This week's launch of Divine Reserve No. 12, the latest small batch beer from our client, Saint Arnold Brewing, offers some important PR lessons. The biggest lesson is to keep doing what you do and people will notice.
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve was originally imagined as a very high quality limited supply beer. It was among the first beers that was a one-off recipe. Once it is gone, the recipe is retired (although two have been un-retired to join the brewery's regular line-up of year-round and seasonal offerings).
By sticking with the limited supply concept, Saint Arnold has been the beneficiary of considerable excitement as craft beer fans -- in growing numbers -- turn out to get their's. Considerable excitement tends to be pretty visible and noisey (especially online), which gets the attention of the media.
Anticipating the story was going to be big, channel 11 in Houston sent a crew over to the brewery on Monday to get a sneak peak of Divine Reserve No. 12, which was featured during the 10 p.m. newscast. Early Tuesday morning, channel 11's Tiffany Craig was at the downtown Houston Spec's to cover the brewing beer mania that was about to engulf the Texas craft beer community.
KPRC channel 2 also covered the story, calling it, "a divine day for beer lovers in Houston." See the report here, "New local beer causes big buzz."
The Houston Chronicle wasn't to be outdone. The Chron's beer writer, Ronnie Crocker, live tweeted from Spec's, posting a photo album of the 'event' along with his story, "Saint Arnold fans line up to celebrate a 12th Divine Day." The Houston Press reported on the release, "Saint Arnold Releases Divine Reserve No. 12 Today," and then followed up with a story about beer scalpers on Craigslist, "The DR 12 Six-Pack Scalping Has Begun."
And the Houston Beer Examiner did a great Q&A with the homebrewer whose recipe inspired the beer, Dave Rogers, "Divine Reserve 12: The race is on for David Rogers' winning entry."
If you encourage community participation, you will be rewarded with all sorts of unexpected gems. For instance, Tom Paynter of Paynter Media produced and posted a video about Divine Reserve No. 12 for his "Talks" series.
Also, TexasBrews.org featured Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 12 in a podcast during which they did a tasting: http://texasbrews.org/podcast/DR12.mp3.
Overall, it was an incredible PR success and a successful beer launch as well.