Beltway Brewing Company
Develop the “retail” brand of the largest contract brewer on the east coast.
Can a successful, contract only, craft beer operation develop a strong retail brand? Can Beltway be more than the name of the interstate that connects DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV)? Can Beltway be the “neighborhood” beer of the entire DMV region?
A brand that aims to strengthen the bonds of it’s community. A brand that respects the diversity, legacy, and charm of the region. A beer that crafts imaginative experiences, and inspires the unusual. A business that welcomes it’s neighbors into its home daily.
After several years of creating Beltway’s one-off anniversary labels, we were approached by their founder to help him define the brand and build towards Beltway launching their own line of retail beers. The massive growth in the craft beer industry had flattened, contract brewing was on the decline. Beltway knew they could utilize their award winning skills to create their own family of beers and distribute them.
DEFINING THE BRAND
AW and the Beltway team first got to work with not one, not two, but three brand discovery workshops. One for Beltway Contract, one for Beltway Retail, and later a third for their house seltzer, Brilliant Craft Seltzer. We defined customer profiles, 6 key brand attributes, brand halos, the brand archetypes brand promises & actions, and finally a new value proposition and pitch.
All of this intense brand work yielded one unifying mission that extended the Beltway name beyond it’s original intention. Beltway is the beer of the DMV region, and just like the interstate of the same name, Beltway will strive to unify DC, Maryland, and Virgina. Proclaiming “We Are Beltway.”
The Beltway logo redesign needed to be inspired by the original but solve the problems of a single lockup with small details that are rarely seen, more importantly difficult to reproduce. We created a responsive logo system based on a minimalist approach to the Beltway mark, removing the hops, barley, established date, small stars, and shading lines of the old logo.
Our logo focuses on a Beltway word mark with a single star and exaggerated versions of the lines that framed the original name. We then created a small star & shield icon for the smallest use states, and a full shield lockup for large use, or when vertical space is available.
The final design is flexible, minimalist, modern, with a nostalgic edge.
NEW LOGO SYSTEM
NEW BRAND VALUE PROPOSITION
Beltway Brewing Company is a state-of-the-art brewery that helps brewers of all sizes reach the next level. In addition to helping craft breweries perfect recipes, reach a broader audience, and scale for distribution, our atmospheric taproom serves these (and our very own, award-winning) unique brews, providing a true haven for beer makers and beer lovers.
NEW BRAND PROMISES
To strengthen the bonds of our community - every pint, every collaboration, at every moment.
We respect the diversity, legacy, and charm of our home.
To inspire the unusual, and craft imaginative experiences.
The mural was conceived as a unifying art piece to represent the brand as a whole. The composition features I-495 “The Beltway” leading to fermentation tanks, with a female and male brewer watching over.
The surrounding features include the US, DC, Maryland, and Virginia flags, sports figures from each of the local sports teams, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, Dulles Airport, the Smithsonian Castle, the Capital Dome, the Maryland and Virginia state birds, dogwood and cherry trees, finally the Shenandoah and Appalachian mountains.
The art style was inspired by the production art of Anton Furst (Batman 1989), the art style of Tim Huhn, and Soviet style realist art.
The new Beltway labels needed to solve several issues the old anniversary only labels didn’t consider. The new labels need consistency, shelf recognition, brand recognition, and style & tasting notes to intrigue beer lovers. However, Beltway didn’t want to loose the ability to have custom design for each label, something they enjoyed with the older labels.
The new design template features a central frame based on the logo shield shape to contain the custom design area. Key data points are always displayed in the same positions above and below this frame. When printed on metallic label material it gives a faux die cut effect, giving another dynamic element to the label, but saving die cut costs.