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Listen to our Beer Branding Trends AMA Podcast

Thanks to everyone who sent in a question about our 2021 Craft Beer Branding Trends article. We received about 25 questions from you all and decided that audio would be a more expedient (and fun) way to field them, versus cranking out another 10k word article. 

Listen (& subscribe!) on Apple Podcasts.
Listen (and subscribe!) on Spotify.

We answered the following questions.

1. What’s your favorite packaging trend this year?

2. Do brewpubs really need to package their beer? There were several mentions to this effect and I’m not sure I agree with you. Won’t this need fade once we’re beyond COVID?

3. Can you expand on the packaging lifespan thought from the packaging refresh trend? Isn’t the goal to have your packaging become iconic so people can pick it off a shelf anywhere they go? If you're updating it every couple years, how will people know what to look for on shelf?

4. We’re currently a brewery in planning. We’re considering a 12-pack out of the gate (with painted cans) and wanted to see what you thought about this plan?

5. It seems like an “endorsed brand” is the best way to launch a new hard seltzer. Is this approach what you suggest to the majority of your clients or should we consider any other avenues?

6. You mentioned that package design might not need to look like a rigid system if it’s not going to be distributed and end up on shelf. I’m a designer myself and was surprised to hear this. Can you explain what benefits there would be for a brewery’s packaging to not be consistent?

7. I agree that the sub brand family approach is working well for older breweries. Do you think a younger brewery could employ this approach or is time in the market what makes it work in the first place?

We also received a thoughtful email from Drizly about an opportunity most craft breweries are missing out on that can directly lead to an increase in beer sales. We read this email verbatim in our podcast episode, but wanted to include it here for you all to read as well. 

From Jay Sobel, Senior Data Analyst at Drizly 

One thing that jumped out from my perspective working with catalog operations at Drizly were the sections on brands going digital. There's an emerging digital angle missing from this piece that I think a lot of brands are sleeping on right now which is catalog management on leading eCommerce sites. 

Drizly manages a catalog of 200k+ products. Each product should have an image, description, a UPC, locality info and more. There are literally thousands of new products launched each week, and the only economical way to keep up has been outsourcing the work and prioritizing products in a "top down" fashion (slow for small brands).

What a lot of brands don't know is that Drizly has a site called Drizly Supplier ( / for sign up) that allows them to directly manage their products within the Drizly catalog (their existence, their images, everything else). It's a relationship that hasn't accelerated nearly as quickly as consumer preferences for delivery have through the pandemic. Products that gain an image triple their add-to-carts, and product data (when it exists) is leveraged throughout the consumer funnel in automated features like recommendation emails and "because you bought" shelves. There's money on the table for the small brands that can perfect their portfolio on sites like Drizly soonest — before it becomes a norm, and it's just generally one of the highest ROI 'digital efforts' especially compared to social content.

There are lots of funny cases where a small brand has a great website and a solid Instagram presence, but on Drizly — where there's an actual "buy" button – they are underperforming by 10x because their products are barely represented.

In the bigger picture, these sites rely on product attributes a bit differently than retailers have in the past. For example, UPC is absolutely critical to inventory recognition. Brands that use the same UPC across variety packs or changing seasonal products are shooting themselves in the foot (maybe leg) on eCommerce because that does not play well in our system.

Actionable Takeaways

1. Get your Drizly profile squared away with proper photos, product descriptions and UPC info if you're on that platform and haven't already. 

2. If you're an older brewery reading this, consider if there could be an opportunity to attract a younger (new) audience through a sub brand. Or possibly by spinning off one of your better selling beers into its own sub (or stand-alone) brand?

3. Subscribe to our podcast. We've got big plans for this channel over the next 6 months.

Latest Resources

Time Traveling with the Beer Can Archaeologist

David Maxwell is an archaeologist and avid vintage beer can collector. Back in 1993, he combined these passions to write the paper, Beer Cans: A Guide for the Archaeologist, and has been an internationally-recognized expert on the subject ever since. ⁠

⁠We were lucky to sit down with David to discuss historic beer packaging, and along the way, discovered how very little of what we see in food and bev packaging today is actually new. ⁠

Sneak Peeks (works in progress)

Ready to learn more?


Craft Beer, Rebranded

Craft Beer, Rebranded and its companion Workbook are a step-by-step guide to map out a winning strategy ahead of your rebrand. Building on CODO’s decade of brewery branding experience, this book will help you weigh your brand equity, develop your brand strategy and breathe new life into your brewery’s brand.

Want to work together?

Email Isaac to get started.

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