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Beerfest – Humble, Texas – May 7th 2011

May 10, 2011

Beer Fest

hops in a cup

Design and craft brewers.

This last weekend we checked out the Beerfest in Humble, Texas. It’s a market where budgets for marketing/design are pretty weak (at least in the local markets/craft brewers) and yet it is crucial to getting people to try your beer. If your beer is good but you can’t get anyone to taste it, then you run into a few problems. Like no one drinking your beer.

It’s also a market saturated with visuals. There are a million different types of beers each with it’s own labels and packaging and branding. How can small breweries afford to do more than just trying to let their beer sell itself?

Below are some photos of details we liked or didn’t like about the presentation and branding of a few of the breweries at Beerfest.
I love this goat illustration. The name of the beer is pretty rad too. I tried it for the first time simply because of the name. Goats! If you’re a fan of Amber/Red ales you should pick up some Thirsty Goat from Thirsty Planet Brewing. They also have a really solid IPA called “Bucket Head”.
Thirsty Goat Beer Tap
Simple is good. Sometimes labels and packaging can just get crazy trying to “stand out”. Our buddies over at Always Creative did a good job with the New Republic Brewing branding, and I can’t wait to see what New Republic can do in the College Station market. New Republic is brand new, and I’m happy to say we were able to taste the first “official” batch of their Bellows Amber Ale. I might or might not have had a few of these with Dean (the owner) on his porch a few weeks ago, but it was still exciting to see them officially launch. Bellows is New Republic‘s take on an Amber and has a great hoppy taste comparable to a lot of IPAs while keeping the amber characteristics that make it super drinkable.
new republic banner
This was a nice little way of reusing some packaging for part of Alamo’s booth display. The tag line is also fantastic, “a fiercely independent spirit”. One thing remains consistent in craft beer branding, it is all about where you are from.  This small brewery from San Antonio is a prime example of leveraging your market by appealing to their state/city pride. The golden ale is self described as a full-bodied, refreshingly lighter style ale with a smooth, velvety finish. (I can vouch for that) They’re soon to be distributed all over Texas, and I just saw a promo coaster in my favorite bar. Way to go Alamo. Looks like Alamo could use our help (or at least some SEO) I couldn’t find their website for you guys.

Alamo brewing card display

 

 

Cool beer tap that also looks fairly inexpensive to make.  I’ve been lucky enough to try most of the Live Oak beers before our trip to Houston, but the Liberation Ale with its hint of grapefruit was definitively a stand out. I also tried their HefeWeizen, and while it is not normally my favorite style of beer the banana flavor was a pleasant surprise instead of the citrus flavor found in most Hefes.

Live Oak Pilz beer tap
I hate pugs, but this is an awesome illustration of a pug. The eye-patch is what sold me. The Rahr & Sons booth was definitally one of the stand outs of the entire fest. Their Bucking Bock was phenomenal and I wish it was one of their permanent beers rather than a seasonal. If you’re a fan of Black Lagers you need to check out their Ugly Pug because  it kicks the hell out of Shiner Black. (Gavin only hates pugs because his grandparents literally have 16)
Ugly pug label

 

 

Wasatch Beers had some intense posters/labels. Polygamy Porter: Take some home to the wives. (Wasatch is based in Utah btw) There were a few others I posted on our facebook page. I tried their Devastator Double Bock and it holds true to its name. The beer was good, but I think I could only handle a 12 oz. before having to switch to something lighter (read: water).Polygamy Porter poster

 

 

I definitely tried one of their beers after seeing these. Shock value marketing = win. Tell me you wouldn’t want to grab one of these (beers) after seeing this in a bar.

 

 

Perception is reality. If you’re a local burger place that’s been in the community for 50 years and everyone knows you then you can get away with something like this. But if you’re new and you’re trying to compete with the big boys…this isn’t gonna fly. (the tap next to it was a different company. Their cider was fantastic.) Jester King has a solid website, but it looks like they need to hire someone to make sure their brand is represented the right way every time it is presented.
Perception is reality.
The Ranger Creek logo looks good burned into the wood. The “beer” logo is kinda “eh”, but the idea of just a piece of wood and a “branded” logo into the wood works pretty well. I imagine the cost on that is pretty low.
Ranger Creek beer tap
I just like the “made in the shade” tagline.
Live oak logo
Ah we had to! I was able to grab a sixer of the Drifter beer when we were in Portland and I was happy to see it at the beer fest. I think I might have to get Spec’s to order us some cases for our office parties.
drifter beer
All in all Texas Beer Fest was a great way to spend our Saturday and we met a ton of cool people. We have some more photos here: facebook

What is your favorite beer?

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