Cigar City Brewing isn’t your typical brewery. The legendary beer company is as well known for its craft beers as it is for its festival. When the brewery held its first annual Hunahpu’s Day, it was just a small special release party for the Hunahpu Imperial Stout, an 11 percent beer with notes of chocolate, coffee and cinnamon. “It morphed from being a small release inside the brewery to spilling out into the parking lot a little bit and then taking over the whole parking lot. So it’s grown rapidly.”
The brewery’s Director of Customer Interactions Chris Lovett says the event’s growth outpaced their capacity to manage the number of patrons. “As interest in the the beer spread, that couple of hours and those 60 people ballooned to at one point nearly 10,000 people showing up to Hunahpu’s Day,” said Chris. That was when the annual gathering reached its highest capacity ever and when the brewery decided to make it a ticketed event.
The brewery’s team never thought Hunahpu’s Day would transform from a bottle release party to a sold out beer festival where patrons “can not only pick up the beer, but also sample craft beers from around the world.” Beer enthusiasts come from far and wide to Tampa, Florida where Hunahpu’s Day is held each year. The company’s Director of Marketing Geiger Powell attributes the success of the festival to word-of-mouth. “The beer itself is highly proclaimed. Once we told people that the only way to get [it] was at this event, now there is a built in reason for everyone to come.”
Cigar City Brewing set out to find a ticketing solution that offered RFID technology. In Vendini, they found a team that not only gave them access to the technology they needed, but a partner that works with them onsite to shorten lines and gather data they can use to deepen customer interactions.