Whenever Salty Nut Brewery sits down with us, it's a Large-Hadron-Collider-atom-smash chat-fest about the world — and all topics are game to crash into each other, from weird bar stories to current events. Salty Nut had come in with a quandary: their new Squatch Double IPA, a brew with which they were eager to make community waves, needed some wave-making marketing. An understandable, and good, quandary to have as a brewery, to be sure.
Before the meeting, Creative Director Dustin had been diligently sketching a visage of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on our chalkboard wall. The media-fixated controversy orbiting the Governor that day had been orbiting Dustin's brain, the same, and he couldn't quell the thought of it until he drew it all out.
Of course, Dustin's chalk-sketch was still up during the meeting. Why wipe it? The chalkboard wall's always been an idea-rich space, ever changing with the day, and anything goes. And, of course, the topic of the Governor had been hot on everyone's minds, not just Dustin's — outside our office the world was thick with it — so we worked out our Salty Nut prospects with the image present, the topic present.
Salty Nut was getting excited about these prospects. The conversation had lightened, its topics spread out and varied. And then Red Brick founder Trent had another prospect: what if Salty Nut brewed a Peach-flavored beer that had the word 'unimpeachable' in it? And have the brew be Governor Bentley-themed? It would be a perfect match-up for the times, with a clever tongue-in-cheek campaign attached. You know, a real shake-'em-up, get-people-in-the-door kind of beer that can't be ignored. Now that's a prospect.
The prospect met with thigh-slapping laughter. Until Salty Nut realized we were serious.
Brand Developer Lauren poked her head around the corner of Dustin's office to chat about a Squatch Double IPA poster they were working on. Dustin, in typical Dustin-form, shoved his water-color book at her: on it was the governor, his hair frizzy with movement, in loving embrace with a peach. It was unprecedented and fresh. It was pristine. Lauren and Dustin stood silent for a moment, smiling.
And then they decided not only Squatch IPA needed a poster, but chalkboard-turned-painting Bentley needed one, as well -- an 'Unimpeachable' Pale Ale poster, for a brew the idea of which our entire office couldn't seem to eject. The world certainly couldn't eject such a idea, either. Now, of all times, was the time to brew up the brouhaha everyone was talking about.
And brew up the brouhaha, Salty Nut did. We presented them with a double-whammy for the Double IPA: artwork for both Squatch and a lil' summasumma called Unimpeachable Pale Ale. When the whole brewhouse was on-board with our chalkboard dream, we began the biggest campaign this brewery had seen. We began The Magic.
Numbers from the campaign spread like cracked peanut shells on a bar floor.
It was late April when we kicked it all off. The day of the announcement, Unimpeachable Pale Ale hit 30 high-profiled media publications almost at once — from Adweek to Foodandwine.com, Creative Loafing to AL.com — attaining a collective press of 2.7 million individual readers, with 4.25 million reached overall across the internet. The remainder of the week saw thousands on thousands of social media shares. And echoes of the campaign continued as news coverage of the governor did, the same. It continues today.
In North Alabama, an under-recognized, hole-in-the-wall brewery had touched the total population of its own state in ~24 hours. Salty Nut started to see a few more customers at the door, to say the least.
Squatch Double IPA has done swell, too.