Bent Paddle to Feature Iconic Lake Superior Beaches on Refreshed Beer Packaging

Craft beer lovers across Minnesota, Wisconsin, both South and North Dakota have grown to expect high quality beers from the Duluth-based Bent Paddle Brewing Co. The brewery, which poured its first beer in the spring of 2013, has since become a staple of Minnesota beer culture.

Since it has been almost 10 years the brewery decided it was time to design a fresh look for their five main year-round beer brands: Venture Pils, Bent Hop IPA, 14° Degree Amber, Black Ale and Cold Press Black.  With this refresh Co-Founder Karen Tonnis declares, “We are excited to put out the same great beer, but with an adventurous new look!”

Bent Paddle Co-Founder Colin Mullen says of the brand refresh launching from now into spring and summer “Beer design is like outdoor gear. It wears out from time to time and you need to upgrade it.”

Some of the most notable changes are brighter colors that pop against the fresh white background. The same colors from the original design were brightened and brought into a more modern color palette to bring new vibrancy and life to the design. 

“We experimented with several artistic styles before landing on the clean and sophisticated appearance of the mid-century postmodern landscape art style” noted Lucas Kackman, Graphic Production Developer for Bent Paddle. “The solid color flowing shapes allow us to easily change locations for each individual brand while maintaining a grouped brand family appearance for all five styles.”

The darker grid text style design of the original beer cans has been replaced with minimalistic fluid lines.  At first glance, it seems like the sleek line work backgrounds are uniform across the brands, however, each beer depicts a different iconic local Lake Superior beach view. Some cans showcase well-known North Shore vistas like Split Rock Lighthouse or Duluth’s hillside viewed from sandy Park Point, while others shine a light on lesser-known lakeshore spots like Ioan’s Beach. On each box, customers will find a set of geo coordinates to the exact beach location of the beers’ artwork:

  • Venture Pils | Brighton Beach
    Geo Code 46°50’14.3″N 92°00’07.7″W
  • Bent Hop IPA | Park Point
    Geo Code 46°46’18.9″N 92°05’13.7″W
  • 14° Degree Amber | Iona’s Beach
    Geo Code 47°10’06.5″N 91°25’15.9″W
  • Black Ale | Black Beach
    Geo Code 47°17’35.7″N 91°14’47.5″W
  • Cold Press Black | Split Rock
    Geo Code 47°11’54.8″N 91°22’27.6″W

“Lake Superior’s water is very important to us. We brew 100% of our beer with pristine Lake Superior water. So it felt right to depict the lake on the exterior of the can and boxes of the redesign because it’s water is the most important ingredient of the beer inside the can” explains Bryon Tonnis, Bent Paddle Co-Founder.

The brewery has released the look for five year-round beers, and the new boxes and cans will hit liquor stores now into the spring and summer. In a few brands, especially early on in this refresh changeover, there will be original look cans inside new look boxes in an effort to use up all current original empty can inventory as part of Bent Paddle’s commitment to sustainability and efficiency. Updated tap handles will take over bars, restaurants, and beer gardens starting this summer and a new piece of canning equipment will allow the brewery to package and sell smaller quantities of specialized beer to the public. 

Brewery Co-Founder Laura Mullen adds, “When we first started in 2013, we had our sights on making great beer. That was it. Since then, we’ve been able to grow company culture, support fellow local small businesses and non-profits, expand to new markets, and now focus on creating fresh boxes and cans that reflect the taste of our craft going into the future. We hope people like our new look!”

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