NEW YORK To celebrate the newest addition to its hard cider collection, Strongbow recently hosted a branded farmers market at Brooklyn Grange, the largest rooftop farm in New York. For the new farm-inspired Artisanal Blend, which is made with the U.K.-based brand’s own heirloom apples, Strongbow brand director Eric Markus explained that it was a natural fit to host a farmers market-style launch event.
“Rather than hosting a traditional cocktail hour, we knew we wanted to provide a more organic tasting experience that would reflect our use of fresh ingredients and time-honored techniques,” said Markus. “We also wanted to support local purveyors that aligned with our messaging. Creating our own market for a night seemed like the best way to combine sampling, supporting, and sipping.”
To help turn the space into a farmers market for the October 19 event, the brand partnered with local vendors including Doughnut Plant, People’s Pops, Anarchy in a Jar, and Bee Raw, which offered guests tastings and free samples of products to take home. Certain vendors used the new cider flavor as an ingredient, and the event also had a bar that served four different cocktails made the cider.
“Strongbow is also focusing on mixology and the unique cocktails that can be created with our cider products. We wanted to highlight vendors offering ingredients like honey and edible garnishes that can also be incorporated into cocktails,” said Markus. “Most importantly, Strongbow is committed to supporting the communities it is distributed in, and wanted to use the event as an opportunity to highlight other brands that are also producing unique, natural products.”
This isn’t the first time that Strongbow has forayed into live events. In May, the brand partnered with Swale—a public floating food barge dedicated to challenging New York’s connection to the environment—to host a launch event for its Orange Blossom flavor. And as new flavors and products are launched in the future, Markus said the brand plans to host more “first-sip” events.
“Strongbow’s goal is to provide unique, nature-inspired experiences that allow guests to think about the cider product in a new way,” he said. “Strongbow wants to go outside the box and deliver unexpected moments for consumers to try the product and interact with brand executives in a casual setting.”