For the creation of their second brewery, Waukeshaw Development wanted to do something radically different. In a craft market overrun by a kaleidoscope of complex, palate-exploding brews, they wanted a brand that felt simple, unpretentious, nostalgic. In their words, an “anti-craft, craft beer.”
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 were overwhelmed at the variety of choices and steep learning curve it 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 every expression of the brand-to-be. The product architecture honored the source material as well as the intended strategy of radical simplicity: The flagship lager would be Beale’s Gold, with Silver, Red, Black and Brown rounding out the signature styles. A brand platform codified the brand purpose, personality and positioning, summarized by the tagline “Simple Thrills for Curious Folks.” Visual identity and packaging married a nostalgic familiarity with subtle touches of mystery. Finally, Joe Smith designed a taproom experience and signature touchpoints to engage customers in a uniquely Beale’s way.
Results and ripple effects
The response to Beale’s has been overwhelming. The brewery beat its first-year sales projections twice over and had to double production of Beale’s Gold to keep up with demand. As curious folks continue to flock to the flagship location, Beale’s has accelerated its expansion by ramping up distribution and breaking ground on additional locations.