Wine and cheese pair well, of course, but Castello cheeses found a way to express the creative nature of its recipes by pairing its crafted cheeses with crafted beer in a sampling experience that invited consumers of food and jazz festivals this summer to “Hoptimize Their Love of Cheese.” The Castello Biergarten sampling activation, held in partnership with Dogfish Head beer, targeted food festivals in New York this summer—at the Famous Food Festival in Long Island July 14 and 15, and at the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island June 16 and 17. The brand will sample at Candler Park Fall Fest Sept. 29 and 30, and at Taste of Atlanta Oct. 20 and 21, with various grassroots sampling efforts taking place in between.
At the heart of the vintage footprint featuring woods and chalkboard signage is an education on specialty cheeses with a tasting bar manned by James Beard Award-winning cheese monger Tess McNamara (in New York) and celebrity cheese monger Tim Gaddis (in Atlanta). Consumers enjoy guided tastings that pair Castello Extra Mature Cheddar with Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Castello Aged Havarti with Dogfish Head Namaste White, and Castello Danish Blue with Dogfish Head Flesh and Blood IPA. Signage and tasting cards help consumers record which pairings they like and direct them to a link to a coupon app that offers rebates on the products.
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For those waiting in line to sample, a grilling station serves up sliders topped with Castello Danish Blue on buns branded with the logo, while brand ambassadors explain the beer that best pairs with burgers, pass out mini Castello cheese samples and introduce them to the Castello Cheese Board Builder app, where consumers can also purchase product.
Rounding out the experience is the “Sweet Dreams Are Made of Cheese” selfie wall for social sharing, and an iPad survey with ambassadors on both the cheese and beer in exchange for a branded canvas tote bag and other premiums. To boot, foodie influencers are driving buzz about Castello cheeses and Dogfish Head, attending the sampling events and experiencing private tastings at the footprint that they can promote post-event.
Castello is targeting markets where it currently has distribution strongholds and availability in retail stores, and targeting events where it can reach its “experience-seeker” target.
“We think it’s important to provide an experience for consumers where we’re not just getting them to taste the product, but getting them to experience the product in unique and different ways, and I think tasting the cheese with a beer makes a lot of sense,” says Amy Woodbridge, senior brand manager for Castello at Denmark-based Arla Foods. “It’s very modern, compared to the traditional pairing of wine and cheese, which has been done a lot, but the beer adds a new dimension and works well as it cuts through the fattiness and richness of the cheeses. And it’s easy to drink on a hot summer’s day and is in line with what people are drinking at events.” Agency: Inspira Marketing Group, Norwalk, CT.