Fireman's Brew: Building a brand on the back of a compeling narrative

So the story goes, Fireman's Brew was born on the side of a Los Angeles freeway by two thirsty fireman craving a cold one after fighting a hillside blaze. They imagined brewing their own beer--just as they liked it, and donating a portion of the sales to a fallen firefighter's fund.

They turned that narrative into a huge success.

Let's face it, who doesn't love firemen, beer and a success story?

Thirsty firemen + a dream + beer + giving back to the community = a compelling brand narrative. 

"The fact that I can go into a bar or talk to a grocer and say, ‘I'm a real, active firefighter and this is my company and I'm doing this because I want to help other firefighters and because I love beer,' " Nowaczyk said, "that gets our foot in the doorway."

Los Angeles County firefighters Rob Nowaczyk and Ed Walker, have built a home brewing into a commercial success with Fireman's Brew. They donate 5% of the company's net income to the nonprofit National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. And they sell their beer at upscale supermarkets and through restaurants to consumers who want a little taste of the dream. The company's tagline: "Extinguish your thirst, ignite the party.' "

Sales now top $500,000, selling to more than 200 restaurants, bars and retailers. They've also expanded their "brew" to include coffee and soda. 'cause a firefighter needs a good "on-duty" drink, as well as one for when the workday is the story goes.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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