The Best Beer & Cider Marketing Campaigns of 2020

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If there’s one thing the craft beverage industry does well, it is thinking creatively. Even with limited resources, breweries and cideries find inventive ways to stand out among their competition and appeal to new customers. At Ekos, we’ve witnessed this incredible work for years and thought it was finally time to recognize the best of the best.

We launched the first annual Crafty Marketing Awards this spring and were overwhelmed with nominations for innovative marketing, social media, design and event campaigns. Our judges’ panel of industry experts had a hard task of choosing winners, but ultimately 11 craft breweries and cideries were selected.  

Alvarium Beer Company

Best use of social media

Alvarium’s Instagram feed is full of professional-quality photos, fun and witty captions, and important information about products and how to purchase. Alvarium’s social media manager was nominated by her team for single-handedly managing the brewery’s social channels, in addition to her other responsibilities managing staff, schedules and ordering.

Crafty Marketing Awards - Alvarium

Bentonville Brewing

Creative video production

Bentonville Brewing is having a lot of fun (maybe a little too much fun) with video. They created two videos for product launches – an animated video promo, “Space Goose & the Escape from Galactic Prison” and a music video for their Amber Lager that parodied the song “I Saw a Tiger” from Netflix’s Tiger King. On a more serious note, Bentonville Brewing also released a video to promote their new facility and give customers an idea of what to expect in the new space.

Crafty Marketing Awards - Bentonville

Crying Eagle Brewing Company

Best product launch

In 2019, Crying Eagle launched the Things Unsettled Hazy IPA. The name had a double meaning: the unsettled nature of a Hazy IPA and the underlying battle between big beer and craft. The packaging features a battle between two knights in a throwback video game style. To promote the release, Crying Eagle created a teaser video with graphics straight out of an old-school video game.

Crafty Marketing Awards - Bentonville

East Brother Beer Co

Best product launch

In response to COVID-19, the East Brother team came together to discuss how they could support their community. They developed the Pride and Purpose Beer, created for and powered by the community. The entire marketing campaign was design by Good Beer Hunting to feature taproom regulars and proceeds from sales of the beer supported local organizations. Pride and Purpose is going to be featured in an upcoming Smithsonian exhibition!  

Crafty Marketing Awards - Bentonville

Gate City Brewing Co.

Outstanding charitable campaign

Gate City’s team of female brewers, designers and marketers created the Freedom Fighter IPA marketing campaign to fight against human trafficking in Atlanta. For each beer sold, $1 was donated to local Atlanta non-profits rescuing girls from trafficking. To promote the beer, Gate City hosted a release party and fundraising events and even got placement on Delta Airlines flights during Human Trafficking Awareness Month.  

Crafty Marketing Awards - Gate City Brewing

Heart of Darkness

Best packaging design

Heart of Darkness is a Vietnam-based brewery that is no stranger to winning awards for its delicious and creative beers. Their logos and packaging are bold, unique and beautifully designed and were praised by the Crafty Marketing Awards judges.

Crafty Marketing Awards - Heart of Darkness

Hi-Wire Brewing

Best overall campaign

To support the hospitality industry during COVID-19, Hi-Wire Brewing introduced a “Beer for Good” to benefit service industry workers. With a straight-forward message that was communicated on cans and across marketing channels, Hi-Wire was able to donate a portion of proceeds to USBG National Charity Foundation and the North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.

Crafty Marketing Awards - Hi Wire

Minneapolis Cider Co.

Best use of social media

Minneapolis Cider Co created the #SomethingtoCelebrate campaign to recognize the good in the world, even during the difficult times in 2020. The team created a campaign kick-off video and encouraged their community to share stories of celebration (graduations, engagements, friendships, new jobs, etc.) on social media. Minneapolis Cider amplified stories on social and sent cider to help people celebrate at home.  

Crafty Marketing Awards - Minneapolis Cider

No Label Brewing

Best event

In 2020, traditional in-person events aren’t possible. But with the switch to curbside pickup, No Label Brewing saw an opportunity to connect with the community and do more than just sell beer. They ordered masks to give to customers and frontline workers who visited the brewery. In the first few days, the line outside to get a mask and buy beer was over a mile long. No Label has distributed thousands of masks since the beginning of the pandemic.

Crafty Marketing Awards - No label brewing

Other Half Brewing Co.

Best overall campaign

Other Half Brewing started a worldwide beer collaboration called All Together to bring the craft beer community together during COVID-19. The idea was a collaboration that anyone could participate in, with 100% of the proceeds going to support out-of-work hospitality workers. To date, more than 850 breweries in 53 countries and all 50 states have participated.  

Crafty Marketing Awards - Other Half Brewing

Wallenpaupack Brewing Co.

Innovative marketing campaign

To keep sales coming in during COVID-19, the Wallenpaupack team got creative with two sales promotions. The first was a 14-day quarantine pack with a beer for each day of quarantine. The campaign included daily videos, social posts and a $5 charitable donation for each purchase. The team also created at-home beer dinners with food and beer pairings that allowed the brewery to increase both beer and food sales.

Crafty Marketing Awards - Wallenpaupack

Visit our website for more information and to sign up for updates on the 2021 Crafty Marketing Awards.

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Written by Elizabeth