To say there’s been an explosion in the production of small batch and micro craft beers in the last decade, would be a gross and seriously misleading understatement.
All it takes is a trip to your local beverage distributor of choice to see the aisles are overflowing with an unending selection of Chocolate Oatmeal Nut Brown Stout Hefeweizen Golden Summer Fun Time Lagers, Ales, IPA’s, LOL’s and ASAP’s.
It seems that everyone with a fistful of hops and bucket of yeast is hell bent on becoming the next Adolphus Busch….or to a lesser extent, Eberhard Anheuser.
But it’s not just small players anymore.
It’s not just Joe Six Pack or John Twelve Pack or Jane Twenty-Four In A Case or even Jack Two Kegs And A Sleeve Of Plastic Cups. Big names and established brands are now horning in on the action. Everyone from heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden to television shows like Game of Thrones have put their best foot (and calculated marketing efforts ) forward in an effort to capitalize on all that amber colored, liquid cha-ching.
So when I was approached last year to help develop “the new leader in the craft beer market”, I was somewhat hesitant.
The owner of this new venture is someone I’ve worked with for years on various other projects. In fact, I consider he and his family more friends than clients.
I believe in his concepts and he trusts in my vision and visa versa.
But as I said, I was hesitant.
How does one break into a market that’s not only saturated, but teetering on the precipice of an eventual downturn? After all, this was not a labor of love, as it is with so many home brewers, This was a potentially untapped financial avenue for a preexisting brand. Business, plain and simple. But still a very sizeable risk.
And as a dutiful and responsible art director and trusted confident, upon our first production meeting, I made my concerns known.
After all, how do you sell water to someone swimming in the ocean?
Well, I can’t give you the answer. Not in any amount of specifics, anyway.
A magician never revels his secrets.
But I will say this…the answer lies in the truth.
The truth of your product and not with flashy illusions, sleight of hand or smoke, mirrors and gimmicks.
Believe it or not, people like the truth.
And if we’re going to start using buzzwords, the response rate for the truth within your target audience is sky high.
The brand in question, Harbor Head Brewing Company, is still admittedly, in it’s infancy. But like any toddler, growing before our eyes.
Last week it outgrew it’s one-piece jumper…hopefully next week it will be walking.
And like any good father, I find myself overflowing with pride to see this, for lack of better word, “thing”, grow and evolve. Something that started life as just a passing thought develop and flourish into an easily quantifiable (for the accountants) success.
Proud of the achievement
Appreciative of the opportunity.
It’s Miller time!
– Michael Versandi