Take Your Rice Beer And Go Home

A microbrewer, like a small scale wine producer, creates passion around its product and, by extension, its brand. By forgoing the mass market, the microbrand actually can have a meaningful dialogue with its base (something big brands desperately want right now).
Here’s an example of the kind of “talk” that perfectly presents a brand’s value proposition.

Rogue Nation Beer Manifesto

est. May 1996
I. We hold that beer is a superior beverage.
II. We hold that beer is worthy of passion.
III. We hold that beer enlivens spirits.
IV. We hold that beer is not an abstraction but a concrete reality which occured in the past, occurs in this living present and will occur in the future.
V. Beer is made from basic ingredients of water, malt, hops and yeast.
VI. Beer occurs as a result of a naturally occuring process which can be adapted and reproduced by anyone.
VII. Beer flavors occur as a result of radical discontinuity between the old existence of its ingredients and their new existence as beer.
VIII. Beer thus obtains widely varying degrees of complexity based on its ingredients and the brewing process.
IX. Some beer is produced and exchanged as a consumer good.
X. Some beer is produced but consumed in the home.
XI. Consumer tastes are widely varied.
XII. Those that produce beer for sale too often hold their profits in greater regard than their product.
XIII. Large scale brewers have ruined beer.

Maybe this was written over some cold ones after a shift at the brewery in Newport, Oregon. I highly doubt a copywriter got anywhere near it. Maybe for that reason, it rings true and makes me want to drink Rogue. Luckily, I have a 22 oz. Hazelnut Brown Nectar and a 22 0z. Chocolate Stout cooling in the ‘fridge.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.