The Unmarketing Aspects Berryessa Employs in Label Art

Lori Nicolini​’s​ style of marketing​ is ​”​un-marketing” for California’s Berryessa Brewing.

“It’s​ not in the sense not marketing, but the sense of drawing you in, as opposed to pushing it on you​,” said the co-founder of the Sacramento-area company.

Even when the brewery started more than a decade ago, tap handles ​ ​just had so​l​der​ed​ chainlinks​ with no label on them.

​”That’s un-marketing to its finest because if you see that tap handle at a place, it makes you say, ​’​What’s that one​?’ ​It’s still something unique​,” she said. “It’s not your typical ​plastic tap ​handle that’s been made by a factory.

​”We just feel that way with all of our marketing. We want it to be as thoughtful and as genuine as our product is inside. And that’s really important to us.​”

And ​Nicolini said they are lucky enough to have ​great artists​ around them​ that were willing ​to contribute their artwork​.

“They love doing it​ and we love them,” she said. “It’s kind of a win-win.​”​

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​Working with popular underground cartoonist Robert Armstrong (creator of the term ‘Couch Potato’ along with the antithesis to Mickey Mouse named Mickey Rat​) along with a tattoo artist, Berryessa mixes its look up while still maintaining a “family of brands” look at the same time.

​”We do love art, and we want our cans to not only be a piece of art on the inside and out just a second thought and putting a little more thought into it​,” she said, noting that they include the artist’s name on the label to give them credit for their work publically.

“It was nice for us to be able to give these guys credit for the artwork when we were asking them to do it, and keeping a border that kind of tied all our beer and all the same,” Nicolini said.

But they do branch out past those two as Nicolini’s husband Chris Miller is also an artist and uses his work along with other members of the brewery.

“For taproom releases and stuff like that we might have a little more play on it,” she said. “We don’t really put any ads out or competitions or anything like that, although I haven’t been against it. But typically, we use artists that we already have or no, it’s kind of within the brewhouse.”

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