Comprised of historic and innovative breweries, Philly’s drink culture is rich and plentiful with innovative minds all with the same intention: to get us drunk! Recently I was delighted to speak with DrinkPhilly.com czar, Adam Schmidt about what it takes to be successful in Philly, the Drink brand expansion and everyone’s favorite time of the year for seasonal beer.
How did the Drink Philly project evolve into the Drink Nation expansion?
It has always been my intention to expand to other cities, ever since I started Drink Philly. Philadelphia was effectively a testing ground to see what was involved in running one location. Over summer 2011, we launched DrinkNJShore.com, which provided a great learning experience, and allowed us to see what resources were needed to run a second location and effectively manage it from our Philadelphia office. From these undertakings, we were able to estimate how much time, resources, and personnel were needed – and will be needed – for future expansion.
The Drink Philly community has continued to grow substantially throughout the City of Brotherly Love. How do you evaluate the success of Drink Philly and what are you hoping to accomplish by expanding the Drink Nation Brand?
A lot of people have told me, “If you can make it in Philadelphia, you can make it anywhere.” – I guess referring to Philly as being a difficult audience to sell to. I never really understood that reference myself, because this city has been so open and helpful to us. There’s a really close-knit community in tech, blog, design and journalism – in all these fields, everyone wants to help each other out, and wants to put you in touch with someone that can help you out. I honestly think if we had started anywhere but Philly, we would have had a harder time. Philly’s been good to us.
The first thing we did when we announced our expansion plans was tap into our already existing Philly users. Of course many Philly folks have friends or family in D.C. or Baltimore, so we just asked them to spread the word. And they did. It helped us get started, because one person tells another person, who tells two people, and they tell seven. Before you know it, you’ve got your user base.
Our Drink Nation brand serves as our parent site. Within that we plan to expand to more and more cities gradually. The Nation site holds content that anyone in the country could read, and will really help in determining where major interest is for expansion.
What information can you share about the brand expansions planned for Drink DC, Drink Baltimore and Drink NJ Shore. How do you think your success here in Philly will translate to other cities?
What I can say is this is only the beginning. We are working to build a brand that can expand to many more markets and build a community of our core audience: the intelligent drinker. It’s never easy to go in to another market, but we’ve already received a great reception from Baltimore and Washington DC. We’re filling a niche that needs to be filled, because there really is nothing like our site anywhere else.
Are there any iOS or Android apps in the works for the Drink Nation expansion? How can fans of Drink Philly stay in touch with Drink Nation events and follow the progress of Drink Nation’s expansion to DC, NJ and Baltimore?
We put a lot of time and design work into crafting our mobile site, which works exactly like an app on most smartphones. We wanted to be able to reach all mobile users before we spent a lot of time on building a native app for any one device. Now that we have a solid mobile site, we’re working on developing native apps for iPhone and Android. We’re not sure when they will be ready, but our hope is for it to be on the market by the end of the year.
We do have Twitter and Facebook feeds for The Drink Nation that anyone – including our Philadelphia brethren – are more than welcome to follow to keep updated on all of our happenings. We’ve also got @DrinkBmore, @DrinkDC, as well as Facebook pages for each. We’ll be sure to keep you posted, as well.
With Fall in full swing, now is the time for consuming pumpkin flavored everything. What seasonal beers can you recommend for our viewers?
My personal favorite is Dogfish Head Punkin’, but there are some other great pumpkin beers as well. I’d recommend Southern Tier’s Pumking, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale, and Williamsburg AleWerk’s Pumpkin Ale. If you can find them still…
To learn more about Drink Philly (and find your way to Drink Nation), visit their official website.