LAST CALL: Wasatch tells Utah to grin and beer it

With a name like Polygamy Porter, who needs PR? A product that

audacious can practically pitch itself.

The Mormon-baiting beverage came almost as a gift to Colorado agency

Backbone Media, which won Wasatch Brewery as a client just before the

product launch. Owner Greg Schirf's trail-blazing, law-changing efforts

to start Utah's first microbrewery and brew pub were the stuff of local


In a state where 70% of the population are alcohol-eschewing Mormons,

liquor laws remain straight-jacket stiff. Schirf already had taunted the

religious establishment with tag lines like "Baptize Your Taste Buds"

and sparred legally with Olympic planners over his 2002 Unofficial Amber

Ale. Backbone was talking up Polygamy Porter to the national press when

a Salt Lake City billboard company refused to put up ads proclaiming

"Why have just one?"

"That was probably the nicest thing they ever did to us because it just

sort of led to a spiral of publicity," Schirf said. The story made its

way to the BBC and back again with many stops along the way, reported

Backbone partner Lisa Raleigh.

But, of course, the real issue is: How do you target the 30% that does

drink, without offending the 70% that doesn't? Better ask those beef

jerky vendors outside the Taj Mahal how they get by.

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