Insights on Branding and Packaging Your First Cans

Since opening in 2014, Fargo, North Dakota’s Drekker Brewing has been working toward slow, steady and sustainable growth. The brewery recently announced that it is building a new brewery and taproom with the ability to produce 5,000 barrels with an opening date slated for the summer of 2018.

Jesse Feigum, one of the brewery’s co-founders gave Brewer a look at the brewery’s branding and packaging changes, including the move to cans in May, 2017.

“We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback about our beer labels already. We put sticker labels on blank cans because it gives us the flexibility to package several different beers instead of having to focus on one or two that we need to make for the next couple years just to use up a massive order of cans,” he said.

The first move on the can labels was to partner with one of the brewery’s favorite artists, Punchgut, who happens to be locally based to Fargo.

“[We had to] come up with a strategy for being able to make each beer label unique and awesome on its own while also having enough consistency so that when someone looks at it for the first time they know they’re looking at a Drekker beer,” Feigum said. “We felt that it was incredibly important to have that level of consistency in the design from the start because we’ve seen other companies get there eventually but then have to go back and redesign labels for beers that are already recognized and successful so they fit in with their brand.”

Once they had that framework in place, it made it easy to go to Punchgut with a new beer idea and bounce some art ideas back and forth and come up with a concept and color scheme that would work well with the beer or the beer name and then from there we let his creativity take over.

“We’re always amazed at the initial sketches he comes back with, and while we might have a couple tweaks by the time we get to the final art each one is really a work of art and we try to stay out of the way as much as possible,” Feigum said.

The results have been incredible he added.

“We’ve got people asking every day for the label art on shirts or prints and people peel the stickers off the cans and use them as decorations,” Feigum said. “The art on the labels is enough to get people to at least stop and look at the cans, and in a crowded beer cooler that’s exactly what you want.

“One of our missions has always been to showcase and promote local art as much as possible in what we do. So we always have a local artist on display and have local musicians play in our taproom, and having a local artist basically turn each one of our cans into a work of art is kind of an extension of that mission.”

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