They are called LANE. They are a national, independent agency specializing in public relations and marketing, and they actually helped convince New Hampshire legislators to change the definition of what they consider beer. For this impressive feat, LANE has won a 2013 PRWeek Award for Public Affairs Campaign of the Year. We here at CBB tip our hats, having worked with the best and worst agencies in markets as diverse as construction, real estate, music and brewing. We work with LANE, and they are topnotch.
The award recognizes LANE’s work with Redhook Brewery, a Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) brand, to change the legal definition of beer in New Hampshire. LANE was one of five finalists competing for the award, up against contenders representing big names like American Express and the Aerospace Industries Association.
Here’s a little background: Redhook Brewery is a CBA brewery in Portsmouth, N.H. New Hampshire’s beer definition preceded the advent of the craft movement and its nontraditional ingredients used in brewing. As a result, a number of Redhook beers produced in other parts of the country were banned from production in the state. Furthermore, Redhook was prohibited from even storing the beers in New Hampshire for distribution to other East Coast markets.
In January 2012, Redhook was approached about hosting a casual gathering for New Hampshire legislators. The LANE team, led by Ted Lane in New York and Shannon Brewer Riggs in Portland, Ore., used the event to launch an educational campaign for the captive legislative audience. The team highlighted opportunities lost due to outdated language, presenting the hurdles that restrained innovation, production and growth among all brewers in the state and the associated ramifications on employment and taxes.
Thanks to LANE and Redhook Brewery’s lobbying efforts, the definition of beer in New Hampshire has changed. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed House Bill 1241 in June 2012, allowing craft brewers to select from a much broader array of ingredients for their beers.
“We’re incredibly proud that LANE continues to be recognized for generating results that build business, and our beer team’s collaborative efforts were truly remarkable,” said Wendy Lane Stevens, president of LANE. “They developed a campaign that succeeded in not only expediting a change in New Hampshire’s definition of beer, but in opening up opportunities for Redhook and other craft brewers to grow their businesses and contribute to the state’s economic growth and prosperity.”