Building a craft brew brand and community following from the ground up.

The Challenge

How do you build a brand that stands out in a market that is quickly becoming one of the most saturated for its industry nationwide?

The Approach

We worked with Emerald Republic at all stages of pre- and post-launch to not only build the brand, but drive awareness and a establish a following well before opening that supported its subsequent rapid growth.

Crafted with Conviction.

Emerald Republic Brewing Co. opened its doors in December of 2019. Its arrival brought the first brewery to the Tanyard neighborhood, which is located on the west side of Downtown Pensacola. In recent years, Pensacola has become home to a quickly-growing beer scene. During this time, it has seen a half dozen new concepts open their doors. Therefore, brand differentiation in this community is more important than ever. 

We supported the brewery at every step of their launch and beyond. Crafting space in the food & bev industry can often make or break a startup in the arena, so every element leaned into the rich, moody, metal-inspired concept.

Marketing through social media and news coverage ahead of launch lead to sales surpassing projections from Day 1, and they were quickly picked up for distribution within 2 years. Now sold statewide in Florida and Alabama, the brand not only has an ownable, loved look in the taproom but stands out on shelves in a crowded space.

It was incredibly important to build a brand that not only stood out and had its own unique identity, but was true to the vision of the founders. Emerald Republic embraces a dark, moody, metal-inspired vibe, but also feels like a place where people feel welcome to grab a beer with a friend. It’s big, bold, and dramatic. It was built to stand out.

The logo is built from the idea of the Japanese water dragon. These creatures are protectors of the water, the most important ingredient in brewing. They’re strong, powerful, and beautiful. We created a mark that paired our dragon mark with hand-drawn lettering that has a bold, tattoo-feel to it. It stands out on everything from packaging to signage to merch.

The tagline “Crafted with Conviction” was developed to support the vision. Building something big, in their own way, that was the start of something new.

From this, the full visual system came to life and allowed room to play, as it’s such a merch and experience-driven brand. We developed everything from menus to coasters to tap handles to in-brewery screens and signage. Additionally, crowlers were developed to bring the brand outside the brewery.

The website had to serve a few main purposes. First, it had to give people what they need at a glance. Most people aren’t going to a brewery site for extensive information, they just want to know the address and hours, upcoming events, and have a way to get in touch if needed.

Second, it had to serve as a way for people to purchase products. Easily implementing a way for people to place to-go orders(especially directly post-launch, during the height of COVID), was imperative.

The site was built on WordPress without overly-fussy development so it can be easily updated the internal team as needed.

The Lensea Film team came with an idea. Emerald Republic’s beers are layered and deep and full of creative ingredients, sometimes completely unexpected. Let’s take the idea of the actual ingredients that go into beer – and shoot the beer as deconstructed elements of the flavors that make each of them special. 

They shot three separate beers, selected due to their bold, beautiful ingredients that come off the screen in a way that you can almost taste them.

We worked with the Lensea team to build their miniature environments on a controlled set, and they shot these journeys in a way that brought you through webs of – and worlds full of – pineapples, coffee beans, peppers and smores mountains. The result focuses not only on the end product with beautiful pours and 360 views, but gives equal ode to all the details and flavors that go into bringing the brew to life.

A strong social media presence was key to building awareness and hype around the brewery’s opening. The goal was to open doors with a line to the parking lot. We did just that.

We built a social presence that focused on a few key things. Focus on the beer. Focus on the people. Focus on the energy, events, and happenings in the taproom and behind the scenes. 

We focused on Instagram and Facebook to build a local following. Beyond regular content development and daily posting, we allowed for a small paid budget to not only grow awareness and followers who then would see their content but to bring events to the top of people’s feeds and drive feet in the door at selected times.

A key part of building a strong presence was great content. We had regular planned staff shoots, shot new beer concepts in studio, and captured behind the scenes content to give a peek into the experience of visiting the brewery.

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