Stone Brewing's Upside Down Beer Label Was No Mistake

by Rudy Sanchez on 07/15/2020 | 2 Minute Read

A noble business mind once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” and big gambits that pay off are often the foundation of a successful enterprise. 

Having the vision and conviction to see something unconventional through is not for the faint of heart, nor is sporting a gargoyle as a logo. So it’s no surprise that Stone Brewing has taken chances throughout its nearly quarter-century of operations. Focusing on IPA-style brews proved a good call while others, like opening a brewery in Germany, didn’t work out so well. Now, Stone is celebrating its adventurous and risk-taking spirit in its first-ever ad campaign.

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Stone’s “Leave No Stone Unturned” campaign, created with help from agency Big Family Table, started modestly, with the brewer affixing labels upside down on bottles and shipping them out, letting customers find them in the wild sans explanation. Fan theories, as they are wont to do, sprouted all over the web, from a legitimate mistake at the factory to some kind of Coronavirus-related stunt. Last night, Stone co-founder and executive chairman Greg Koch revealed on Instagram the real motive behind the south-facing labels.

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The first ad campaign for Stone shows how far the beer maker has come from its plucky beginnings as a San Diego craft brewer evangelizing the super hoppy ales that would come to define the West Coast craft scene, while acknowledging that sometimes, along the way, mistakes get made when you start checking out the underside of all those rocks. 

Stone is now the 9th largest craft brewer in the US, although, as their first ad campaign shows, they haven’t lost that fondness for the unexpected.

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