We sold a lot of beer by giving it something to stand for.
Upland Brewing Company is one of Indiana's oldest, most recognizable craft breweries.
The problem was, they were beginning to feel like it. They were no longer inspiring conversation in an environment that rewards the new, the novel, the Wet-Hopped Belgian Trippel Grapefruit Session IPA (seasonal, on nitro). Essentially, they felt like neither their look nor their language truly reflected what made them special.
For craft drinkers, talking about beer is part of the fun.
They’ve got a lot of choices and the more they know about a beer, or brewery, the more likely they are to try, drink and advocate. We found Upland’s biggest fans could tell us their beer of choice, but didn’t have much of a story past that.
Unlike domestic drinkers, craft drinkers are interested in beer details: the style, the ABV, the IBU (they know what ABV and IBU stand for). They’ll tell you what food it pairs with, the proper glass to drink it out of—and, oh yeah, the place it’s brewed.
Upland Brewery is a rare collection of people in a unique Midwestern town: Bloomington, Indiana. Unique Midwestern? That’s not something you hear every day. True, Upland is part of a place dubbed “flyover country,” but locals, drifters and the local drifters know—Bloomington is a reflection of a more progressive Midwest. What kind of beer does that place brew?
Present the artisans of Upland as brewers of well-made beer and progressive Midwestern culture.
After working with the brewery’s internal team, Y&L had what we needed to begin telling Upland’s story. The packaging design, illustration and copy captured Upland’s ideals and put them in the minds, hands and coolers of craft drinkers. Specifically, a reworked logo and entirely new labels, carriers, coasters, posters, tap handles and trucks piqued craft drinkers’ interest and were quickly embraced. In the end, Upland succeeded by giving the community something more powerful than a new beer to try—it gave them a new story to share.
Did it work?
Justifying a braggadocios case study.
Since the rebrand, Upland has seen a 40% increase in overall package sales. That’s hardly where the good numbers end, though. We’d love to sit down and walk you through them some time—and maybe have a few beers, too.