Brewing the Perfect Beer Ad

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It’s five o’clock somewhere — a phrase made popular by the Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet song of the same name — means that there’s never a wrong time for an adult beverage. For many people, an ice-cold beer is the adult beverage of choice. Does that mean that there is also never a wrong time for a beer ad?

McFleshman’s Brewing Co. and three other local breweries used BillboardsIn to buy a billboard in Appleton, Wisconsin. Their design (pictured above) features all of their logos surrounding a perfectly poured beer in a nonic pint glass. The idea was to let people know that four excellent craft breweries await them off of a single highway exit.

I recently had a chance to speak with Layla D. Cowper, taproom manager and part owner for McFleshman’s Brewing Co. We discussed the billboard, the brewery and taphouse, as well as her love affair with seasonal beers. Pour yourself a tall one and read the interview below.


Tell us a bit about the brewery and taphouse.

McFleshman’s Brewing Co. is a brewery/taproom specializing in traditional British ales and German lagers. We’re located at the west end of Downtown Appleton, WI at 115 S State St. Our brewhouse is a 10 hectolitre (8.5 bbl) traditional German-style system that was made in the Czech Republic. This system allows us to use innovative and traditional brewing practices to create and recreate some of the best styles in the world. We have a traditional British pub atmosphere in the taproom where we feature informal, live music with our Over A Pint series on Fridays as well as many other weekly and special events. We have four traditional beer engines to serve our cask conditioned ales and each beer style comes in the traditional glassware for that style. When the weather allows we have an outdoor Biergarten where patrons can enjoy a pint in the shade of hop vines with views of local outdoor art. We’re pet and kid friendly and carry-in and delivery food is always welcome. 

What sets you apart from your competitors?

Not only do we focus on traditional beer styles, methods, and presentations but we strive to innovate on these traditions through both art and science. We are currently working towards completing construction on the second story of our building which will house an event hall/classroom where we will offer brewing and beer related classes from basic homebrewing to advanced level training for industry colleagues. We will also have a quality control/quality analysis laboratory on the second level where we will be able to analyze our own product as well as offer these services to other breweries that may not be able to perform these tests in their own facilities.

Why a billboard? Where was it placed?

We very much embrace the slower paced, less digital aspects of advertising. We don’t have TVs in the taproom at all so a television advertisement didn’t make sense for us. Craft beer and brewing is all about collaboration and there are several awesome breweries in the Fox Valley now. We decided it would benefit all of us to advertise together to remind folks that off of one exit you swing by four different excellent craft breweries. It was placed so folks coming into the valley from the South could find out about all these great beers in one area!

Had you used out-of-home to advertise before?


Talk a little about the design.

The design focuses on highlighting all the great craft breweries near Appleton, WI. The goal was to grab people’s attention and visually direct them to where they can find tasty pints!

That giant beer looks delicious. If I wanted the beer in the picture, what would I order?

The glass featured on the billboard is called a Nonic Pint, this is a traditional British pub glass.  We serve our Public House Pint, affectionately referred to as the Pint — a dry Irish stout in this glass in our taproom.

Would you consider buying more billboards in the future?

Sure thing!

What’s your personal favorite beer that you brew?

I like to drink with the seasons! We have a lovely chocolatey English Porter on cask right now called the White Horse Porter that is just everything wonderful about the fall/early winter. We always have German lager called Pirate’s Cove that is crisp and refreshing in the warmer weather.

Anything you want to leave your readers with?

We love and respect the beer, its history, and those who make it. We want to share this love with you so pop by and enjoy a pint or two with us!