive training to ensure they are experts at talking about their brand and spirits. They also become good storytellers so they can really engage with customers and round our the tasting room experience.
Additionally, Tenth Ward recently opened a new location in downtown Frederick. Monica says part of creating the tasting room experience is reflecting the Tenth Ward brand in the space. Her suggestion? Make it an Instagrammer’s dream. Their hashtag #wardoffordinary is up on the wall. Monica says it’s important to make every part of the customer experience something they want to share with others and on social media. Friendly and interesting people and amazing experiences are what will really drive business and increase customer loyalty.