Every so often, an opportunity presents itself that can lead into greater opportunities and partnerships. One evening, after spending the day standing on a worksite where an abandoned Mexican restaurant was being demolished, I was enjoying a beer. It wasn’t just any beer, it was The Cat’s Meow, from Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company in Framingham.
As I looked at the beer can and reflected on the day, something struck me… Exhibit ‘A’… Avidia… both new to Framingham…
What if we decided to work together? What would that look like? From this one can of beer and perhaps some fumes from the heavy machinery, came my idea.
As we were building our new location in Framingham, I really wanted to showcase all the great things happening in Framingham. Exhibit ‘A’ is one of those great things, so I wrote an email to them, hoping they would help me out.
I asked if we could use some of their images of their beer and brewery to produce fabric graphics in our new location to help highlight various businesses in Framingham. They immediately agreed and also offered to host a Meet the Branch Team event at the Brewery.
As we finished the building in Framingham and started to expand our presence in the soon-to-be City, we noticed we crossed paths with Exhibit ‘A’ quite often. Sometimes at road races like the United Way Corporate 5k, sometimes at Downtown Framingham Inc. events or even contributing to the same charities together, like the Rise Above Foundation.
While we prepared to open our doors to Framingham, I wanted to run a big Publicity Stunt. We pulled off a few already but I wanted more, of course! I approached Exhibit ‘A’ about doing a beer collaboration. Unfortunately at that time, we couldn’t make it happen but a year later, a new opportunity presented itself…
The first ever Demo Tape Fest was announced and taking place on July 21 at Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company. They asked if Avidia would be interested in sponsoring. Of course we were! With that, came some new ideas. Why not sponsor more events together? So we also offered to help sponsor the BrewCycle Event in collaboration with Downtown Framingham, Inc. too.
Then, we decided since our one-year anniversary of opening in Framingham was approaching, why not revisit the beer collaboration idea. I reached out to them again to ask if they would be up for it. They immediately jumped on the idea. Beer collaborations often happen between other breweries or restaurants and sometimes a few retail stores but never a financial institution.
Exhibit ‘A’ didn’t just brew a beer for us or white label one of their current beers, they let us be part of the whole process which is what collaboration is all about.
We helped to decide what kind of beer it would be (we went for an IPA) if we wanted it hazy or clear, how high of an ABV we wanted and what the can label would look like. Additionally, we were able to pitch in and help brew the beer, let me tell you, this banker turned brewer for the day absolutely loved it!
While the beer was being brewed we also worked on how to do the marketing for it and what kinds of fun events we could tie in. This evolved into making a joint contribution of $2.00 for each 4 pack of this beer sold – donated to the Rise Above Foundation.
So at the end of the day, when you’re enjoying a Demo Tape #19: Liquid Tender, know that this collaboration is not only the first of its kind but is about the community, about Framingham.