The number one*
craft beer branding
agency in america.
Since catapulting into beer in 2017, with our award-winning “Will Work for Beer” Campaign, it’s become a way of life.
Over the past three years (of our 7 year history), we’ve created designs for over 150 unique beers, across more than 300 different SKUs and package formats for six regional breweries from Alaska to Pittsburgh.
To top it all off, Top Hat founder Ben Butler received his Certified Cicerone® designation — the beer industry’s equivalent of a Sommelier — in 2019 and encourages all members of the team to be extremely well-versed in beer styles and their associated flavors.
Led by an experienced design team, and an on-staff Certified Cicerone<sup>®</sup>, we’ve designed 100+ packages for 18+ brands from Alaska to Boston and have been honored with 21 international industry awards.
You’ve put blood, sweat and tears into your business to get beer into the hands of people who love beer. So we’d like to take a moment to say: thank you! As fellow beer lovers, you make our lives happier. And as a craft brewery branding agency, we’re glad you’ve found us.
You know it as well as we do: the market is loaded with brewers of every variety. In 2017 alone, just under 1,000 new breweries opened up shop in the U.S., bringing the total number in operation up by 16%.
Brand Identity is Everything
With more competition than ever before, presentation is everything.
A killer visual identity, hop-off-the-shelf packaging, a website that keeps drinkers engaged and a robust creative marketing plan can mean the difference between a memorable brand experience for your next evangelist and just another bottle they glance by on the shelf.
Building your full brand package takes attention, strategy, tools and expertise. Balancing that while brewing beer, canning/bottling it up and keeping patrons happy?
That can be challenging.
But don’t worry — we can help.
If you’re looking for a craft brewery branding agency, look no further.
Who Are We?
We’re Top Hat — a boutique, award-winning branding agency of folks who love craft beer and making breweries look as good as their beer tastes.
What brought us here? The same stuff as you: a passion for community, storytelling and really good beer.
And, well, one time we worked for beer once to get our foot in the door.
We Worked for Beer and Became a Powerhouse of Beer Marketing
As of April 2017, we’d been in business for 4 years with 30+ industries under our belt, but no beer.
So, we decided to do something about it.
The “Will Work for Beer” RFP
Agencies receive Requests for Proposals (RFPs) all the time, so why shouldn’t an agency send out one of its own?
We put out an RFP for craft breweries anywhere and everywhere. The offer was simple: we’d complete one communications project in exchange for beer — and beer alone — for one brewery.
You can guess what we named the campaign…”Will Work for Beer,” in case you didn’t.
Interested breweries had to send us a proposal explaining their project and why we should choose them.
We received dozens and dozens of responses from breweries as close to home as Pittsburgh to as far away as Brazil.
We Scored the Fastest Growing Craft Brewery in the Country
Through much deliberation, we ultimately selected Lord Hobo Brewing Company in Woburn, MA, who was in need of a comprehensive redesign of their website, visual media and positioning to bolster their bold, sophisticated brand.
The young brewery already had distribution in eight states and was en route to being named America’s fastest-growing regional brewery of 2017.
Their ambition and growth wowed us, and it didn’t hurt that they promptly shipped us a selection of their amazing beers after our first phone call.
The Rest is History
Since then, we’ve done extensive work spanning all things beer packaging, marketing and branding, giving shape and color to the stories that make these clients the powerhouse brands they are today.
In two years, we’ve designed 100+ packages for 18+ brands from Alaska to Boston and have been honored with 21 international industry awards
We Know Beer Branding
We’re closely tuned into the industry and its trends.
We’re experienced at getting label art approved by the TTB and we’ve worked closely with our clients’ legal teams.
We’re working with one of the country’s oldest breweries, and its fastest growing brewery.
We Know Beer
At its core, it’s critical to understand the history, process, and vast style distinctions of beer. Through our experiences, we’ve gotten an intimate understanding of the industry and challenges facing brewers.
But we decided to take it one step further.
We Have An On-Staff Certified Cicerone®
Top Hat Founder Ben Butler, APR is a Certified Cicerone® making him one of 4,000 certified beer experts in the world.
By being the only creative design studio in the country with a Certified Cicerone® on staff, we’ve showcased our dedication and understanding of the beer industry.
We’re also in unique position to align the liquid with every element of design and marketing.
So, Here’s What We Can Do For You.
You can call us your one-stop shop for craft beer branding and marketing, because we are. We do:
- Brand Identity & Logo Design
- Website Redesign and/or Development
- Visual Media & Content Development
- Marketing & Content Strategy
- Ongoing Support
We’re Boutique by Design
We’re a six-person team that handles everything in-house — it isn’t in our blood to outsource.
The people you meet on day one are the same ones who execute the work. The result? No communication falling through the cracks. No games of telephone where some project manager is trying to communicate the notes of a two hour meeting to a designer or developer with zero context. We’ve been on both sides of that experience, and it’s not fun or effective.
Let’s Do This
We’re fun to work with and we imagine you probably are too. Are we a match made in heaven?
Only one way to find out. Let’s talk.
Comprehensive design and
marketing services capable
of any beer project.
- Brand Strategy
- Packaging Design
- Website Design & Dev.
- Marketing & Ad Campaigns
- Ongoing Design Support
- TTB Compliance
- Vendor sourcing
- Print Template Formatting
- On-staff Certified Cicerone®
A Fridge for the Beer.
A Shelf for the Awards.
We're not here to win awards. They're just a symptom of our outrageous client success.