One would think that embarking on a new 30BBL brewery, 40,000 square foot facility, 10,000 square foot taproom, and new bottling setup would be enough to take on in one year. Unfortunately, when something begins to bug us, we tend to become obsessed with fixing it. Thus began our rebranding effort.
It all started at our fourth anniversary party. We were having a blast, had just moved into our new facility, and were prone to self-reflection. We had come a long way since when we brewed our first batch of beer. The styles had matured, our ability to push boundaries continued to evolve, and we were discovering what beers we truly enjoyed brewing. As we were reflecting on this, it became apparent that the brewery we were, and the image we portrayed no longer fit with who we actually were.
Fast forward to August at the Great Taste of the Midwest where a festival goer told me, “Grant, I really like your beer. Anytime someone gives me one, I always know it will be great. But I never think to buy it... Maybe you should think about that?” This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was time to rebrand.
Brewed With Heart & Science
It is a rare moment when a company is able to start with a clean slate and think about who they are. We’re usually running around, brewing, bottling, and selling beer non-stop. The rebranding process forced us to stop and reflect on these last few years, and really figure out what was important to us. It turns out, trying to put that into a words can be very difficult. It’s even more difficult to be succinct. For us, it all boiled down to this: Brewed With Heart & Science.
The heart represents our passion, experimental spirit and drive to push boundaries. The science is our commitment to detailed research and tests until we get everything just right. Here’s an example:
When we started to approach Paid Time Off, we knew we wanted to make a beer with coconut and cocoa nibs, but we needed something else to really bring it all together. Once we realized that walnuts would be the best flavor, we had to figure out how to make it work, even though nuts are generally considered to not be compatible with brewing.
When we’re told something can’t be done, but we know that the flavor of walnuts are the best ingredient to use in that beer, we are driven to figure it out. The science then takes over. We dissected the walnut to figure out what part of it yielded the flavors we love, and what part of it produced the negative effects in the beer. We then reached out to a walnut roaster to see if they could help us roast a walnut in a way that would minimize those negative effects. After that, we explored how we would add the walnut to the beer to maximize the desired flavors while keeping the oil content low. By doing all of these things, we were able to take an ingredient often thought to be unbrewable and make it a part of our beer. This is what ‘Brewed With Heart & Science’ means to us.
This was a big moment for us. These five words became the foundation upon which we built our entire brand. Everything from our logo, to the illustrations on our new bottle labels, to the colors of our new cases stem from that concept of brewed with heart and science. And all of that was done to represent what’s most important to us: the beer.
We spent months exploring every corner of what that means until we came up with the labels we’re finally able to talk about. Over the next few months, we’ll be telling the stories behind each of our beers and the ways that the new packaging reflects those stories.
Where’d Baaad Boy and Hello, My Name is Joe Go?
As we we were doing some good soul searching and figuring out what we wanted to do these next few years, it became apparent that we had too many year round beers. For those not familiar with the world of fighting for shelf space, with all of the breweries out there these days, it’s getting tougher and tougher to have a lot of beer on the shelf. As a result, we really wanted to narrow down our year round offerings so that we could make sure to have room to have our seasonal and specialty beers out there. This was tough for us. Baaad Boy and Joe have been with us for a long time, but we felt it really important to have room to explore new flavors and styles. Something had to give, and unfortunately, these two fell on the chopping block.
For those who are very sad about this decision, I am very sorry and just want to thank you for enjoying them with us over these past few years. We strive to find a replacement and something else you will enjoy just as much. We have some very fun beer coming out this year and look forward to sharing them with you.
As always, thank you for your support, for drinking our beer and allowing us to move into our new facility, and letting us continue to make beer for a living. We hope to see you at the taproom or events and festivals this coming year.