My colleague Kevin McCallum reports today on a new marketing campaign by the city of Santa Rosa to tout itself in major cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland in an effort to tell tourists that we’re about more than wine.
One of the interesting elements is to informally brand Santa Rosa as “Beer City,” with a quick montage of images from Russian River Brewing, which is, as we all know, one of the hottest and most sought-after breweries in the country. Kevin writes:
While it may seem a stretch to call a city with two brew pubs “Beer City,” [Raissa de la Rosa, Santa Rosa’s economic development specialist] said there is no doubt that the Russian River Brewing Company, especially when it is featuring its limited release beers like the hyper-hoppy Pliny the Younger, draws tourists from around the globe.
“We have recognized that we are a destination point around beer,” de la Rosa said.
Indeed, Santa Rosa might have trouble wresting the “Beer City” crown away from beer crazy towns like Denver, Philadelphia or Portland, or even smaller beer cities such as Bend, Oregon or Asheville, North Carolina. But it is undeniable that we have some of the best beer in the country within a drive of an hour or two, so perhaps it’s worth a try. Maybe it’s more like “Beer County.” Or even, yes, “Beer Country.”
UPDATE: Shortly after posting this, I found that Oregon has an even grander vision than Santa Rosa, trying to brand itself as a beer. The governor and a group called Business Oregon have commissioned Ninkasi to create an “Oregon” beer that economic development agencies can hand out at events, including a recent trade show here in California, to draw attention to the state’s $2.8 billion per year craft beer industry. Top THAT, Santa Rosa…
– Sean Scully