“The success has been due to a combination of factors” explained David Bremner, Robinsons’ Director of Marketing. “Firstly, how involved Bruce Dickinson has been with the development of the beer- it’s basically his recipe, taste profile and ABV and probably the clearest brief our Head Brewer has ever had. Secondly, the sheer size of Iron Maiden as a band- they have 8.8 million Facebook followers with up to 200,000 talking about them at any one time. Finally, it takes a lot of work at our end- we have a marketing team doing little else but managing expectations and dealing with sales opportunities. It’s a fine line to build anticipation of a launch without annoying fans who are desperate to drink it.
All of this has meant that Robinsons have secured orders with several export countries including USA – where there is an enormous following – before anyone has even tasted the beer. David continues, “It’s actually mesmerising to watch the comments come through on Facebook- we have fans asking for it all over the globe, some of which is in languages I couldn’t begin to understand. We are discussing sales with over 100 countries through our export partners Sovereign and have already pre-sold 300,000 pints. Considering we haven’t let anyone taste it yet this is a promising start. We are brewing three times a day six days a week for the first time ever in our 175 year history.”
The launch of Trooper ale is following a unique and unusual road David explained, “Normally we design a brand and support to launch to customers at head office level and, if successful, this filters down through BDMs to licensees and then maybe customers by which time the message can be quite diluted unless you have a lot to spend on advertising which most cask brewers don’t. But with Trooper it is the complete opposite. It is the multitude of fans (plus all the thousands of fans who aren’t on Facebook) who are acting as our relentless sales force and demanding the beer directly from the pubs who then feed the message up through the supply chain and in many cases we ultimately get a “please can we have some beer” call. This is history in the making for Robinsons.”
Robinsons are launching the beer at their new brew house and Visitors Centre on the 9th May to trade buyers and retailers and simultaneously launching it exclusively in 30 of their pubs. Pre-orders are being taken for Trooper in bottle online via www.ironmaidenbeer.com.