Small Business

How ‘Bloke in a Bar’ became so much more than just a beer

- November 19, 2020 3 MIN READ

Former professional NRL player Denan Kemp’s ‘Bloke in a Bar’ is more than just a beer, it is a community for like-minded sports buffs and Aussie blokes. With over 139,000 followers on Instagram, it is hard to believe it only began this year.

‘Bloke in a Bar’ was only a concept at the end of 2019 but became a much more successful reality than Denan could have dreamt of in 2020. The ‘unashamedly blokey’ beverage was launched in March this year to a very warm reception.

Despite what many would think of as the worst time to launch a new venture given the coronavirus pandemic’s restrictions, Denan persevered. Entrepreneur and ‘Bloke in a Bar’ backer Simon Minitzer comments, “The immediate success and engagement from the Bloke audience and consumers is a testament to not only the quality of the product, but also the passion of the sporting audience that exists in Australia.”

Denan Kemp, former professional NRL player and founder of Bloke in a Bar

Rapid growth despite the pandemic

Within its first 6 months, the brand sold 750,000 cans. It also secured stockists across Australia and sold out of limited edition merchandise. Not only was this a sign that the drink itself was a good fit for its target market but also that it resonated on a much deeper level than being just another beer.

“The immediacy of the success of Bloke In A Bar in beer form, especially during COVID, has been incredible. I’ve always been passionate about seeing the Bloke concept roll out into a consumer product – and the response has confirmed that I wasn’t the only one looking for a beer designed for blokes who want to have a drink and talk footy,” says founder Denan.

The brand transformed into a multimedia platform to celebrate all things sports. Bloke in a Bar became both a consumable drink and an integrated sports communication network.

More than just a beer, but a community

Bloke in a Bar hosts media content across multiple platforms. Instagram, Facebook, even Spotify are all covered and all boost the brand’s presence. 

Denan’s eponymous podcast on Spotify and Apple Music has amassed 150,000 downloads per month. The podcast, covering all things footy, features interviews from NRL players to sports analysts.

Meanwhile, their Instagram account @blokeinabar is also growing rapidly with 139,000 followers with 7,050 posts and counting. Building their social media presence has helped to link all customers across their community.

Bloke in a Bar, apart from selling their beers also sells merchandise to eager customers that are eating up their stock. Merchandise including State of Origin themed bumper stickers and t-shirts have all sold out online before the series has even wrapped up for the year.

Reflecting on Bloke in a Bar, Denan comments, “It’s the engagement of the audience not just with the product, but across the related Bloke In A Bar platforms that has taken us all by surprise. This is an audience that doesn’t just want beer, they want a whole experience.”

It is undeniable that Bloke in a Bar is a phenomenal example of how to persevere and create a unique offering that customers actually want. “Speaking to the Bloke audience via multi-channel communications is evidence of the future of product marketing and media as one offering,” says Simon.

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