After spending 10 years as the marketing director for Oskar Blues Brewery, and more recently the Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective, media relations guru Chad Melis has struck out on his own.
Melis, who was an integral part of the Oskar Blues and Canarchy organizations, acting as a national spokesman and overseeing a team 20 marketing employees, launched ‘Turn it Up Media’ in early August.
It’s a move that will allow Melis to spend more time with his family, and explore public relations and media strategy opportunities outside of beer, he told Brewbound. Melis and his wife had a daughter over the summer.
“I wanted to take this time to be with my wife, my first-born and really enjoy the next chapter of my life,” he said.
Melis’ first client is a familiar one nevertheless, as Turn it Up Media will initially work with Canarchy as its exclusive craft brewery partner. Melis will continue to provide media relations for its seven craft beer companies, including Oskar Blues, Cigar City Brewing, Deep Ellum Brewing, Three Weavers, Perrin Brewing, Squatters Craft Beers and Wasatch Brewery.
“I think a lot of opportunities with national media, you have to define a trend and cite different breweries that are in on the trend,” he said. “Having seven to work with is quite a lot already, so I am happy with the list.”
Melis, who was with Oskar Blues as it grew from 13,000 barrels to 200,000, said he’s also had conversations with other food and beverage brands, craft distilleries, cannabis companies, and outdoor businesses about providing brand strategy and media relations services as they look to scale.
“It’s been a good month,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest, and I’ve had some exciting conversations.”
On its website, Turn it Up Media said it “mixes proven brand strategy and communication services” to help tell authentic stories.
“We intimately engage the intricacies of your brand and go after your goals the way larger agencies can’t,” the website states. “We clearly define what your brand stands for and bring new ideas and expertise in marketing strategy, communications, storytelling, media relations and innovative forms of brand expression.”
With Canarchy as its anchor, Melis said he expects to add new clients to Turn it Up Media’s roster in the coming months.
Melis added that he would continue to serve as a founding board member of the Can’d Aid Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization that was formed by Oskar Blues following the 2013 Colorado floods.
Canarchy, which is backed by Boston-based private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners, also lost its CEO, David Pillsbury, in May. The company did not fill the position, instead promoting COO Matt Fraser to the role of president.