When most beer is as cheap as water, it’s hard to convince people to take a chance on an artisanal specialty brew with fresh ingredients. So Belgo, a Belgian craft beer brewed in Vietnam, launched the beer-currency promotion, allowing beer lovers to exchange any mass-market beer for the higher-end Belgo and taste the difference.
Belgo brewed in-house with fresh ingredients – some shipped straight from Belgium – provides an artisanal Belgian beer experience in Vietnam. Every beer honors the rich tradition and history of Belgian beer brewing. They even have a Belgian brewmaster on board to make sure every beer meets Belgian standards. Of course, this means that craft brews also have a craft price. So, how can you convince a country with access to some of the cheapest beer in the world to take a chance on a more expensive brew?
Taste the difference
The beer brand launched a vending machine that allowed users to swap regular beers for a cold Belgo beer. Beer lovers from across the city found whatever mass-market beer they could from local convenience stores and bars and flocked to the machine to finally try a quality Belgo without having to really pay for it.
“Belgo is about adding a twist”, adds Gauthier Lagasse, CEO, and Co-founder of Belgo. “So, we knew that, in a market where mass-market beers are widely available, we needed to honor our personality and be disruptive to get people to try our beer.” This beer-currency vending machine was launched on Ho Chi Minh City’s most prominent walking street. Belgo also has 3 beer pubs across the city, serving their brews and authentic Belgian food for locals and expats. After the vending machine, the brand launched the promotion in their pubs, leading mass-market beer drinkers right to the Belgian beer Walhalla. Patrons can walk in with any regular beer and out with a cold Belgo. But of course, the brand hopes people will stay for the Belgian Truffle Fries.
“We are a small brand, but our ambitions are large”, says Magdalena Bialasiewicz, Marketing Director at Belgo. “We believe this beer-currency platform is an excellent concept to show that we don’t need a big budget to stand out and show people Belgo’s quality.” The promotion is an important reminder for local F&B businesses all around the world. It’s an inspiration for how, with a small budget, local craft beer can compete for awareness with much larger multinationals. All you need is creativity and a whole lot of bravery. If you missed the machine you can take advantage of the same promotion, paying for a Belgo with any cheap beer at any of the Belgo pubs in Ho Chi Minh City, while supplies last.