Thankfully, I don't always share the view that Toronto is the pivot point of Canadian-what's what and that's why I've been happy to have our company Agent Wildfire develop Calgary-based, Big Rock's community building effort in the East with a roster of winning word of mouth strategies and tactics.
Here's why we're excited to be leading the Eastern flank of the Big Rock brand:
The Brand - in an industry that seems to be dominated by the mass marketed and produced breweries, it's great to see an independent making a solid go of it, never mind the fact that Big Rock has been Canadian-owned since its debut in 1984
The Product - there's a sameness about most of the brands across the taps of my favourite bars - not so with Big Rock, their four key 4 brands available in Ontario have all something distinctive about them - Grasshopper (served with a lemon), Traditional Ale ("Trad" for people in the know), Warthog (a cult fave ) and Pale (the blonde ale alternative to lager). Each with their own taste and distinctive label and ritual and all brewed in strict adherence to Bavarian beer Purity Law the Reinheitsgebot. Consider taking your beer off its training wheels and grab a pint of Big Rock.
The Marketing - a well-recognized brand that still acts small. Their flagship event The Eddies is the social mecca of Calgarians (often called the Oscar Night of beers and frequently sold out in minutes), and provides a customer-created platform for passionate Big Rock fans to submit their best print and Tv ads. It's has been running for the last 14 years - far longer than the term "user generated content" becoming en vogue. Some of the creative output is brilliant . And now on May 14th, it's debuting here in Toronto too and you can still get some tickets.
The New Additions - much like Stella and Keith's before it, two brands that started in Toronto with a small hive of fervent advocates and fans, we want to create the same thing with Big Rock - start small and infect the same type of enthusiasm for the brand felt in Alberta now in our neck of the woods, so:
- we have created a genuine online community of Big Rock named "Friends of Big Rock" that will become the headquarters for all lcoal activity staffed by our talented Big Rock community manager Cara... join and rewards, fame and influence await!
- Big Rock has recently become the sponsor of the Junos and a supporter of fresh, canadian music though its community-based music site Untapped - additionally, our Untapped events will profile 16 of the best indie bands in Toronto in an attempt to annoint the best Untapped band in Toronto based on the will of our drinkers and music aficionados
- we will be sponsoring two user-generated contests on top of the Eddies to create the next great big Rock coaster and T-shirt and allowing real beer fans to express their creative stylings
- we have also developed a community blog and community fame wall that will tease out information, sneak previews, events, initiatives and member profiles to a larger networked universe
When it comes to choosing a beer, we just simply think a good portion of people out East would much rather take a sip from the grassroots and not gulp from the mainstream.
So if you're with me on this one - join the cause for real beer, save Alberta's other precious natural resource (Big Rock beers) and meet us and some friends at our inaugural event tonight at C'est What 9pm. If I see you there and you mention "untapped" (I may be wearing a Flames jersey) , I'll dig into my trunk of goodies and reward the effort.