It might have gotten lost in the bustle of Easter-Passover weekend, but April 20 marked another, perhaps less-known holiday: 420.
The day is an annual celebration of cannabis culture, and one area business decided to get in on the occasion.
Sarasota-based Oak & Stone — known for its self-serve brew wall — hosted 420-themed festivities at its restaurants in Sarasota and St. Petersburg.
Keisha Rowe, director of marketing for Oak & Stone and its parent firm, Tableseide Restaurant Group, tells Coffee Talk 420 fits into the restaurant chain's target demographic. “We’re not an Irish pub, so St. Patrick’s Day kind of comes and goes, but when it comes to something fun like 420, we like to enhance that because it goes more with our brand.”
On April 20, Oak & Stone at University Town Center introduced a CBD-infused beer called Mindful Monk. It’s a hemp-derived, small-batch beer made by Lakewood Ranch-based Naughty Monk Brewery and Sarasota CBD shop Mindful Medicinals.
“We have an ongoing relationships with all of our breweries,” Rowe says. Naughty Monk can produce beer in small batches, and Oak & Stone has worked with the brewery before on special brews, so it was a good fit for the CBD-infused beer, too.
Most of Oak & Stone’s marketing efforts, like this one, aim to get people to try new beers, Rowe says. It hosts celebrations for other less-traditional occasions as well, from American Craft Beer Week to Pizza Party Day. “We like to support our breweries,” Rowe says. “We do take on a feeling of responsibility when it comes to not only selling the beer for the breweries but raising awareness for brands.”
About 75% of the beer served at Oak & Stone is from local or regional breweries and about 25% is from larger, national brands. Events, Rowe says, help the restaurant promote specific breweries.