CREATING A DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE CRAFT BEER BRAND
In 2016, Dave McCormack of Waukeshaw Development was looking to open his second brewery. And this time, he wanted to do something radically different. In a craft market overrun by a kaleidoscope of complex, palate-exploding brews, he wanted a product and brand that felt simple, unpretentious, nostalgic. An “anti-craft, craft beer,” as he put it. Most of all the brewery had to be driven by a vision that influenced every decision and shaped every expression of the brand.
Early strategy defined our target audience as the “curious craft drinker”—a large and growing contingent of consumers that were interested in craft beer, yet a bit overwhelmed at the variety of choices and steep learning curve required.
We knew the brewery had to be steeped in a real sense of place. Digging into local lore, we came across the legend of the Beale’s treasure, rumored to be buried somewhere near the brewery. This provided the spark of inspiration that would influence everything—from the naming and product offer, to the packaging, interior and brand experience design.
Beale’s opened in June of 2017 and the response was overwhelming. Initial sales projections were beat, twice over. Production of the Beale’s Gold had to be doubled to keep up with demand. As curious folks continue to flock to the brewery, distribution is ramping up to deliver Beale’s statewide.