Marketing Push on Tap for Castle Island Brewing

Michael Essany Headshot by Michael Essany on March 18, 2014
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Beer is more than a beverage. It’s an experience. Or at least it should be, says Adam Romanow, founder of Castle Island Brewing Co.

Romanow has a bold vision for his startup brewery in the nation’s beer mecca. “We’re on a mission to craft world-class beers that capture the spirit of what it means to be from Boston,” he says.

He plans to launch Castle Island Brewing in late summer or early fall. “We haven’t opened the doors on the brewery yet,” Romanow explains. “It’s quite an expensive build-out process, and the fundraising process has taken some time.”

But for this hard-working young entrepreneur, starting Castle Island Brewing has also been a labor of love.

“I was in consulting for the last 10 years,” he admits. “I had been working at a desk job since 2010, and I could kind of see the writing on the wall with the company’s future, and so I left. I was tired of the desk job and kind of wanted to do something fun.”

This desire soon landed the ex-consultant at a large brewery in New Hampshire. “I worked in the brew house, the cellar, the packaging line,” he recalls. “And then after that I did a year’s worth of marketing and promotion in the Boston area.”

A Labor of Love

After that experience, Romanow was hooked. “Falling in love with beer is pretty easy,” but the industry is a different story, he says. “It’s a lot of hard work, and the pay isn’t necessarily phenomenal. I could do a lot better if I stayed in consulting. But at the end of the day, it’s people that are passionate about their product and passionate about their business. And they want to work together to create great beer. That’s what I fell in love with and [why I] decided to make a run at this.”

But in a highly competitive industry dominated by legends, making a dent in the market requires raising the bar. How will Castle Island Brewing win over beer drinkers in Beantown?

“There are two components to it,” Romanow asserts. “One is brand and the overall vision for the brewery, and the other is the beer.

“The brand is really centered around the idea of what it means to be from Boston,” he continues. “Boston is a city that works hard and plays hard. It’s a city that’s all about innovation but merging that with tradition to come up with something new and something that’s the sum of its parts.

“Part of building Castle Island is capturing that spirit. And the way we want to put that physically together is by creating a brewery that’s not just a brewery and production facility, but also has a tap room where people can come and not just get a sample, but get a pint and buy beer to go, take tours, and enjoy special events.”

In order to help create a new beer buzz in Boston, Romanow recently entered QuickBooks’ Small Business Local Buzz campaign. And now Romanow won’t be drinking or marketing alone. QuickBooks is awarding Castle Island Brewing a customized marketing package worth $5,000.

“The No. 1 thing we’re up against at the moment is awareness,” says Romanow, who is thankful for the marketing muscle his brewery has gained. “There are 2,800 breweries in the country. There are 50 of them in Massachusetts. So there’s a lot of competition. There’s a lot of noise out there. We need to raise our profile and get people familiar with us because we are a new brand.”

Check Out the Buzz

QuickBooks’ Small Business Local Buzz campaign is announcing one winner a day through March 28. To learn more about the campaign and the businesses vying for an epic marketing boost courtesy of QuickBooks, click here.

Michael Essany Headshot

Michael Essany is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.

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