Stone Brewing Co. is looking eastward for expansion. When the California-based craft brewer announced plans to open an East Coast brewery, the Blount Partnership began work on a proposal to convince Stone Brewing Co. to locate the new brewery in Pellissippi Place Business Park.
Blount Partnership joined forces with Mary Beth West Communications and Designsensory to spark a communications idea that would brand the Great Smokies foothills community a standout among hundreds of proposals. Bryan Daniels, president/CEO of Blount Partnership gave carte blanche to Tim Wirtz, director of strategic development for Mary Beth West, and Matt Honkonen, business development for Designsensory.
The dynamic duo discerned that the Stone Brewing founders were no shrinking violets when it comes to music. Greg Koch, cofounder with Steve Wagner, is a former heavy metal/hard rock music producer. As it happens, both Matt and Tim are musicians. Matt wrote two songs for the pitch: a bluegrass number, to reflect the region, and a hard rock piece, to appeal to the verve of Stone Brewing. You’ll get a sense of “People of Stone” from the opening lyrics: “This is a public service announcement to all you beer makers on the west coast. Bring us your tired barley, your weary grains, your huddled masses yearning for good brew. We’ve got a home for you. . . .”
Adding graphics, done by DS graphic artist Matt Montgomery, to a soft launch, the branding took on a life of its own, reaching out through social media and gaining traction via numerous articles and television. Ever the Blount champion, Bryan Daniels put together a gathering at the Maryville Barley’s to celebrate the proposal’s release. Matt Honkonen and Matt Montgomery entertained the supportive crew with one of the songs written to accompany the proposal.