This episode of Brandstorm features Michael Stodola, brand manager at Milwaukee’s largest craft brewery, Lakefront Brewery. Michael talks about the brand’s history, how Lakefront distinguishes itself from other craft breweries and its grassroots marketing efforts.

Michael Stodola
Michael has a wealth of experience in brand strategy and development, having served as a motivational brand speaker adept at explaining the benefits, value and relevant moving parts of a successful brands. He was previously director of brand strategy at Boelter + Lincoln Marketing Communications in Milwaukee, where he was also the creative director for many years.

Lakefront Brewery
Originating in 1987 by its owners Russ and Jim Klisch, Lakefront Brewery is an industrious and inventive microbrewery located along the Milwaukee River. Its rich history includes partnerships with local taverns, preservation of local historical pieces, unique tours, family-style dining and great beer. Lakefront Brewery created the first gluten-free beer, New Grist, and the first certified organic beers, Organika and Fuel, in the nation.

Carving a Niche in a Crowded Space
The craft brew industry is a crowded space with more than 5300 craft breweries in the U.S. alone. Lakefront Brewery went through a branding process six years ago, rediscovering its positioning as a regular guy brand that is honest, true and hardworking and creating a persona of its core user to measure its design and marketing efforts against. The brewery makes 30 different beers each year and is present in 39 states and in several international companies.

Defending the Homefront Through Grassroots Marketing Efforts
Lakefront Brewery aggressively markets its beer locally through attention-grabbing internal and external special events, beer tastings and taps, sponsorships. It also leverages its brand with unique and hilarious beer tours, a gift shop, beer hall and original recipes that create an authentic Milwaukee experience.

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