This week in Beer is a Conversation we caught up with co-founder and Brand Director of Balter Brewing, Stirling Howland. In this chat we discuss the branding and marketing of Balter’s iconic packaging, and learn more about the brewery’s foundations that helped it to quickly grow into a successful icon.
Stirling Howland started working with the Billabong surf brand when he was 14 years old. It was through Billabong that Stirling met and befriended local surfing legends and the other founders of Balter Brewing, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr.
Stirling worked with Billabong for nearly two decades, progressing up through the ranks of retail and management before being asked to step into branding, marketing and online development roles. After being a massive influence in the business development and online presence of the international surf brand, Howland was naturally Fanning’s go to guy for the job when he wanted to start a brewery.
Stirling is completely self taught in the areas of marketing and creative direction, having learned his skills through hands-on experience and the great people that surround him in daily life. Having begun his career before the dawn of the internet era, Stirling has seen the peaks and troughs of online marketing and engagement and has a wealth of knowledge behind his expertise.
In this chat, Stirling discusses with the Brews News team his own professional history and the history of Balter, going into greater detail on the concept and marketing of the brewery, the meaning behind its iconic packaging, and ultimately what they keys are to its success.