Yakima Valley craft beer industry earns honors in annual marketing contest | Business

Crushed beer cans are usually something to recycle, not celebrate. But when the crushed can is part of a trophy for a national and international craft beer marketing contest, that’s different.

Three Yakima-area companies and another from Ellensburg were honored on May 4 as the 2022 Craft Beer Marketing Awards, or “Crushie,” winners were announced at the Craft Brewers Conference in Minneapolis, Minn.

Yakima Chief Hops won a Gold Crushie Award (the trophy is a tattooed arm with a crushed beer can in its hand) for Best Beer Related Podcast, for its “Bigger than Beer” podcast.

The three other local winners at the Craft Brewers Conference were honored in conjunction with Blindtiger Design, a Seattle-based company that designs beer packaging, posters and signage.

SunSmash Hard Seltzer, a product of Tree Top Inc. of Selah, received a Gold Crushie Award for Best Can or Bottle Design — Hard Seltzer.

Bale Breaker Brewing of Yakima received a Gold Crushie Award for Best Can Design — 16-20 ounces for its Mount Saint Humulus IIIPA.

Iron Horse Brewery of Ellensburg received a Global Crushie Award for Beer Marketing Wild Cards — Most Creative Signage, Point of Sale Brewing Accessories for its Jake the Steak character and promotion.

For the first time since its founding in 2019, the 2022 Crushies ceremony was able to present a live, in-person marketing panel discussion and announce some of the awards in person at the Craft Brewers Conference. Pandemic restrictions canceled most in-person events the past two years.

“After having to do virtual awards ceremonies for 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, it was really exciting for the CBMAS to take the stage to present the awards in the most popular categories,” said Jackie DiBella-Curry, co-founder of the Craft Beer Marketing Awards. “It was a wonderful experience to meet so many of our winners in person at the ceremony.”

For its third year, the CBMAs accepted entries from around the globe from five regions. A total of 250 awards were presented to winning brewers, designers, and marketing agencies from throughout the world. This year there are 89 Platinum Crushie winners, 135 Gold Crushie winners and 26 Global Crushie winners.

Washington state-based beer and marketing companies won 14 awards, but a wide range of entries were received from every region of the world. All winning entries can be viewed online on the CBMAs 2022 Winners Gallery.

“We were so impressed by the sheer creativity, innovation, and caliber of marketing displayed in entries from around the world in every category,” said CBMAs co-founder Jim McCune.

The CBMAs is the first awards program of its kind. It is a worldwide competition that focuses specifically on excellence in the artistic and creative marketing and packaging efforts of breweries, designers and agencies of craft beer that play an increasingly critical role in differentiating brands in the retail marketplace.

Early-bird entries for the 2023 CBMAS awards season and judge recruitment will start being accepted in September. For additional information, visit craftbeermarketingawards.com.