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March 14, 2009

Brand Strategy, Creative


It’s 1982 and about 15 degrees below zero.

Like we did every Saturday night, we were standing on a road that came to a dead end in the St. Lawrence River, with a raging bonfire and stacks of Genny Cream Ale we stole from our dads.

That was life growing up in Massena, New York…north of everything that mattered. My buddies and I would sit around and joke about how cool it would be to work at the Genesee Brewery. Think of all the free beer.

Our dads. We were always so much smarter than them.

It’s 2008 and about 15 minutes before our pitch to High Falls Brewing Company.

Like we did at every pitch, we were standing in a conference room with stacks of black boards, this time containing every good idea we could think of to help sell Genny Cream Ale.

It wouldn’t be easy. How do you sell a beer that’s universally thought of as an old man beer to younger guys? Guys who likely had their first taste of beer sitting in Dad’s lap, taking little sips of his Genny Cream. Guys who routinely liberated some Genny Cream from Dad’s garage without necessarily asking. Guys who realize with every passing day that Dad was right about more and more things.

Hey. Wait a minute.

Our dads. They were always so much smarter than us.

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With the recent change in ownership at High Falls Brewing Company, it brought to mind that there are classics right in our backyard…whether it’s a classic brand from the old Genesee Brewery or a man in black socks and sandals mowing the lawn.