When Woodland Empire Ale Craft opened its brewery in Boise, Idaho this January, it wanted the billboard on its rooftop to promote its brand and highlight its location with as much creativity as they put into their beers.
And now the microbrewer’
“We've been asked by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to remove the sign because it interferes with the effectiveness of nearby traffic signs and potentially creates a highway safety issue,” said Dusty Schmidt, a partner in the brewery. “They said it was a danger to our public highway.”
The billboard, created by Boise brand marketing firm Oliver Russell, leverages the environment at the intersection of 11th and Grove streets on the connector. As westbound vehicles approach the intersection, they are presented with a row of existing highway directional signs. The Woodland Empire billboard emulates the colors and graphics of these directional signs, but with a headline that reads “Craft Beer--Right Here.”
Dave Cook, Oliver Russell creative director, questions whether it constitutes a true safety hazard given the many other signs and billboards along Front Street. “All billboards distract drivers,” he said. “Especially the good ones.”
Woodland Empire contacted the City of Boise prior to erecting the sign, and was told it had no regulations governing design requirements for an on-premise billboard atop a private business’s roof. Turns out, according to Schmidt, this is a very special case. “Because we sit within the city limits, we thought we were in the good, but our brewery also happens to be near the connector, which is actually a state highway with different rules.”
Schmidt said the brewery never intended to create a traffic issue, and that the brewery is now in discussions with ITD. “We just wanted to let the 37,000 daily commuters know where they could get a delicious, hand-crafted beer,” he said.
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ABOUT WOODLAND EMPIRE ALE CRAFT
Woodland Empire Ale Craft is Boise’s newest craft brewery offering delicious, distinctive, hand-crafted beers, created with local, sustainably sourced ingredients. Inspiration for many of the unexpected recipes and unique names of our beers is derived from art, music, writings, travel and our Boise community. Woodland Empire Ale Craft: Fresh. Imaginative. Idahoan.
ABOUT OLIVER RUSSELL
Oliver Russell, a Boise-based brand-marketing firm founded in 1991, is known for its progressive campaigns on behalf of companies and causes. It is a certified B Corporation, part of a growing movement of companies that believe in using the power of business to help solve social and environmental issues.