We’ve been doing a lot of market research on the craft brewing industry lately. We’re looking at websites, going to liquor stores and grocery stores and feeling out the market. We’re hanging out in places with taps and enjoying the process of immersing ourselves in this industry. And yes, that means tasting a hefty amount. Throughout this process, we noticed a decent amount of bad packaging design in the craft brewing market. But, there are a number who’ve gotten it right. Here are 6 breweries that we think have a solid handle on their branding (choosing 5 was too difficult). If nothing else, these guys at least know how to select a good designer to manage their product visuals – something that deserves a pat on the back in our book.
Founded in 1997 in Denver, Colorado, Great Divide Brewing took the title of 7th best brewery in the world in 2008. Good beer aside, we’re placing their packaging amongst the top. Great Divide has continued to draw us in with their minimalistic, color-blocking design. Plus they even named their rice ale, Samurai, after us. Or at least that’s what we like to think when we’re drinking it.
Ommegang Brewing has been located in Cooperstown, NY since 1997. Most commonly known (in town) for their 9.7% Three Philosophers, they also brew a variety of belgian-style ales, including BPA, Hennepin, wheat & amber ales along with signature and seasonal brews (such as their limited, Game of Thrones series).
Design by Duffy & Partners.
LEFT HAND BREWING CO.
Located in Longmont, CO and founded in 1989, Left Hand Brewing recently took home 3 gold medals from the Great American Beer Festival. Their packaging has a ranges from clean and simple, with their Nitro series to funky and festive with the 400 Pound Monkey – giving them a wide range of audiences.
In 1991, owner Kim Jordan, opened New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado. We first knew them for the classic, Fat Tire, who recently underwent a packaging redesign with its fellow regulars. New Belgium also produces specialty lines such as their (Lips of Faith series), and varies seasonal beers – each with brag-worthy looks of their own.
Design by Hatch Design.
Placentia, CA (essentially, Orange County) is home to The Bruery, a brewing company that began in 2008. The Bruery is most widely recognized by their hand-type style logo and tall, almost champagne- shaped-bottling. Plus, packaging aside, any brewer who carries a Saison Rue, is an A in our book.
Maybe we’re suckers for good beer and nautical themes, but Anchor Brewing, located in San Francisco, knows a thing or two about packaging design. Operating since 1896, Anchor’s branding is as consistent as the product they’re selling. Their bottle shape and labeling makes Anchor easy to spot no matter what the style of beer and we haven’t spied a poor one yet.