One Simple Plan helped a Minnesota brewery galvanize supporters to change a Prohibition-era law and pave the way for a Destination Brewery.
Surly Brewing Company, a popular local craft brewery located near Minneapolis, had an enviable problem: it needed to accommodate an insatiable demand for its beer. And the company didn’t want to simply expand its brewery, it wanted to build a new brewery unlike any other in the state — one with a restaurant, bar, event center, and beer garden.
Unfortunately, a 78-year-old state law stood in its way, prohibiting breweries from selling pints of their own beer on their own premises. Surly tapped One Simple Plan to help change the law so it could achieve its vision. Together, we sparked a grassroots movement to generate awareness of Surly’s plans, grab the attention of media, and curry favor with voters and legislators.
One Simple Plan started by coining the ‘Destination Brewery’ concept and framing Surly’s argument. Changing the law would do more than help one company; a Destination Brewery would spur the booming Minnesota craft beer industry, stimulate the local economy, and create jobs.
Surly unveiled its plans at fan appreciation events timed to the company’s fifth anniversary, and supporters sprang into action. One Simple Plan continued the momentum, securing ongoing coverage in key media outlets, developing marketing materials, and harnessing the power of the brewery’s 17,000 Facebook fans, a force dubbed ‘Surly Nation.’ Together, these efforts galvanized supporters and armed them with the information they needed to influence local legislators.
After the four-month ‘Power of the Pint’ campaign, Surly and its supporters successfully persuaded Minnesota legislators to sign the ‘Surly Bill’ into law on May 24, 2011, paving the way for the Destination Brewery. The campaign garnered more than 200 million media impressions through local and national coverage, including the company’s first national broadcast hit. It also increased Surly’s Facebook community by nearly 10,000 fans, many of whom reside outside Minnesota, positioning Surly for growth as the company looks to expand beyond its home state.
"One Simple Plan was instrumental in our successful effort to change a Prohibition-era law, which had been blocking our plan to build a Destination Brewery. They helped us frame our message, harness the power of our fans – while attracting new ones – and ultimately ignite a grassroots campaign that galvanized support for 'the Surly Bill.'" – Omar Ansari, Founder and CEO of Surly Brewing Co.