A Guided Tour of Bolero Snort Brewery with Scott Wells

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In This Episode

Scott Wells, co-owner of Bolero Snort Brewery, takes Kelly and Brian on a guided tour through the world of craft beer in New Jersey. Scott details Bolero Snort’s creative branding, unique marketing strategies, and their commitment to product variety and quality which has led to great success. 

Takeaways from Scott:

  • Bolero Snort’s unique name is based on an anagram of the name of Scott’s partner, Robert Olson, and inspired a bull theme, giving rise to the name Bolero Snort.
  • The brewery leans into their bull theme, even down to their logo which doubles as a bullhead and the initials “BS” for Bob and Scott. This creates a recognizable brand and inspires fun, pun-filled beer names.
  • We regularly experiment with new beer ideas through our variable series. We even create extreme flavors like cilantro jalapeno lime.
  • We like to focus on limited batches or special edition beers to help create a sense of uniqueness and exclusivity around our product line.
  • We started as contract brewers in New Jersey, developing our own beer recipes and artwork. We then outsourced production to a different brewery. It was an unusual business model at the time.
  • Initial acceptance in the liquor stores was a challenge due to low demand for New Jersey beer and limited willingness to negotiate with independent companies. However, persistent marketing efforts including beer festivals, events, and free samples gradually changed consumer perception.
  • The number of New Jersey breweries rose dramatically from a handful in 2013 to around 60 in 2017, including a variety of micro and nano breweries, leading to increased diversity in the beers available.
  • Despite regulatory hurdles, the consumer base in New Jersey has been increasingly seeking out locally produced beers, leading to better support from liquor stores and bars. Their marketing strategy of grouping New Jersey products together in stores proved successful.
  • During the pandemic, we faced challenges in sourcing ingredients due to supply chain disruptions. Even though we had contracts for many of our ingredients, we still faced price increases and difficulty sourcing cans, lids, labels, and boxes.