Friday, April 29, 2011

Week #17 - Nancy Maddaloni

Looking for beer in New Jersey has gotten a whole lot cooler in the last few months. All channels of social media got a shot in the arm when Hunterdon Brewing Company, distributor of many fine beer brands, moved Nancy Maddaloni from their sales force to their communication blitzkrieg of the interwebs. In just a few turns of the calendar pages Nancy has made finding beer and beer events in the Garden State interesting and easy all in one shot. With a rapid fire twitter account (@hunterdonbrew) and probably the best beer wholesaler website that I've ever seen, Nancy and Hunterdon are pushing forward in this digital age and using social media to increase consumer knowledge, increase visibility for their numerous suppliers, and increase sales. It's very awesome, and so is here's Nancy.

In the last half of 2010 you stepped away from a role in Sales and into the world of Social Media & Communications, what has your new position enabled you to accomplish
that you couldn't before?

You mean, aside from wearing my slippers to work? Mostly I enjoy spreading the word to our retailers and NJ consumers about all the great things happening in the world of craft beer. Everyday there are more and more news articles about our brands and tons of awards are being won everyday, so there is plenty to keep me writing, blurbing, blogging and tweeting. It has also been really nice communicating with the great people that work at our breweries and getting to know them on more of a personal basis.

Do you miss driving in circles around North Jersey sometimes?

Only when it's a torrential rainstorm and I know Hoboken is flooded. No, just kidding. Although that did give me an excuse to wear my cool orange boots!
I don't miss driving in circles, parking illegally and searching under the seat cushions for quarters, but I do miss some of the super nice people at my accounts.

How vital is social media in the world of Craft Beer these days?

Beer geeks love to talk... (most of the times they won't shut up!) and they love to listen. The social media is a terrific way for craft breweries to reach millions of people without even leaving their front door. Through facebook, twitter and blogs, retailers and consumers are becoming more interested in and more educated about the world of craft beer. Beer geeks are forming communities both online and in their local areas. Taking a few minutes here and there to send out bits of info about a beer, or even about what is going on in the brewery is really exciting to people who sit at desk jobs all day. It is pretty cool to see the amount of buzz that is circling the craft beer scene now and I think the social media has a lot to do with that.

Without a doubt Hunterdon Distributors has the best beer portfolio in the state of New Jersey. How has Hunterdon helped to grow craft beer's popularity?

We have a team of passionate beer geeks who are committed to transforming non-believers into craft beer drinkers. Sometimes it takes years to get product into one particular shop or it's a lot of perseverance....but that one bottle placement can open up 10 more doors by word of mouth. Repeat that a few hundred times and I think that is why NJ is a great place to drink craft beer today.

Meet our awesome staff here:

What kind of changes have you seen in the market during your time with Hunterdon?

It's pretty crazy the amount of changes. When I first started I only had a handful of accounts in Hoboken and Jersey City. People would laugh in my face when I asked them to try craft beer. Now I think we have close to 100 accounts just in those two towns and the amount of people calling us every week to open up an account is pretty impressive. It's like everyone just woke up. The best is when people who scoffed at canned beer call up and say they would like to order some. I love that.

What is one misconception you think the beer consuming public has about the way that the beer business works?

When I tell people what I do they think I just sit around and drink beer all day. Oh and they think I get a lot of free schwag.

What one beer do you always want to have a case of in your house?

Joel, I am pretty indecisive. One beer is not doable. How about I tell you a couple beers I would have on hand for each season or each mood?

Its a rainy, blustery fall day outside: Smuttynose Robust Porter

I'm feeling bitter: Great Divide Fresh Hop

It's a beautiful summer day: Allagash White

I just got back from a trip on my time machine: Avery Ale to the Chief!

What's the deal with cheesesteaks in North Jersey? I've had one at Piccolo's and one at Biggie's and they are much different than cheesesteaks in Philly. They're all delicious, don't get me wrong....

I'm no expert but Piccolo's cheesesteaks are super duper yummy. They actually use real steak and a real piece of cheese and have these delicious cherry peppers that are making me salivate just thinking of them. They should have a throw-down with Pat and Geno. I would like a cheesesteak now please.

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