There are lots of Instagram profiles. Few stand out.
We’re back with another social spotlight, this time of an artisan brand with dual in-person and e-commerce offerings: 33 Acres Brewing. Craft beer is an enormous industry with a highly social component, and this brewery also accompanies a coffee shop — America’s favorite destination for gathering, networking, and creativity.
Yet when we reviewed 33 Acres Brewing’s Instagram page and website, we found it to be more promotional than aspirational, even though its aesthetic is objectively stunning. Read on to see what we liked about 33 Acres’ social presence — and what could be improved.
Featured Profile Overview
Based in Vancouver, 33 Acres Brewing is a fixture of its local community, plus an online retailer for beer, cider, and mineral water. Here, “brewing” refers to both craft beer and coffee, as the physical brewery also features a coffee shop.
33 Acres’ Instagram (@33acresbrewing) boasts nearly 45k followers and a high level of engagement. Each post garners hundreds of likes. The brand regularly posts Instagram stories and features customers’ and affiliates’ stories as well. Clearly, Vancouver is very fond of 33 Acres Brewing.
What We Think Is Working
33 Acres’ clean, compelling aesthetic gives it an air of sophistication that is reflected in the captions. The copy is aspirational, poetic, and emotional. The brand makes good use of custom hashtags, too, such as #b33r and #coff33. Overall, the page has an artistic, cultured vibe that speaks to Vancouver’s vibrant creative community.
Scrolling through 33 Acres’ feed is definitely a treat for the eyes: they have a well-refined aesthetic that emphasizes what we might call “food/beverage porn.” Each photo is staged, stylish, and minimalist, allowing the product to shine. The feed also includes some striking black-and-white photos of people at the brewery. The overall color and lighting scheme is wonderfully consistent, with sophisticated and occasionally dreamy imagery. It definitely makes us want to snuggle up with a pint and work on our novel.
When we browse 33 Acres’ Story Highlights, of which there are many, we see some enticing themes: Music, Ocean, Sunshine, Adventure. Each Highlight has a custom cover that enhances the page’s overall aesthetic. We can definitely feel the aspiration and craftsmanship behind the brand, and we get a sense that 33 Acres is committed to its community and their journeys that play out in their brewery.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mesh with what we see in their static feed. Points for the photography, though — overall, their Instagram page looks amazing. It just leaves us wondering what they can offer us.
What Could Be Done Better
Let’s start with 33 Acres’ Instagram bio. It is clear and to the point, starting with their tagline (“success through hard work”) and their tasting room hours. Although this is a nicely streamlined bio, it leaves us wanting.
While this spotlight is not a branding critique, we must say that their tagline doesn’t do much for us. It’s reminiscent of a career coach or productivity app rather than a brewery. It’s also very company-focused: obviously, they are the ones doing the hard work. Their customers just want to sit and relax with a cup of coffee or beer. Their tagline doesn’t explain what 33 Acres offers its loyal community.
This focus on the company and its products, unfortunately, carries over into the feed. As we scroll through, we definitely see amazing photographs that speak to the brand’s quality and sophistication. But we don’t see the customers who are enjoying these products. The feed resembles a product gallery or portfolio more than an Instagram feed — there’s very little humanity in it.
Going back to the bio: the copy does not express any other message. It’s a bit sterile, and while it’s not a bad idea to have their hours in there, we can’t help but wonder: what inspires the buyer journey? Why should someone unfamiliar with this brand engage with the page?
And while we love the photos and visual style, we do notice that 33 Acres relies on those darkly lit, silhouetted product shots. The few posts featuring people are moody and artistic, to the point that we don’t get a sense of fun or inspiration from them. Overall, the imagery is very minimalist, monochromatic, and, dare we say, pretentious.
We see such little emphasis on community. The livelihood of any brewery or coffee shop depends on the gatherings that happen over their beverages. Here, we’re left wondering: what experiences do 33 Acres’ products provide? We just see still-life images of drinks, with the occasional blurry image of a single person.
No doubt their feed is beautiful and professional. It definitely gets us intrigued… but there is just a bit too much emphasis on products. Even though they’re selling products online, they’re still dependent on a local community — yet not acknowledging that.
The online shop is also very sterile, and there are no shoppable posts on their Instagram feed. As we’ve noticed in other spotlights, this disconnection between the IG content and the generic shop landing page does not drive conversions. And when we do visit their e-commerce website, there is no social proof, no sense of humanity that encourages us to buy.
The website is nice and minimalist, without the clutter that would distract visitors. But we found it, like the IG feed, to be missing 33 Acres’ larger mission and messaging. And again, there was no tie-in to the community who could prove what makes 33 Acres so special.
Analytics / Insights
Overall, the Instagram page does not inspire the buyer’s journey or speak to the brewery’s greater message and appeal. From its bio to each individual post, 33 Acres does not tie its content back to a larger value proposition. We get the sense that it relies on its products’ innate appeal — and the spiffy photos definitely help with that — but personally, if we were looking for a place to commune and kick back, we don’t see that in the page.
When we click over to the Tagged section of 33 Acres’ page, we immediately see why it has that strong following. The images here are instantly warmer and more human-focused. We see people enjoying the beer and coffee, celebrating their time together, even taking photos of their cat with a 33 Acres beer!
This is grade-A user-generated content that 33 Acres could absolutely repurpose. Yes, it might disrupt their feed’s aesthetic a bit, but we bet that with the right filter, UGC would blend in seamlessly — and add a bit more appeal to the brand.
When crafting your Instagram page, don’t forget the people who make your brand thrive. It’s great to be proud of your products and show them off, but balance those posts with snapshots of the experience your brand provides. This is not only great social proof but also a way to break up the monotony.
Also, be sure that your big-picture themes play out in your content. 33 Acres definitely has some grand ideas and aspirations that mesh well with their gorgeous aesthetic. But the messaging stops at the caption; there are few calls-to-action or campaigns that connect those individual customer experiences with the overall brand appeal.
Finally, don’t be afraid to break away from the professional photography. Instagram is a place for sharing, and a bit of organic, user-generated content can make your feed more engaging.
33 Acres Brewing is definitely an exquisite brand that has done a great job inspiring and pleasing its customers. We would like to see a greater celebration of that community, which would help 33 Acres improve its online sales and entice more people to check out their brewery.
Tune in next week to see our next installment of the Social Spotlight Series. Join our mailing list to get Goodwin knowledge and insights like this delivered straight to your inbox!