As the year draws to a close, students everywhere rush to prepare for finals. For Information Networking and Telecommunications majors at Fort Hays State University completing their Capstone class, this means polishing Convocation presentations. The INF 490 Capstone Seminar students set out at the beginning of the semester to employ the skills they learn in the Informatics Program for a local, real-world client to produce professional content. The students have backgrounds ranging from internetworking to production.
This year is no exception, with students from every background under the INF umbrella tackling projects with heart and passion. One such team is helping Defiance Brewing Co. gain recognition through video marketing. The group, named the Brü Crü, is comprised of Goodland, KS Senior Cooper Slough; Derby, KS Senior Tim Abrams; Wichita, KS Senior Richard Kerr and Garfield, KS Senior Paul Kirkwood. Together the group has a combined 17 years of video production experience. They jumped at the chance to help promote the local craft brewing company.
“This is a great opportunity for both us and the client,” Abrams said. “We are able to grow together and improve the community.”
Defiance is a local brewery founded by Hays residents Matt Bender and Dylan Sultzer in 2013. Their brewery produces a wide range of craft beers, from session india pale ales to imperial stouts.
“Everybody always talks about East Coast or West Coast breweries,” Sultzer said. “We always kinda get put on the back burner, so we’re trying to make a name for ourselves.”
Brü Crü spent the semester working with Defiance, developing visual storytelling concepts, then executing those concepts over the span of several weeks. After filming was finished, the crew spent the remainder of the semester piecing together three unique videos: one 30 second commercial, one longer video on the story of Defiance as told by Bender and Sultzer and a “sights and sounds” video showcasing the brew process from loading the grain to canning the final product.
Meanwhile, Defiance continues to expand their business and the taste buds of Hays residents.
“It’s been nice for the city of Hays to grow up and mature – as for as palettes go – with us,” Bender said.
“The project really opened my eyes to the possibilities in video and social media marketing for local markets like Hays,” Kerr said. “Video is such a powerful tool to tell the story behind a business and to help businesses engage with audiences on a deeper level.”
The first two out of three videos were released on Defiance Brewing Co.’s Facebook Page on Tuesday, May 2. Brü Crü will make their final project presentation on May 12 at 2 p.m. in Eagle Conference Room in the Robbins Center, on FHSU’s campus.
Defiance beer can be found in local and regional liquor stores, select bars and the newly expanded Defiance Taproom at 2050 E. Highway 40 Hays, KS 67601.
For more information on Defiance, visit their website at defiancebeer.com.