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April 18, 2016

I’ve really enjoyed watching how craft breweries have evolved their branding strategies over the years. The industry that became popular by focusing on small batches, premium raw materials, and being off-centered can no longer rest on laurels. It’s not good enough to have a superior product in the beer section anymore, these breweries need to utilize creative design and marketing strategies to win now. And there are some prime examples of independently-owned breweries that are doing truly awesome things.

That’s not to say if you make a sub-par beer with a groovy looking beer can then your brewery will be successful. You will only fool astute beer drinkers once with shiny objects and cool graphics. No matter how awesome the packaging is, if your beer leaves the customer with a bad taste in their mouth then it will be discarded from future tap selections. Trust me. And now your unique beer label will always remind them of a bad experience.

That’s why it’s truly special when the two issues collide. Once you’ve made an awesome beer you want people to know how good it is and with the plethora of options in the beer aisle these days that’s not an easy task. I’ve talked to a lot of people who, when intimidated by too many beer options, admitted they bought the most intriguing six pack simply because of how the label looked. So what’s the key?

Evil Twin Brewery has hit the nail on the head, and all of it is done without the need of a big agency to help. The entire process belongs to the two co-founders (and a wife of course). Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso is responsible for naming the beers (yes, he’s the twin brother of Mikkel Borg Bjergso who owns the famous Mikkeller beer brand) and Martin Justesen creates the label designs. Jeppe has admitted that his wife who is a copywriter by trade plays a major role in the beer naming process.

"The look of an Evil Twin label is quite geometrical and graphic. Every label is built up by triangular shapes. I like for the labels to work on two levels, the first to grab your attention by standing out, and the second by containing details you later discover when you sit down and look at it close up." – Justesen

Evil Twin has historically had hilarious beer names such as “Bikini Beer” and the pictured “Hipster Ale”. Between the eye-catching designs and funny names, this brewery has been very successful when it comes to sales. But what about customer retention? The beer has to actually be good, right?

I can only speak for this Hipster Ale. It’s an American Pale Ale at 5.5% ABV and available all year round. As the can explains, this beer will make you immediately feel like a Hipster. It’s hazy, hoppy, and foamy. Just a classic pale ale that will make you want to turn the jams on the radio up and chill out… brah.

Cheers to the beers!