Why the Liquid is More Important than the Art

Names and images can help sell your brewery’s beer, but usually, the liquid comes first.

For Snake River Brewing, pretty much everything done is collaborative between departments.

“We have a pretty small staff — much smaller than our regional sales footprint suggests,” explained Sales & Marketing Director Luke Bauer. “It’s easy to come together for decision making.

“Most of our brainstorming happens over beers in our taproom, and the rest is just details. We make a lot of beers that never get farther from our taproom than a crowler, so from those beers, and the community’s reaction to those beers, we often end up with something in a package.”

​Dennis Stack, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lone Tree Brewing says they allow the beer to speak for itself so ​the sales team can go out and simply spread the word about Lone Tree to everyone ​they can.

​”​With so many incredible options when it comes to craft beer these days, it’s a matter of introducing our beers to consumers that may not have explored our products yet​,” he said.​

Originally ​Lone Tree named its beers ​but when it came time to update the brand, ​they decided to drop the names entirely in favor of the style of beer.

​”​This goes back to letting our beer speak for itself​,” he said.​

Some names work and some don’t. If a beer brand fails in the sales, Todd Scott said Bozeman Brewing doesn’t just switch names.

“If something doesn’t work we feel it could be the liquid as well as the packaging and we will discontinue that beer and try again,” he said.

​Working​ with Anthem Branding ​in Boulder, ​Colorado, Lone Tree​ has developed its current concept.

​”​Our branding is bright, colorful, and overall simple​,” Stack said. “We wanted to allow the beer to be the star of the customer experience, and the can is a way to illustrate that concept. Each can is branded in a unique color but with a similar layout to convey that it is distinctly Lone Tree.

​”​The branding helps communicate the product to the consumer since you can’t physically see the beer in the can.​”​

The process of ​the initial branding was lengthy but thorough​, he added​.

​”​We explored multiple different options and directions when developing a new look​,” Stack said. “Working with a company like Anthem that specializes in branding allowed us to vocalize our ideas and they brought it to life in a way we couldn’t have done.

​”​Moving forward with new products is simple now that we have the framework that was developed in the first phase of the brand refresh. Looking back at the process and how we went about it, we are very happy with the end result.​”​

​Scott said that Bozeman likes using local designers, as it has done with Classic Ink because it gives them lots of personal involvement.​

​”We choose dramatically contrasting colors from one label to the next to differentiate instantly upon sight.”

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