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The Buying Game

Not all pitches to retail buyers are created equal. Here's what you need to do to ensure your product is the one that generates attention--and sales.

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This story appears in the June 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Goose Island Beer Co., a Chicago brewpub and regional brewery, had its work cut out for it three years ago when it decided to sell beer to wholesalers and retailers in other Midwestern states. The market for specialty beers, while flourishing in the Pacific region, had floundered in the Midwest, and many beer companies had gone out of business trying to break into the market. But in its first full year of business, Goose Island sold more than 20,000 barrels of beer, an achievement almost unheard of in the industry.

"Goose Island Beer Co. is the only Midwestern microbrewer to have grown into a regional producer in its first calendar year in business," says David Edgar, director of the Boulder, Colorado-based Institute for Brewing Studies, a division of the Association of Brewers. "You just don't grow that big that fast."

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