The Design Insights Behind This Netherlands Brewery’s Brand

International Insights is a continuing series of Q&As with brewing members, but this time branching outside of the US and into the rest of the world.
In this series, Brewer will share personal insights from international breweries periodically about the craft beer market in other countries, where those brewers get their inspiration, and how the market compares to craft beer in the US.

Based in Haarlem, Netherlands, Uiltje Brewing recently won a Craft Beer Marketing Award “Crushie” for Best Can Design so Brewer reached out to the brewery to get insights into the brand and how its winning entry came to be.

Bart van Kleef, Head of Marketing & Branding, Uiltje Brewing — Haarlem, Netherlands

BREWER: What can you tell me about the history of your brewery? How has your business strategy evolved to help grow and stay competitive?
van KLEEF: We started as a contract brewery back in 2012. Ever since we started our own brewery in 2016, we’ve grown to be one of the leading craft breweries in The Netherlands. We lean heavily on both the quality of our beers, and our distinctive branding.

BREWER: Why is your winning entry in this year’s 2021 CBMAs a great example of marketing for your brewery? Can you give us the backstory on your winning entry?
van KLEEF: Three years ago we started with a range of ever-changing IPAs called Fresh & Fast, brought out bi-weekly, delivered fresh to consumers within 24 hours of packaging. The names and label design are a blend of hip-hop and pop, and reference famous movies, series and artists drawn in our own style.

BREWER: What are the popular beers at your brewery, and how do they compare to the popular styles in your country?
van KLEEF: IPAs are among the most popular styles in Dutch craft, and our flagship IPA Bird of Prey is an award-winning American style IPA.

BREWER: What idea did you or your team come up with lately that has been a big benefit to how your brewery functions?
van KLEEF: Both the Fresh & Fast range and our eCommerce strategy which was one of the earliest in Dutch craft industry.

BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry in your country, what would it be?
van KLEEF: More focus in each brewery on quality control and assessment. Check your beers!

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