Akron-based Acme Fresh Market is boosting its social media presence to try to connect with beer fans and wine lovers. Jon Albrecht, the beer and wine buyer for the grocery chain, has started a Facebook page to interact with customers. (Do a Facebook search for the "Acme Fresh Market Wine & Beer Shop" to find the page.) Albrecht said he's more than willing to answer questions and even take requests about which beers to stock. He knows customers have questions and recommendations. It's not unusual for him to have a half-hour conversation with folks inside the store. "The goal is to get the customers what they want," he said. "If you have a favorite beer, we want you to buy it at Acme." The chain, especially the Montrose and Wallhaven stores, already offers a substantial beer selection. So what is the most requested beer? Albrecht said it's Yuengling, a Pennsylvania beer that's not available in Ohio. He also fields plenty of requests for Fat Tire, a beer made by New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo. That beer also isn't available in Ohio.
If you check out the Acme Facebook page, you also may spot an interesting picture. It's an "Acme Fresh Market Beer" growler. Yes, the grocery is getting into the draft beer business. Albrecht said the growler program is expected to start this year at the Portage Lakes store.