River North Beer


Beer distribution has been historically about sales. It has also been historically about macro brews and filling big volume orders. But that’s all different now, a time where craft beer is the only growth segment. River North tapped Torque to rename, rebrand and re-image the distributor to showcase it’s knowledgeability and depth of craft beer product. Then we rebuilt the website integrating warehouse data and product community, delivering it to the palms and pads of the sales organization.


To best position and develop the message for River North as credible and passionate craft experts, we drew on their active year-round event schedule, deep brewery supplier list and an insatiable thirst for keeping up with what’s new in restaurant cuisine and occasion pairings across Chicago. We retained the River North name, but added new meaning through images of flow (river) and their inspired direction (true north). We carried the brand design and message strategy across sales materials, website and field marketing support programs.

Then we went deep with a digital strategy, connecting the website to warehouse inventory data in real time via mobile devices for sales reps, tying beer ratings and reviews into the site, and introducing content areas for brew style, pairing and flavor comments, as well as enabling community interaction both in person at events and throughout the online beer community.

With these initial brand and digital marketing components in place, River North is building its brand culture and an agile, learn-and-engage marketing process. When it’s new facility opens later in 2013, with auditorium bar and tasting room as well as office space, the distributor will truly lead the beer sales and distribution market in Chicago.