Brewery picks new AORs anticipating national push

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Oregon-based craft beer distillery Deschutes Brewery began distributing in Utah today, bringing its total to 14 US states.
The beer company selected North and Campbell Consulting Group Inc. as its agencies of record for creative and public relations earlier this week. The new agency appointments were made to help the 20-year old, privately owned beer maker manage its marketing as it moves toward becoming a national brand, according to Jason Randles, marketing manager at Deschutes.

“[In the review process] it was clear the both companies realized the potential that the brand has yet to tap into,” Randles said. “We're just beginning to grow our coverage, and we are doing it at our pace.”

He added that the company was expanding thoughtfully, saying that national distribution was a goal for 2020. Previously the company had worked with Oregon-based DVA Advertising & Public Relations and Lad Communications.

Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter are the company's most recognized products and Randles said the next campaigns would focus around getting recognition around the umbrella Deschutes brand in addition to the specific products.

“Every brewery has to find a balance of how much to focus on the beer and how much to focus on the lifestyle,” Randles said. “We found a sweet spot with the positioning, ‘the greater the challenge; the greater the reward.'”
He explained that Deschutes Beers are carefully made, which is a challenge and the company's fans were drinking to reward themselves for facing their own challenges. “It's a celebratory brand for a job well done.”

The company plans to use a combination of retail point-of-sale, social media and SEO. It has already seen great uptake through blogging on its own site and other beer aficionado blogs, according to Randles.

“We've seen posts on other sites, such as, addressed to our CEO and expecting answers to questions,” he said. “It's great when your customer knows you are engaged and want to speak directly to you about the product.”
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