High-Proof Creative, based in Portland, Ore., is a full-service marketing agency for the craft beverage industry, with a special focus on distilleries. Founder Karen Locke has a background in journalism and marketing, as well as bartending and restaurant service. She began writing about food and beverages in 2009 and moved to Portland in 2011.

“I was working for marketing agencies in Portland while writing about spirits producers on the side,” says Locke. “I eventually wrote the first-ever guidebook to distillery tasting rooms in Oregon [titled High Proof PDX]. After spending so many years writing about the spirits industry, I realized I wanted to work full time with distilleries, so I established High-Proof Creative.”

The agency has a team of designers, developers, writers, and social media experts offering full-service creative and marketing for brands from inception to product launches, websites, print design, logos, labels, and more. “What sets us apart is our knowledge of the spirits and distilling industry, and our ability to offer services beyond branding and design,” says Locke, explaining how the company is impacting the craft spirits industry through tech-driven solutions.

Its first offering is called Small-Batch Maps, a web-based, customizable mapping feature for displaying products to customers. It shows them where to find a product with detailed address and venue information. It also tracks searches so distillers can clearly see what people are looking for and where.

“We’re going to add other features to help the industry grow,” says Locke, “including online recipes and features to connect craft distillers with bartenders.

“Many of our clients have mentioned how pleased they were with our flexibility and our full-service offerings. This is something we’ve been able to achieve in a short time, and I’m immensely proud our team’s willingness to go above and beyond for clients. Thank you to those who voted,” she adds.