2016: A Year In Review

2016 was a whirlwind. We worked (a lot). We shared tons of awesome beer with tons of awesome people. We spent time digging into the beer scenes in Chicago, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Phoenix, Dallas, Boston, Denver, Bloomington, and Sheboygan, Wisconsin -- and worked with the breweries, distributors, festival organizers, retailers and more that make those scenes so special. 

And when that was all said and done, we took a brain break on an island off of Seattle to re-coup, reflect and plan for 2017. And so, from one side of table made of driftwood, overlooking the Pacific ocean with a strong cup of coffee in hand, we're looking back at some of our favorite projects from the past year. 

A new logo, identity and packaging for 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. 

Even though we can't share anything yet, we've been working on a massive re-brand for our favorite Wisconsin brewery, 3 Sheeps Brewing. After five years of growth, these guys were ready for a new look to match their more mature brewery as they built out a brand new production facility and opened their first taproom. 

A website for Heartland Beverage. 

Beer Distributors don't always have the best reputation. So when Heartland Beverage approached us to help with a marketing strategy and build a website, we knew we had to do something to show off what makes them unique. Heartland is a startup distributor. They're full of heart and passion and a David vs. Goliath motivation that compels them to be work their asses off to provide their breweries and retailers with the best possible service. They're independent. Defiantly so. And they took a step out into the middle to face an industry full of giants. So we set to work to build them a website that was clean, simple to use and provided the same stellar customer service for their accounts as their sales team does. 

A logo and website for Making A Beer Run 6K and fun run. 

There are a lot of serious events in craft beer, but sometimes it's good to just have some fun. That was the idea behind Making A Beer Run, Chicago's first fun run and beer festival. When the festival organizers first approached us, they had a name, a concept and a route... and that's about it. We helped establish an identity for the event, then designed a logo, poster, flyer and animated gif (pronounced "JIF" like the peanut butter), and built a website to pull it all together. 

A social media strategy and content development project for Parce Rum.

Parce Rum is a barrel aged sipping rum that looks drinkers in the eye and says "you think you know what rum is?!" They came to us because of their respect for the craft beer industry, and the parallels they saw in their tiny company to that of the scrappy upstarts of the beer world. We started by developing a social media strategy, voice and content calendar that focused on the four pillars of their brand (Award-Winning Rum, A Dedication To Today's Colombia, Social Enterprise and a Commitment To Adventure), and then set to work telling stories that showed them off. 

Blog writing and digital marketing strategies for BeerHoptacular, Chicago Ale Fest, Naperville Ale Fest, Ballpark Ale Fest, and Naperville Winter Ale Fest. 

We believe in marketing that doesn't demean readers -- and that people want to read about the stories behind the events they attend. We put this belief to the test by producing a ton of in-depth blog content to help promote a variety of beer festivals. We photographed and interviewed brewers and bar owners, dug into beer styles and brewing techniques, and even brewed a beer of our own with Lagunitas. We called it "The Writer Wanted White Peppercorn So We Put in White Peppercorn." 

A collection of stories about what it's really like Working for Beer.

We have a deep respect for our brothers and sisters in the beer industry, and that's why we keep an online journal about what it's really like Working For Beer. It's exciting, yes, but it's also a hustle. It's late nights and early mornings. It's writing a million emails and making a million phone calls. It's talking about your brand at endless beer dinners, tap takeovers and keep the pint nights. It's a never ending parade of people who want what you're selling, but don't always want to pay for it. 

We've already got a lot of stuff in the works for 2017 so stay tuned, exciting announcements on the horizon. For now, we want to issue a heartfelt thank you to anyone who we've worked with, shared a beer with or has been following what we're up to online. Here's to you and to a beer-filled new year! 

Matt Tanaka1 Comment