A blog by Campbell Consulting Group, based in Bend, Oregon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One Day Only at Deschutes Brewery’s Bend and Portland Pubs!

Limited edition beer “Giraffe on Ice Skates” to celebrate the OnPoint Bend WinterFest on January 29, 2011

No, “Giraffe on Ice Skates” isn’t the title to a Dr. Suess book; it’s a bit of hopped-up shenanigans from Deschutes Brewery. Saturday, January 29 at the Deschutes pubs in both Bend and Portland is Bend WinterFest day. Purchase a pint of Giraffe on Ice Skates (a special beer brewed up just to celebrate WinterFest, the annual celebration of winter held in Bend’s Old Mill District) in the Portland pub and receive a free OnPoint Bend WinterFest button. Plus, Deschutes will donate $1 from each sale of Giraffe from both pubs to local charity Saving Grace.

In Portland, patrons drinking Giraffe will also be entered to win a Bend WinterFest package, including accommodation at the Riverhouse Hotel, 2 lift tickets to Mt. Bachelor, a VIP brewery tour, Deschutes swag and two Bend WinterFest wine walk glasses. In the Bend pub, patrons will be able to win some cool Deschutes swag.

Giraffe on Ice Skates is named for some experimental hops that were marooned in the Deschutes Brewery cooler this Belgian-style beer is brewed with hibiscus. IBU’s 16  ABV 13.7%

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

21st Amendment Brewery’s ‘Bitter American’ A tribute to unsung, unwitting heroes everywhere

After a long day at work, the average American might feel a little bitter at the curveballs life threw his way—but cracking open a Bitter American will immediately improve the mood. And seeing the astronaut chimp on the can will put average troubles into perspective—let’s face it, if you’d been rocketed into space against your will, you might be a little bitter, too. Bitter American is 21st Amendment Brewery’s newest seasonal, an extra pale ale, available now through March. This is the third in 21st Amendment’s series of canned craft seasonals, which also includes Hell or High Watermelon Wheat and Fireside Chat.

Bitter American was first created at 21st Amendment’s pub in 2006 as a response to the trend of “extreme beers” – complex beers high in alcohol and often including unusual ingredients. 21st Amendment wanted to offer the opposite: a “session beer,” or lower alcohol beer that would encourage patrons to enjoy a drinking session with friends (a staple in British pub culture). This beer packs a lot of hop and malt flavor into a refreshingly low alcohol (4.4% by volume) brew—making it the perfect session beer to enjoy with friends.

“What I love about Bitter American,” said Nico Freccia, co-founder, “is that it is the antidote to the strong, dark, intense beers of winter. Winter beers, like barleywines, are incredible styles, but after a while the palate needs a rest. Bitter American provides that.”

“The secret to Bitter American is achieving a balance between malt flavor and hops while using a smaller grain bill,” says co-founder and Brewmaster Shaun O’Sullivan. “If you just add more hops into a session beer grain bill, you get an unbalanced mess of overwhelming bitterness. Our secret is the use of a special, imported English heirloom malt called Golden Promise. This malt has a rich, full body and distinctive flavor that gives the beer a complex, caramelly and toasty flavor. Against this backdrop, we are able to hop generously to achieve a hop flavor and aroma that belies the strength of the brew.”

As Freccia likes to say, “Go ahead. Give one, or three, a try.”

Bitter American is available in cans and on draft starting this week at quality bars and stores in all 15 of 21st Amendment’s current distribution territories, including CA, OR, WA, AK, ID, MN, OH, MA, NY, NJ, DC, MD, PA, VA, and GA. For up-to-date availability, events and promotions, visit www.21st-Amendment.com.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Campbell Consulting Joins the World of Wikipedia

I can’t keep track of the number of times I get on Wikipedia each day—five times? Ten? It’s so easy to type “bedbug” or “Go! Team” and get instant info. So of course as a public relations agency—whose whole objective is to get our clients’ messages out there to the masses—Campbell Consulting is working on creating Wikipedia pages.

With a background as a freelance journalist, the project found its way to my desk. I started with the Old Mill District. Understanding how to write the news, rather than market-speak, really helps when working on a Wikipedia page. Objectivity is crucial and so is showing your supporting documentation—in fact, if you don’t, your page will come down faster than you can tweet about it going up. (More info about public relations and Wikipedia can be found in a great interview by PRWeek last spring.)

Working your way through the labyrinth of “help” and “how-to” pages is almost as bad as filing taxes. Wikipedia states that anyone can edit pages—and in its simplest form, yes, that’s true. But creating a page—complete with photos—is more difficult than it sounds. I asked a few techie friends for their advice and they laughed at me and said they still hadn’t gotten around to figuring it out, themselves.

Not encouraging, but I kept at it—finding documentation and getting feedback from the marketing director for the Old Mill District. She was a great help with this project—sending me photos and answering my questions quickly. Finally—ta da!—the Old Mill District page is finished!

But what’s this? “This article may require clean up to meet Wikipedia quality standards?” Yes, my article was tagged. Though anyone can edit Wikipedia, a set of what I call “online librarians” live for the joys of editing and flagging Wikipedia pages. They can be annoying—but in the long run, they help keep Wikipedia as factual as possible.

So, in your opinion, how can I improve the Old Mill District article? In the spirit of Wikipedia, let’s make this a group effort!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Spreading the Word about Bend WinterFest – the Northwest’s Largest Winter Festival

Anyone who lives in Bend knows about OnPoint Bend WinterFest – with tons of snow being hauled from Mount Bachelor to construct the largest off-mountain rail jam west of the Mississippi, who could miss it?

But Lay It Out Events, the mastermind behind Bend WinterFest for the past six years, wanted to turn up the volume and grow the event to more of a regional attraction, so this year they have partnered with us—Campbell Consulting—to make sure that happens.

Our public relations goal has been pretty simple: shout from the top of Mount Bachelor that Bend WinterFest rocks. In other words, we’ve been fiends on the computer and telephone, first reaching out to regional travel magazines, such as Northwest Travel, Sky West and Alaska Air/Horizon Air, Portland Monthly; winter sports publications—check out Bend WinterFest articles in Freeskier and About.com: Skiing. The readers of Boise Weekly up in Idaho really lucked out—thanks to a contest Campbell Consulting created that gives readers a chance to win a massive Bend WinterFest prize package by creating snow-themed videos. Soon, we will be reaching out to our local media connections and a ton of parent and snow sports bloggers.

We want to make sure everyone who might want to come to Bend WinterFest knows all about it. After all, who wants to be the loser who hears about how amazing Bend WinterFest was—from their best friend, in mid-March, waaay after they’ve taken down the rail jump and the crowds have gone home.

Presented by Mt. Bachelor, Bend WinterFest runs February 18 to 20 and has become the President’s Day destination event for tourists from San Francisco to Seattle.

For everyone who hasn’t heard the buzz about Bend WinterFest – it’s time to check it out and book your trip. Seriously, Bend WinterFest is the largest winter festival in the Northwest, and includes: 
  • Performances by California musicians the Aggrolites and Lyrics Born 
  • Nordic SprinterFest races – all skiers welcome to enter!
  • WinterFringe – bringing street performers to downtown Bend.
  • The Newport Avenue Market European-style market, selling the Northwest’s best food, wine and fine art.
  • Kids’ performance and craft area. 
  • OMSI activities, including 3-D dinosaur puzzle and nanotechnology table.
  • Snow and ice carving competition (Think of the childhood memories of a winter wonderland of ice sculptures. You’ll be voted best parents of the year.)
  • Performances by motocross team Metal Mulisha 
  • And of course, the snowboard and ski jumping competitions held on the U.S. Cellular Rail Jam.

The event is surprisingly affordable: Bend WinterFest buttons (which act as passes into the event and are good for the entire weekend) are $6 in advance, $7 at the gate. A family 4-pack is $20 in advance, $24 at the gate. Children 5 and under are free.

Plus, A portion of Bend WinterFest’s proceeds is donated to local charity Saving Grace. Last year, the event donated $9000 to Saving Grace. In the past six years Bend WinterFest has awarded over $39,000 to local and regional charities.

Bend WinterFest has partnered with RiverHouse Hotel to offer a special weekend deal for the event: when people book a Three Day Ski Vacation package with the Riverhouse Hotel, they’ll receive the third night and third day of skiing for free at Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort. Plus, kids stay and ski for free.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Perfect Picks for Portland

With the biggest football game in Oregon State history happening Monday night, I imagine it's difficult for many to think about anything else! But as always there are many exciting events happening this weekend in Portland.

The RiverCity Music Festival with square dancing to workshops to some of the best Bluegrass this country has to offer has once again returned to Portland January 7, 8 & 9th. The Red Lion on the River in Jantzen Beach hosts this year; nightly tickets and weekend passes still available!

On Saturday Portland and the Oregon Symphony will be hosting a pioneer in female comedians; Joan Rivers will be performing following a opening performance by the symphony. Joan has pushed the boundaries and paved the way for funny women for decades - the show will not be for the faint of heart. See her and the symphony at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting at 7:30pm. Ticket info here.

And for those unable to think of anything but football make your plans now to watch the big game. The Bossanova Ballroom is hosting a free viewing party with snacks, beer and drink specials as well as a 15 ft viewing screen. East Burn is also inviting you to join their football celebration with their beer and drink specials. And of course the Ducks don't disappoint and have had special uniforms made fo the Championship game - be sure to keep an eye out for them.