February 7, 2012

8 Examples of Craft Beer Display Collateral Material

This is one of those posts that took way too long to get up. When I was out at GABF last year, I picked up a ton of swag. Some of it was for distribution to my beer geek friends back home, but some of it was to look at the different ways breweries approach their printed collateral. Excuse the quality of camera phone images, but here were some of the more interesting examples:

Full Sail had a selection of small pins with the classic Rochambeau options that appear on their caps. Full Sail had a massive selection of swag, all consistent in design and branding.

Some of the most interesting variety was in the ways that breweries gave tasting notes for their styles:
Willoughby Brewing Company had small cards with a logo on one side and notes on the back. The cards were an odd size (I think 5" x 7"), a little too large to fit in a pocket. The use of distressed caps font is consistent, but it doesn't integrate all that well with the logo. On the other hand, this is a really inexpensive way to have a sort of modular collateral that can expand with every new beer and even the smallest breweries can afford.

Of course, when you're a brewery the size of Deschutes, you have some swankier options open to you.
They have a five-page foldout, on heavy earthy stock and in full color. Gorgeous pictures of their beers, each with a logo at bottom right. Seasonals on one side, year-round offerings on the other, each with fairly detailed tasting notes. That gives them two panels for a contact page and a cover you see at the top. The whole thing could easily fit in a wallet or a shirt pocket. It's a great piece, but reserved for those breweries with the resources to spend tens of thousands of dollars on design and printing of marketing materials.

Along the same line, Short's Brewing has a three-panel foldout with its brew schedule.
Very similar, if a little less colorful. For a brewery like Short's, which has tons of seasonal and specialty beers, it's almost a necessary part of consumer education to make sure everyone knows what comes when.


Ithaca Brewing Company takes a more conventional tack, with a full-size, full-color glossy display of their beers. As you can tell, the drawback is that I had to fold it to put it into any pocket or bag of reasonable size.


The San Francisco breweries of the SF Brewers Guild put together a three-panel foldout that doubles as a map for the beer-interested SF visitor.
This is a nice piece that any city or area looking to build beer tourism could use as a model. It's well-designed, with a nostalgia-infused look that doesn't need color and fits the historic city well. I saw a lot of various geographic brewers guilds with materials, and this was definitely the best.

Lastly, there are two single pieces that are nice examples of very different types of collateral design.
New School
Not a brewery, but Beer Culture is a documentary film about craft beer in America, so it's exactly the same audience. This rack card is a great example of a lot of the trends in modern marketing design, particularly in craft beer. The retro lettering, combined with a contemporary font, an image made of varying size texts, and a faux distressed background are completed with a QR code in bottom right. The whole image is in an earthtone color palette that basically screams "natural."

Then we have...
Old school
San Marcos, TX's Darkside Fermentation. This was on a thin, almost papyrus-like paper. The green image was embossed, with the dark green in a kind of raised ink and the brighter green a background. The result is a piece somewhere between medieval-looking and steampunk. There is no information on the back; it's purely decorative. Some might consider that a bit of an extravagance or risk for a small brewery to take on a piece that is probably not cheap to produce, but it was different enough to stand out from the huge crowd of other materials.

To all my regular readers: I am back up and running, and so should resume a fairly steady stream of posts. Thanks for your patience during the move and all related insanity.

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