Butternuts Beer & Ale

Butternuts Beer & Ale is a successful craft brewery in Garrattsville, NY, who makes some of the smoothest and most enjoyable craft beer we’ve ever tasted. As the popularity of their beers has grown, a disconnect emerged between the individual product brands and the core brewery brand. Without any real brand identification on the cans, no one knew who Butternuts was.

ClientButternuts Beer & AleServicesBrand Strategy | Branding | Packaging | Web | PrintYear2016

Strategy Builds Brews

We began our relationship by reviewing their mission and vision statements, and helping the Butternuts team craft a brand positioning statement & brand strategy. This first step would help define the brand and all future products, and help separate them from competitors on the store shelves.

Then, after a deep research session evaluating the market in the northeast for craft beverages, we explored a wide variety of brand identities and logos, all based on the ‘farmyard’ esthetic, from modern to classic.

It’s All About The Barn

Since so much of their existing audience knew their beers from a visit to the farm, our focus returned again to the original 19th century barns on the property. It made sense that since Butternuts’ foundation was firmly rooted in the farming culture of the region, the barn should become the brand hero. We used photos to develop a simple, iconic barn that could translate across the product range.

Once the main logo was established, we built out the remaining brand tools, developing the family color palette, companion fonts, background elements, icons and alternate symbols & ligatures, even messaging attitude for new varieties as they are developed.

“Iron helped us own our products, creating a humble new logo and brand ‘band’ that helped us tell the Butternuts story on each can. Now every new product is named and marketed from the same voice, and fits nicely in our unique family.”

Chuck Williamson, Owner, Butternuts Beer & Ale

New Beers, Faster

Now that we had the tools to define the brand, we could turn our attention to new beers. First up was a partnership with the heavy metal band Anthrax, for WarDance Pale Ale. While the key art was delivered by the band, we were able to accommodate it easily within the new system. Then more beers poured in: A new line called the farmhouse series, including Bessie’s Best, Gravity Wagon, and Lugerhound. Each beer arrived faster than the last, and the brand system performed well, accommodating new beers as quickly as they can be dreamed up. We also crafted the can language to fit the voice of the brewery, so that each beer spoke from the same voice.

Role Out The Marketing

As the new brand packaging was rolled out for the existing beers, we produced a few swag items, and turned our attention to a simple splash page to replace the old Flash website. By the end of the project we had created a comprehensive new brand system for this brewery. The new packaging templates made it easier to dream up and release new beers, and the brand now extends the Butternuts voice and character across all audience touch points.

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