It’s fitting that during Flagship February, Deschutes Brewery announces a brand refresh of its lineup of beers. The brewing landscape has evolved considerably since Gary Fish founded Deschutes in Bend, Oregon back in 1989 and staying contemporary is key in today’s market, especially for a legacy brewer.
In creating this new packaging refresh, the 30 year old brewery worked with Perspective Branding. This isn’t the first updated branding that Deshutes has done so it’s not something that is new to them. However, it is an action that is more and more necessary today when there are over 7,000 competing breweries.
The most noticeable change is that on its packaging the brewery’s name will be shortened to state only DESCHUTES as it drops the added Brewery to the name. Deschutes’ first beer to see this change is with the Bend based brewery’s current seasonal, Red Chair NWPA. This will be followed by its other packaged beers in the coming months.
Here are additional details on this packaging refresh from Deschutes’ press release…
The category is flooded now with craft brewers large and small who have embraced quirky, whimsical branding. “I realized that, in order to differentiate ourselves and grow, we needed to evolve our marketing approach, starting with the Deschutes branding and packaging,” Fish says. Rather than following the crowd, he reached back to his roots and chose a different direction: simple and bold to recapture his market and appeal to millennials who may not be familiar with Deschutes.
“If you look at the craft beer category now, it’s a sea of overwhelming visual noise,” says Simon Thorneycroft, Founder/CEO, of San Francisco‐based Perspective: Branding, the agency tapped for the rebrand. “The category is completely flooded by products and styles, all looking the same by trying so hard to look different. We saw an opportunity to create clarity at the shelf by putting the brand and style first, then layering in a bit of mystery through hidden stories.” These begin on the carriers with characters and illustrations that continue on the bottles depicting longevity, authenticity, and innovation, while also surprising and delighting consumers. “Elements of these stories start on one product, overlap and continue onto the next product on shelf,” he adds.
“For clarity, we shortened the name on packaging to just Deschutes, which gives the name a bigger, bolder and more iconic presence that equates with its heritage and legacy as a true pioneer. The new packaging design is a striking red and fresh blue, reflecting the colors of the soil and sky of Oregon, while also communicating refreshment, which is something often overlooked in most craft beer branding,” says Thorneycroft.
The new Deschutes packaging design system is rolling out now beginning with seasonal, Red Chair NWPA. The story on the new Red Chair packaging comes from the curious characters you meet while riding a chair lift at the mountain. These are unique moments when you connect with someone you might not otherwise meet – something that epitomizes the soul of Deschutes. Four different variations feature a skier or snowboarder with a person in flipflops, another in diving gear (a nod to their Mirror Pond packaging), a child in wellies, and Big Foot.
According to Michael LaLonde, President & CEO, Deschutes Brewery, “This packaging is much more visible, bolder and has a deeper story connecting with the consumer. Our heritage brands look new and should lead to additional sampling and a lift for those brands as well.” New products and packaging will continue to roll out throughout 2019, including the brewery’s flagships, Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale. Each package pays tribute to the brewery’s legacy by featuring Central Oregon landmarks, and adds a new layer of mystery to the story.