Finding Your Niche As a Craft Brewery With Chris Knight and Michael Heldebrandt of The Blind Pig

Chris Knight and Michael Heldebrandt, The Blind Pig

Chris Knight is the Founder of The Blind Pig, a collection of bars and breweries located in Champaign, Illinois. Chris moved from England to the Champaign–Urbana metro area to attend the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois. He opened the first Blind Pig location in 1990 and has since expanded to four different locations and a prominent brand of craft beer.

Michael Heldebrandt is a sales representative at The Blind Pig. He is widely known for delivering beer in a dinosaur costume during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Podcast highlights With Chris Knight and Michael Heldebrandt of The Blind Pig

  • Chris Knight explains what inspired him to start The Blind Pig
  • What are the differences between American and British beer?
  • How The Blind Pig has grown into the brand it is today
  • Breaking down The Blind Pig’s marketing strategies
  • Chris shares the story behind the brand’s name 
  • Overcoming the hurdles of starting a brewery
  • Why Michael Heldebrandt started delivering beer in a dinosaur costume
  • Chris and Michael’s favorite drinks

In this episode…

Craft beer is an industry that thrives on individuality. The core demographic choose craft beer not just because of the niche flavors, but also because of the people behind the breweries. With so many faceless corporations, it’s often a breath of fresh air — and a great marketing strategy — to see local breweries being so personable. 

Brewery founder Chris Knight has a unique story that plays a big part in his brand’s success. After moving from Britain to Champaign, Illinois, he created The Blind Pig, one of the most refreshing and distinct breweries in the area. Since then, the brand has continued to grow thanks to its quality drinks and individual style. If you want to see what a one-of-a-kind brewery looks like in action, this is it.

Darren Fox sits down with Chris Knight and Michael Heldebrandt of The Blind Pig to talk about how they carved out a unique identity for their brewery. They discuss the origins of The Blind Pig, how they market the business, and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome along the way. They also talk about Michael’s experience delivering beer in a dinosaur costume and how it boosted the brand. Hear it all on this episode of Pitcher This!

Sponsor for this episode…

Idea Marketing Group is a Chicago web design company developing the best custom websites locally. As a marketing agency known for web design and development, we’ve helped businesses in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs to build custom websites that generate more awareness, more leads, and better results.

Resources mentioned in the podcast:

About the Pitcher This! Podcast

On the Pitcher This! Podcast, we talk to founders and brand managers about how they got into CPG and the brand origin stories. We cover everything from product development to success in retail and leveraging marketing for growth. We’re excited to discuss the inspirations, challenges, and memorable moments along the way.

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