If you’re a craft beer enthusiast then you’re no stranger to Troëgs. They’re the master brewers that graced our palates with Perpetual IPA, Troegenator Double Bock, Nugget Nectar and the almighty Mad Elf.
If you’re not a craft beer enthusiast, Troëgs is an independent—important note because not all craft breweries are independently owner anymore—craft brewery in Hershey, Pa. In the world of craft beer, they are a force to be reckoned with. Their beers are highly rated, highly beloved and highly anticipated all season long.
Back in November they unleashed a brand refresh on the world. Due to circulation of old bottle art, it took a while for it to hit my local bottleshop, but the other day I walked in and noticed that something was very different.
Troëgs had completely refreshed their visual identity, so I got to creeping. Thankfully, I found an article on their blog talking about the refresh. I say thankfully in this case because some brands do no reporting on themselves at all.
Here’s the scoop on the refresh, along with some of my thoughts on it later on:
The Story Behind the Refresh
Their beers are handcrafted, and this brand refresh is hand-crafted as well by Philadelphia-based designer Lindsey Tweed.
Tweed started with bottle and packaging artwork for Tröegs Hop Knife, Cultivator, and Blizzard of Hops. The work was so well received that the decision was made to apply this refreshed style across the entire brand.
“The art shows our love of the process and – most importantly – our love of beer,” said John Trogner, brewmaster and co-owner of Tröegs Independent Brewing on the Troëgs blog. “The simple logos and hand-drawn fonts capture how we brew, and the artwork conveys what’s inside the bottle.”
Before and After
What They Refreshed
Some breweries change some bottle art here and there. But not Troëgs. Their brand refresh didn’t just touch their bottle art—it transformed everything including their logo, fonts, colors, merchandise and website.
The logo is simplified, folksy and rooted.
The font set includes a nice contrast of sans-serif and serif.
- The white, main copy font—”We’re drawn to …”— is a serif by the name of Klinic Slab
- The folksy accent font is a sans-serif by name of Mr. Dodo
As you’ll notice from the before and after section above, they’ve radically changed their colors. They’ve gone from dark, rich earth tones to simplistic, vibrant tones.
Blissfully following suit.
With a redesign of this magnitude, a website redesign was also required. Troëgs followed through here as well, pulling everything together into this digital destination.
Praise for the Full Integration
Kudos to Troëgs for their decision to integrate this wave of refreshment across all platforms, both digital and physical. They didn’t wuss out halfway through like so many organizations do.
They refreshed their entire visual brand.
They didn’t slouch on the details, which is a direct reflection of the way they brew their beer.
You might be saying to yourself, “How they handle branding can tell us what their core values are? Come on, Mr. Branding Guy.”
- The answer is that the way they handle branding absolutely can tell us about their core values. At the end of the day, a brand is an organization’s identity. It’s the way they communicate what’s inside to the world. It says and means something.
Attention to detail—meticulous attention to detail—tells us something about Troëgs.
Some organizations pick a department, or product, and refresh it. What often ends up happening is that whatever they select out of the bunch gets a facelift while the others get left behind. The result is an inconsistent, confusing identity that isn’t integrated.
Can you imagine that instead of refreshing the logo, fonts and colors that Troëgs redesigned their bottle art? Pretty soon, things would start looking inconsistent and hideous. Bottle art wouldn’t match with old assets.
This Refresh Shows That Troëgs Isn’t Afraid to Evolve
A redesign of this magnitude isn’t easy to pull off. Troëgs had to change a lot of things, which all cost a great deal of money. The labeling and bottle work alone cost a fortune to revamp.
I’m sure Troëgs was also aware of the potential blowback they’d face from customers who were clinging to the old brand with dear life. But, they wanted to transform and move forward and they did so full steam ahead.
A Brand Guy’s Take on the Brand Refresh
So yes, there was a blowback from the Troëgs customer base.
Facebook is always a decent place to pilot feedback for a redesign and brand refresh (although I’d admit, you do get a lot of ranting trollers on there). On Troëg’s Facebook, there’s quite a bit of feedback to go around.
- Sparknotes version: it’s about 50/50. 50-percent absolutely love it and the other 50-percent hate it and want the old art back.
This 50/50 split is the reality of doing something different. You won’t be able to keep all of the people happy all of the time. You have to do your research, follow your heart and do what you feel is best.
My guess is that Troëgs has been looking to refresh their brand for quite some time now.
- As a business owner, or member of a company, you might have that same feeling. Maybe it’s that logo that eventually makes you cringe a bit inside. Maybe it’s the color palette or just the identity in general. Maybe you too have that sore spot in your identity that you want to change.
I personally love what they’ve done here. Troëgs and Tweed did some amazing work. It’s refreshing, vibrant and truly hand-crafted.
Again, Troëgs pays meticulous attention to everything they make. They’re an independently owned craft brewery, so they control the environment and way their beers are made. Their beer is some of the best in the craft beer space because of their attention to the hand-crafted details.
You can’t deny it—this art is hand-crafted. It’s folksy.
The Bottle Art Stands Out
One thing I noticed right away is how much this new artwork stands out from the competition. That’s how I spotted the new bottle art to begin with—it caught my eye when I strolled in to pick on some beers from the usual place.
If you’re around craft beer as much as me—660 unique beers consumed and counting—you start becoming familiar with beer brands. One thing I’ve noticed in the last few months is that there’s not a lot of immediate contrast among beers nowadays.
I say immediate because, yes, when you get up close, you can see the unique brands, but the colors and art from a distance are surprisingly mostly rich, dark earthy colors.
- Imagine you’re standing in a bottleshop staring at an entire wall-size-cooler of beer bottles. Contrast stands out.
What Do You Think?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you in the 50-percent who loves this refresh? Do you hate it? Why?
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