A pioneer in the craft brewing space, Deschutes Brewery began making great beers in 1988. But in 2006, the proliferation of small local breweries in the Seattle area began to erode Deschutes’ market share. So we took the brewery to Seattle with a traveling brewpub—arriving well before today’s beer- and food-truck trend.
We already knew that craft beer drinkers took their beers a little more personally than the average Joe—they want to connect to the people, the place and the craft itself. So we created a series of traveling beer festivals that would bring the Deschutes Brewery experience to Seattle.
The neighborhood festivals celebrated the craft of brewing and the spirit of the community, with local music and fare and proceeds benefitting local charities. For the events, we built a one-of-a kind beer barrel on wheels, which holds 12 kegs and 16 taps—essentially a traveling pub.
Woody, as it was affectionately known, hit the road before social media was widely embraced. So we looked to a mix of media that was low-key and grassroots, from posters in coffee shops and bookstores, wild postings on walls and telephone poles, handbills distributed at large public events—and of course the barrel itself as a mobile billboard.
Woody was named best “booth” at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival. And today, after eight years and 200,000 miles on the road, Woody is still touring the country, engaging with fans on social media and proving its enduring value as a brand asset.