A genuine swill party beer, priced to compete with Pabst Blue Ribbon; a brew with Vitamin D added; a sophisticated black-label luxury beer for the oligarchs, and even a malting company and a tailgating-friendly mobile bar were among the great ideas and business pitches of BA 390 marketing students and GD 325 graphic design students presented to a panel of judges Thursday. Fellow students gave cheers of support while judges received beers – cans and bottles anyway. The beer props were part of the detailed packaging and label design mockups that came from the design students as the marketers presented business plans to launch the new beverage lines.

The event, Winter 2018 Shark Tank “Golden Pint Presentation,” brought in judges from around campus, including Dan Edge, Associate Dean – College of Agriculture and Lee Ann Garrison, Director, School of Art & Communication as well as professor of crop science, Dr. Patrick Hayes, one of the world’s leading researchers of barley strains.

Dr. Hayes, whose recent experiments breeding flavor-rich barley strain has led to varietals anticipated to impact the taste of beer, partnered up with BA 390 course instructor Chuck Toombs to see how far the students could run with the ideas to bring barley-centric beer to market.

Until this research breakthrough from OSU Ag Sciences, barley was simply considered the work horse of beer production, the plain grain that contributed the ABV while hops and yeast waltzed together to form the flavor profiles that beer connoisseurs thirst for.

Team Fairy Ales perfectly captures that Cinderella story of Hayes’ barley research in their presentation, comparing barley to poor Cinderella forced to do all the cooking and cleaning while her step-sisters enjoyed all the parties and praise. The team earned top honors for the best brand & product story.

Another category standout for best product and packaging design was Team Gladius, who produced a slick monochromatic label featuring knight’s armor and swords for their premium barley wine, and a resealable bottle for the heavier, high alcohol beverage. Their pièce de résistance was a tap handle resembling a sword handle for the Gladius brand.

Special guests at the pitch competition included OSU Vice President of Research Cynthia Sagers, and students from the business class at Silverton High School on a college visit with their teacher, Riane Towery.

Each year, Toombs chooses a research project from around campus that he foresees to be on a fast track to market and has his marketing students explore the project launch. Past projects include marketing work for the patented bacon-flavored seaweed from researcher Chris Langdon and colleagues at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

This year was the first that marketing teams partnered with design students to produce the sophisticated array of label designs, sample products and packaging concepts.

Congratulations to the students of the BA 390 and GD 325 for their incredible work. Judges named winners in five categories listed below, and many thanks to our judges for their time!

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Best Product & Packaging Design: Gladius

Best Multi-Product Monetization Strategy: HIBARR

Best Brand & Product Story: Fairy Ales

Best Regional Focus & Use of Technology: Pacific Malt

Most Creative & Future Focused: Evolve

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