Time gentlemen please! The launch of dotBeer

This week marks one of the most important weeks in Britain for many people.  Whilst millions will be excited at the return of the football season, it will be the start of not one but two beer festivals in London that is sure to get many grown men (and women) in a state of excitement.  The Great British Beer Festival opens in West London at Olympia and will feature over 900 different beers, whilst the new kid on the block, Craft Beer gets its own event, The London Craft Beer Festival in Bethnal Green starting on Thursday.

You would be forgiven to think that the world has gone beer crazy, especially with the launch last year of the dotBeer Top Level Domain.  As you would have expected, the major breweries around the world “hopped” to it, registering their biggest brands under possibly the best new gTLD.  There can be no confusing what the purpose of a dotBeer is.

Over 8,000 registrations have been made since its launch, and whilst compared to some of the other launches since, the numbers are relatively modest, it has significant advantages in terms of search engine optimisation for brewers across the world.  But not all breweries have wised up to the power of the new gTLD yet.  Whilst Carlsberg and SAB Miller, two of the biggest breweries in the world have registered over 200 domain names between them, it makes sober reading elsewhere when you look at what names are still available.

One of the most respected craft breweries in London is Meantime, based in Greenwich.  Whilst the brewer was one of the anchor tenants for the dotLondon TLD, they were behind the curve in grabbing their dotBeer domain.  Redemption is another new kid on the London brewing block but again, they haven’t yet seen the value in registering redemption.beer and it is available for anyone to grab for less than $30.  Alas, other renown breweries weren’t so quick in registering their dotBeer names.  Brewdog are one of the most respected names in craft brewing but the domain name brewdog.beer is owned by a chap in Sweden and resolves to a parked page.  A brewery close to my heart, Fuller’s also do not have control of their dotBeer name.  Both brands have significant e-Commerce operations that include the option to ship their beer across the world.

Breweries are popping up left, right and centre in London alone there are close to 70 breweries, ranging from Truman’s who brewed their first pint back in 1666 to the tiny Redchurch Brewery located in the railway arches of Bethnal Green yet few have actually registered their dotBeer domain name.  Whilst the process of making beer hasn’t really evolved significantly in the past ten years, digital marketing has accelerated beyond belief.  That is why it is puzzling how so many breweries are completely unaware of the opportunity, and potential threat to their brands that the dotBeer Top Level Domain can bring.