A beer festival should be (and is, really) all about the beer. Any brewery that shows up will pour beer for the masses, so emptying the kegs isn’t a problem. What about after the festival ends? When piled together under a few tents, standing out from the crowd can be difficult. That’s where good a good branding strategy and implementation becomes crucial.
Strangely enough, these are the things I thought about while cruising through the East Nashville Beer Festival in its third or fourth hour. Sure, barley, hops, water, yeast, yada, yada… But what would make me want to seek out those breweries again later? Why would I keep giving my hard-earned money to this one over that one—aside from the taste of the beer?
With this new question in mind, I looked at each brewery with a more critical eye, and I saw many had already considered this same question. These four breweries had some of the most fun and consistent branding in the craft-brewing world.
Tin Man Brewing Co.
The first to catch my eye once I started my mission was Tin Man Brewing Co. Mostly, I liked the tall, slender taps, all shiny like a tin man. I looked a little closer, and saw the names of the brews: Circuit, Alloy, Rivet. How clever! Many of the names were terms from metalworking.
The logo is a cute and determined-looking robot, which also doubles as a mascot. They carried their tin man/robot/artificial intelligence idea over into their tagline, which reads, “Ordinary beer does not compute.” I was hooked. Oh, also, the beer was great.
This local distillery has made quite a name for itself with its craft liquors. It was only a matter of time before they did the same with beer. The logo features three strutting men in suits, and the tagline reads, “Booze for Badasses.” The brand is complete before beer even came into the picture.
But beer did enter the picture, and the brewery takes the same approach. This is no weak, watery brew. The beers feature deep, complex tastes and aromas, with recipes crafted from both ancient and trendy ingredients. Their approach really works. Anyone sipping a beverage from Corsair immediately swaggers like the badasses in the logo.
Country Boy Brewing
Props to this brewery for embracing their Kentucky stereotype instead of trying to go against it. The pick-up truck logo says it all. But they didn’t stop there. A list of the brewery’s beers tells the rest of the story. Each gives a quick snapshot of country life, with names like Cliff Jumping, Stampin Ground, and Shotgun Wedding.
The website continues that country charm, with relaxed phrasing that puts you right at home in the south. It’s easy to picture yourself sipping a cold one on a hot summer night, with tree frogs and crickets singing a lullaby.
Fat Bottom Brewery
Our friends at Fat Bottom are delightfully unashamed of their name, and their branding makes that abundantly clear. With a retro spin, each beer features a different pin-up girl, from Java Jane and Black Betty to Ginger and Bertha. Even the descriptions of the beers sound like beautiful women, like the “sun-kissed blonde” Ginger or the “athletic All-American with a naughty side” Ruby Red.
The girls make appearances everywhere, too: pint glasses, T-shirts, and the tap pulls. Anyone who sees Fat Bottom out and about on a piece of merch remembers their time with one of the girls.
We’re not shy about liking beer, and we’re definitely not shy about loving great branding. It’s a beautiful thing when these two come together. Congrats to our favorite brands (and beers) from the beer fest. I’ll be seeing all of you again soon.
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