SweetWater Made a Beer That Salutes, and Helps, Outdoor Guides

New lager supports a good cause

Let's say you trek into the woods and explore the great outdoors. Who can you trust to show you the best spots for natural beauty as they recount the region's history and lore? Most important, who's gonna save your sorry ass when you wander off the trail? 

Not bears, that's for sure. 

The answer, of course, is guides. SweetWater, a beer brand built around the outdoor lifestyle, celebrates these oft-overlooked but indispensable folks with a new lager called Guide Beer, backed by ads from 22squared. 

The minute-long anthem spot below shows misty rivers, lush forests and frost-capped peaks, with a voiceover that begins, "I guide for a living. And there's nothing I recommend more fully than getting lost. I can tell you what path to take. What line to take. But anyone can read a map. When you're full-on lost, that's living, isn't it?"

Guide Beer - The Way

Hey, you hire guides so you WON'T get lost, right? Here, they're speaking metaphorically (one hopes!), referring to the sense of freedom and rebirth that comes from going somewhere new and soaking up a rewarding experience.

Billed as a light lager with 4 percent alcohol, Guide Beer targets "outdoor enthusiasts, drinkers of craft beer and fans of SweetWater," says John Stapleton, innovation director at 22squared. "Designed to be tossed in coolers, backpacks and dry bags, it's there to help celebrate the moments when you accomplish something in the outdoors—even if it's as simple as just being able to get outside and enjoy time with friends." 

Guides offered input during the brew's development and accompanied agency teams as they shot the campaign. Also, 11 percent of the beer's profits will be set aside to help guides in need.

"Over the course of six months, on spare weekends, we made multiple trips to Cape Hatteras, the Gauley River, Telluride, the Florida Keys and the Chattahoochee River," Stapleton says. "We fly fished, we skied, we rafted, we camped, we shared stories, we listened, we learned, and we made friendships that will last a lifetime. We lived it, and we filmed it. Everything in this campaign is 100 percent authentic." 

These 15-second edits employ a brisk pace to show off some sumptuous scenery: 

"We all had to be able to both capture content and help be a part of these stories as they unfolded in front of us," Stapleton says. "We had to make plans and then be prepared and OK with changing them on the fly constantly. Things rarely go as intended when you're out in the elements."

During a soggy stretch, the crew rafted 30 miles through torrential downpours. Another time, sharks snapped at camera operators' heels as they waded across sandbars. 

"The mentality was: Just keep working to get the shots. It was long days," Stapleton says. 

As for bears, well, they prefer wineskis.

CREDITS

Client: SweetWater Brewing Company
Campaign Title: Guide Beer
Agency: 22squared, Atlanta

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.