​Why Canning Minimums Sped Up Telluride’s Rebrand Efforts​

As a smaller facility — around 7,500 barrels produced annually — trashing printed cans wasn’t an option for Telluride Brewing when it came to planning a rebrand.

So the Colorado brewery set forth a plan to run through its printed cans of each core product and debut a new look for each as cans ran out and newly printed cans came in. The new minimums required for printed cans by Ball has made Telluride co-founder and President Tommy Thacher rethink that strategy.

“In one way, in terms of trying to do a rebrand because so many cans now will be labeled, we might have a quicker shot of getting all these cans out at the same time,” he told Brewer. “The plan was, we were just going to have to work in existing inventory to figure out when we could launch the new rebrand.”

The brewery, Thacher said, was fortunate to purchase a labeler about eight months prior to the pandemic, which helped in launching a lot of new brands into the marketplace in 2020. Seeing a diverse can lineup through that year and into 2021, Thacher and the Telluride crew decided a new look would help boost itself in the marketplace.

The rebrand was done in-house as a collaborative effort between the art director at Telluride and the sales team on the Front Range.

“This kind of speaks to who we are as a company and brand,” Thacher said. “Rather than hiring out to have somebody tell us what our brand should look like, we knew we had the vision and ability on our team.

“It’s easy to stay true to who we are when we’re the ones creating our new image.”

The original plan was that Tempter IPA’s rebrand would come out this month, followed by Face Down Brown in early January. A new brand, The See Forever Hazy Pale Ale, just came out as well. Mountain Beer Kolsch will keep the same look with the brewery’s Russell Kelly Mosaic IPA getting its look changed last. Instead, using blank cans with labels will push these brands out with a new look sooner.

READ MORE: Behind the Scenes of the Worthy Rebrand

“In some ways, it was just time to mix things up after 10 years,” Thacher said. “Most of our cans had been on the shelf for about that long, and the beer world has changed drastically over the last decade. Looking at sales trends and reassessing our portfolio we knew we relied heavily on the success of our core beers like Tempter and Face Down, this rebrand was a nice way to hopefully help those core brands continue to grow while we launch new innovative products alongside them.

“Like in any business, being able to adapt and pivot in the current climate of whatever business you’re in is critical.”

Telluride did a deep dive in the business this past spring, looking at the whole beer lineup, the profitability of beers — what’s working, what’s not — and it came to the conclusion that the portfolio was a little crowded.

“It was definitely IPA heavy,” Thacher said. “We had some stacking issues, we had some brands that were cannibalizing each other sales. We just really needed to come up and figure out the DQ-ing of a couple of SKUs and come up with a lineup that was going to complement each other instead of kind of hurt each other.

“In that process, we also realized that it was definitely time to give some of these our workhorses a facelift. I’m very excited about the rebrand because I think just looking at it historically and talking about it with our friends and who has gone through the rebrand … done right, it can really jump to the consumer and reintroduce that old faithful to the consumer that might have gotten a little soft on that on that flavor when they’re cruising the aisle.”

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