Mark Thompson
packaging.jpg

Short's Brewing Co.

packaging.jpg

SHORT'S BREWING CO.

I worked with Short's Brewing Co. to develop an experiential campaign in an effort to reach new drinkers in the Midwest. 

SUMMARY 

Task:

Support recent distribution expansion by building the brand in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Situation:

Short's is well loved in it's home state of Michigan, but it has yet to connect with drinkers on the same level witin it's regional footprint.

Insight:

Midwesterners are constantly looking for something new with their craft beers.

STRATEGY:

The cure for beer boredom.

Creative concept:

Midwest brewery collaboration tour.

 

Keep reading for extended strategy or...

 

RESEARCH APPROACH

 

PRIMARY

108 survey respondents
10 one-on-one interviews
Short's brewery and pub visits

Secondary

Industry analysis
Competitive analysis
Consumer analysis

 

COMPANY BACKGROUND

 

Short's Brewing Co. is a craft brewery based out of Bellaire, MI, and they currently distribute in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Short's brews five flagship beers available year-round as well as specialty beers released every two weeks. Their creatively fearless beers and quirky brand have made them hometown heroes in Michigan.

 
 

130+
Employees

2018 Expected Revenue of $18.7 million

2018 Production goal of 53,000 barrels

375 beers in active portfolio

 
 
 

Short’s takes their beer seriously, but not themselves.

The company strives to brew the best beer on earth and is constantly pushing the boundaries of brewing, but the brand is much more lighthearted and comedic. The mustachioed face of the company, CEO Joe Short, has infused his unique blend of humor and quirkiness into everything Short’s does.

Joe even fronts a band, Braxton Hicks and the Contractions, with other Short’s employees.They routinely release music videos for new new beer releases.

 
 
 
 
braxton.jpg
 


 

CATEGORY

Brewery Collaboration

A unique characteristic of the craft beer industry is the open collaboration  and willingness to help each other. Two breweries will come together to create a new brew that blends both of their strengths.

Some of Short’s own collaborations can be seen below.

 
 
Almost no other industry would tolerate, allow or even understand this concept.  Many of us don’t see craft beer as an industry; we see craft beer as a community.
— Steve Kurowski, Colorado Brewers Guild
shortscollabs.jpg
 

KEY LEARNINGS

1. Craft beer drinkers in the Midwest have the widest range of style preferences compared to other regions.  

2. A unique characteristic of the craft beer industry is the open collaboration and willingness to help each other.

3. People are less likely to purchase from an unfamiliar brewery in a retail environment than they are at bars or events.


 

INSIGHT

Midwesterners are constantly looking for something new with their craft beers.

 

IMPLICATIONS

 
  1. VARIETY MATTERS

Short’s needs to clearly communicate that it’s an adventurous brand with a multitude of unique beers. 

2. Experiences Matter

In order to convert retail buyers Short’s needs to get people talking at the tap handle.

 

STRATEGY

The cure for beer boredom.

 

THE WAY IN

Knowing that variety and experiences matter to the Midwestern craft beer drinker, and that current Short’s drinkers love that brand so much that they tell everyone about it, I came to the conclusion that Shorts could generate positive word of mouth through an experiential campaign rooted in variety.

The best place to introduce new drinkers to Short’s is where they already are - breweries and tap rooms. 

 

CREATIVE

 
 

2019 marks the 15th year of Short’s sharing it’s quirky specialty beers, and to celebrate Short’s will embark on a first-of-it’s-kind two week tour throughout the Midwest.

They will be partnering with eight breweries across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin to brew specialty collaboration beers and share them on the 15th Anniversary Amalgamation Tour. Each stop on the tour is a release party at a partner brewery with the Short’s Brewing Co. band, Braxton Hicks and the Contractions, as entertainment.

 
 
 
shortsadventuretourFinalshadow.jpg
 

4 STATES. 8 COLLABORATIONS. 1 SHORT’S ADVENTURE.

 
partners2.jpg
 
 
 
tourposter.jpg

Tour posters for use in print and social.

shortsbusfinal.jpg

Nothing about Short’s is normal, so their tour bus won’t be either.

 
 
 

12 BEERS, MADE WITH FRIENDS.

Tour variety 12-packs and merchandise will be available for purchase at every stop. The variety packs will also be distributed to retailers in the markets of the stops before and after the tour.

 
packaging.jpg
shortsshirt.jpg
beerkoozie.jpg
 

Team
Copywriting & Art Direction: Evan Chiplock