Excelsior Brewing Company was a newcomer to the craft-beer industry in 2012. Founded in the lakeside town of Excelsior, the upstart brewery built a business and a following on the merits of thoughtfully-crafted, tastefully-balanced beer. It was a refreshing take on craft beer, but Excelsior was entering a metro-area market that featured stiff competition. After all, Minnesota was a state where the number of breweries had doubled in 2012 alone.
Not even a year old, with limited staff, capacity and budget, Excelsior needed to find a way to make a little go a long way in spreading the word about their selection of tasty brews. More important, the brand was young and without an established identity. Yamamoto was on the case.
We established a promise: “Made right. Here.” It would encompass the brewery’s greatest strengths—a thoughtful approach to brewing, and a respect and understanding for local culture. We crafted a bold and inviting look and feel inspired by Excelsior’s lake-life atmosphere. Efficient, engaging tactics would tell the story of the beer and the brand.
The “Hard-to-defi ne-easy-to-enjoy-beer” campaign utilized grass-roots print, digital and guerilla tactics to deliver the message, with social media support. Tactics were diverse and unorthodox (ranging from bike-trail signage to a pallet-painting initiative), but they were connected in their goal of creating conversation, building awareness, and driving taproom traffic.