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case study: new market expansion for 805 Beer


How a unified and consistent launch strategy can create advocacy and growth in new markets. 

Industry: beverage alcohol/lifestyle

Size: Mid-tier

Territory: USA

805 is a light, refreshing ale created for the laid-back California lifestyle. An easy drinking 4.7% beer that can be enjoyed anywhere.

The Brief

Based on the culture and spirit of its namesake "805" zip code in California, 805 Beer aligned with core customers and fans via the emotional connection they felt for their local "hometown" beer.

In 2017 the beer was poised to launch outside of its California heartland for the first time...

It needed a launch strategy that took its creative endeavours to focus on cultural areas in new markets, Chicago, Seattle, Portland and Denver, to immerse authentically: becoming part of the culture from within.

I worked with the brand team to formalise the existing culture program into an easy-to-understand and actionable roadmap that ensured a solid link to the on-premise sales and growth. 

The Process

Based on key brand pillars, I identified shared brand values and their corresponding touchpoints in each new market.


These "pockets" of relevant culture were activated via a clear and actionable four-phase launch program focused on culture, sampling, on-premise programming and events.

Media partnerships, artistic talent and ambassador programs were crafted to bring the 805 Beer to life through creative endeavours.

The Result

3-years on, and 805 Beer is still going strong in markets Chicago, Seattle, Portland and Denver and can be enjoyed in approx. 300-400 on and off-premise locations in each city.


  • Culture Blueprints were created—detailed pieces of work with cultural & geographical blueprints embedded, these being intimate intelligence on what resonates with these most culturally influential communities of people globally.

  • This work ensured the brand fused into the right culture with the best possible output and opportunity to return on investment.

  • Unique and sincere relationships were established, delivering commercially astute deals and positioning. 

  • 805 Beers’ signature storytelling was amplified by like-minded, influential partners—the best marketeers for a brand

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