Lost Craft is a finalist in the Start Up category for our 2016 CAMP Marketing Awards. Winners will be announced at CAMP’s Awards Gala on November 2nd
. To learn more about the event, please visit: https://www.eply.com/CAMP2016Conference-AwardsGala
Globally Inspired, Locally Crafted
Amidst today’s craft beer renaissance, a finely tuned, artisanal brew is just as likely to be found on tap in your neighbourhood pub as is the more ubiquitous beer brewed by the industry’s larger counterparts. With so much selection, it can be hard to make the right choice when trying to pick off of a bar’s ever-expanding beer list.
Toronto’s Lost Craft, founded in 2015 by Shehan De Silva and Canadian brewmaster Jamie Mistry, had managed to rise above the clutter with a globally inspired, yet locally crafted beer and now finds itself in the conversation among Ontario’s best.
After leaving a career in finance, De Silva travelled throughout Europe, consulting with some of the continent’s best breweries to source rare and speciality beer styles. His pilgrimage resulted in Lost Craft’s flagship beer, Revivale, a premium all natural lagered ale, which is small batch brewed in Toronto.
In addition to creating world-class session style craft beer, De Silva and Mistry pride themselves on celebrating Toronto’s diversity and are committed to being active in the communities where they operate, both of which are reflected in Lost Craft’s marketing strategy.
Draughting a Marketing Strategy
In such a highly competitive industry, De Silva knew that aggressive marketing campaigns were necessary to get Lost Craft in the hands of thirsty Ontarians. With a limited budget, he successfully promoted his fresh brew through a combination of branding, experiential marketing and social media campaigns.
The first step was the design of the Revivale can, an intentionally minimalistic look which was intended to stand out when compared to the majority of competing craft beers. “Our branding matches our brewing philosophy,” said De Silva, “beauty in simplicity.”
A major hurdle Lost Craft had to surpass is craft beer’s reputation as being too bitter and/or too strong. While certainly higher in flavour than its corporate cousins, craft beer tends to turn the average beer consumer off due to its emphasis on hops, which adds bitterness to beer. In turn, Lost Craft launched tasting events at bars and restaurants around Toronto in order to drive the message that craft beer can be approachable for everyone.
Lastly, De Silva and his marketing team leveraged social media to generate awareness for Lost Craft with a focus on strong product visuals that emphasized their “think global” mantra, locations where the beer is served and unique video content.
You Say You Want a Revolution
While the craft beer revolution is most certainly happening, Lost Craft itself has sky rocketed since first being tapped, now gracing the shelves at almost 200 LCBOs and is featured at all Sobeys locations in Ontario. De Silva explained the difficulty in attaining an LCBO listing but suggests “it is a testament to the quality of our beer and the strength and effectiveness of our marketing strategy” that has allowed them to come so far in such a short period of time.
On the social front, Lost Craft currently has over 10,200 Instagram followers and 2,100 Twitter followers with strong engagement. This is in addition to strong merchandise sales and a vested interest in charity and not-for-profit organizations.
“We’re proud of out community involvement,” noted De Silva. “We employed a ‘never say no’ philosophy when asked by not-for-profits or charities to support their fundraising initiatives.” To date, Lost Craft has directly supported or participated in events benefiting Sick Kids, 416 Community Support for Women and 2nd
Harvest among others.
De Silva sees a promising future for Lost Craft including a potential foray into cider, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages as well as an expansion of their apparel line.
Related Links: https://lostcraft.ca/
Liam is a marketing and communications professional currently living in Toronto.
A global career has taken him from Edmonton to Copenhagen and Hong Kong where he has specialized in online marketing, social media and copywriting. He is available for freelance writing and marketing projects and can be reached at email@example.com
or at linkedin.com/in/liamodonovan.