SAINT ARCHER BREWERY HAS AN OUTSTANDING IDEA… and a pretty damn good IPA.
The concept was simple, yet radical. Why not bring together the action sports community as a platform for branding a great craft beer? “It was one of those Ah-Ha moments that just ‘clicked’… and it changed my life.” shares Josh Landan, co-founder & president over at Saint Archer Brewery.
Josh sits comfortably in their new tasting room & shares some history with us, while a crew of workers dangled precariously above us on a ‘cherry picker’, installing two shiny new stainless steel fermenting tanks. Sales and Marketing representative, Paul Tralka sits across from us and interjects some ‘choice’ bits of information and knowledge to the interview as well.
The new tanks being installed are the first of four being installed today. They stand two stories high and add to the already impressive collection of tanks and towers that make up the Saint Archer micro brew. This is a sign business is good. Really good.
Budweiser, Corona & similar beers have been paying a fortune to ‘buy’ their way into the action sports industry for decades. Why not turn it around and work from the other direction?
I thought, ‘What if I could get all of my friends, who are the best skaters, snowboarders, surfers, artists, and musicians in the world, to come and own this brand and brewery with me?” Landan, an accomplished veteran of the action sports industry, has gathered Paul Rodriguez, Mikey Taylor, Josh Kerr, Taylor Knox and other large names in the action sports world as limited partners/ambassadors in the brewery.
“Are you ready for the St. Archer story? Josh asks,
Here, lemme give you some background… I started in the action sports industry actually, as a movie director & producer. I grew up in Ventura & began filming surfing when I was about 18. I got to work with some of the greats of that time like Kelly Slater, The Malloy brothers, Timmy Curren, Benji Weatherly & Brad Gerlach, to name just a few.”
He goes on to describe how his knack for storytelling and cinematography earned him a Best Documentary & nomination for Best Director and Film of the year at the X Dance Film Festival. Landan was behind some great surf documentaries titles like ‘Flow, Yield and Medication’.
“I won back to back, a couple of years at X Dance (It runs alongside the Sundance Film Festival) & that was pretty cool. “Taylor Knox and I were in Puerto Rico in 2010 filming ‘Medication’, when a tequila company approached us. The company wanted Taylor to sponsor their tequila, and we felt it was kind of a weird fit. While the tequila didn’t jive, I thought, ‘Why not craft beer?’ Beer’s healthier and it’s something that virtually everyone I know, actually drinks.
“I met Mike Taylor while we were prepping to shoot another movie a year later. I picked him up in L.A. – the shoot location was down here in San Diego. We basically just hit it off right away. By the time we drove down here to San Diego, Mike was my best friend. We spoke the same language & the brewery idea we developed together was a no brainer, so we just ran with it.”
He continues, “There’s been a lot that’s changed with Saint Archer in the last two years. What hasn’t changed is that it’s a world class brewery first and foremost.”
Second, it’s a California lifestyle brand. Saint Archer’s Art Director Libre Designs, (the folks from Rein Optics) and Saint Archer’s famous 21 limited partners with their 5 million social media followers, and that’s a lot of promotional power. ”We are trying to open up the eyes of some people who maybe aren’t your regular craft beer drinker.”
When asked about the lack of print advertising, Josh jabs a thumb over his shoulder… “That’s our whole campaign.” he’s referring to a collection of photographs, blown up & arranged on the wall behind him. Instagram portraits.
“This is our marketing strategy. Let the product and the fans of the product, speak for themselves. Social media is the future of marketing. Keep an eye out for posts on facebook & instagram. When we have something big to announce to our friends, fans & followers, that’s the avenue”
It seems to be working. While the facility enjoys the new additions happening inside, we also took notice of an eighteen wheel, big rig purring away in the parking lot, waiting patiently to receive it’s latest shipment of Saint Archer’s Blonde Ale, Pale Ale & IPA. The Stone Brewery logos adorn the trailer.
When asked, Josh tells us he has a great working relationship with Steve, (the uber successful owner of Stone Brewery.) “They actually helped us get up and running. They were an invaluable resource of knowledge re: brewing, business & distribution. Sometimes he offers advice on what to do, sometimes, what not to do… and then we do it anyway! (laughs)”
“Our Director of Brewery Operations is Yiga Miyashiro, our Lead Brewer is Kim Lutz , and our Assistant Brewer is Ivan Maldonando. Their backgrounds include stints with Pizza Port Brewery and Maui Brewing Company.” They’re starting off with the basics: a 4.8% blonde, 5.2% pale ale, and a 6.8% IPA, but have plans for a double IPA and Coffee Stout, to be released soon. continued on pg.20
These guys are ALL IN, meaning, they didn’t just throw me a handful of bills, saying, “See what you can do for me!” Never to be seen or heard from again…. just waiting around for a royalty check.
Paul Rodriguez, Mikey Taylor, Dusty Payne, Josh Kerr and Taylor Knox are some of the big name athletes who are co-owners and investors in Saint Archer; all of them friends of Landan from his days in the action sports industry. Marquee athletes and artists like these investing their own money into a venture like this is unheard of, and proves how truly involved and dedicated they are to the budding business.
These guys are ALL IN, meaning, they didn’t just throw me a handful of bills, saying, “See what you can do for me!” Never to be seen or heard from again…. just waiting around for a royalty check. “
These guys are hands on in so many ways. In fact, drop by tomorrow night & see what I mean. We have a ‘Cask’ tasting happening here. A Scotch Ale will be introduced tomorrow night. Our ambassadors will be onsite helping pour some pints & hanging out. It might be kinda cool.
(It was kinda cool. Damn cool, in fact. A packed house, with some of the biggest names in the action sports world like Taylor Knox, Mikey Taylor, Brian “Slash” Hansen & Bryan Herman were there behind the bar, pouring and having a great time with all their friends & fans of the brewery. Their brewery!)
There is a growing list of damn good Micro Breweries in San Diego. However, what makes Saint Archer unique is the fact that their owners/ambassadors have famous faces, and, in my opinion, these ambassadors will help define the Saint Archer signature lifestyle.
Moreover, and more importantly, Saint Archer is a brewery, producing some of the finest craft beers in this new ‘mecca of craft beers’, called San Diego, so they have a lot to live up to. But, with what I have seen, heard and tasted over these last few days, I am certain they will live up to the high expectations, and with the help of their talented roster of friends, will define who Saint Archer is, and stands for.
By Brian & Leslie Terhorst