The Client: High River Brewing Co.

 

High River Brewing Co. harkens back to the days of the local watering hole – a community gathering place to share big fish tales with the neighbours over a beer or two.

 

A Little Backstory

High River Brewing Co. is the latest addition to Alberta’s thriving craft beer scene, located in the town of High River. Founded by Okotoks native Kevin Guichon, the spirit of the brewery lies in its strong sense of community – and its line of four handcrafted beers.

Our Challenge

With a location secured and the initial lineup of brews planned, Kevin and his team came to WS in search of a brand identity. With 2013’s catastrophic flooding still front of mind, High River is a town still in the stages of rebuilding. It was with a careful balance in mind that we started the branding process: to honour the strength and determination of the community while also shining a spotlight on the beer.

The Solution

In the early phases of brainstorming, our creative team explored High River’s history, legends and landscapes to present multiple logo concepts. These reflected the Highwood River and the Medicine Tree, which is also represented in the logo for the Town of High River itself.

For the beers themselves, we found our inspiration in the animals who had also endured the ravages of the 2013 flood. By bringing together witty beer names, vibrant illustrations and clever copy, we knew we’d created an identity for High River Brewing Co.’s beers that would be as at home on a crowded store shelf as it would be shouted over the din of a crowded taproom as you ordered your next pint.

While all of this was coming together, our digital team was crafting a landing page to serve as placeholder until the grand opening of the taproom. This page did double duty – building anticipation for what was to come, and providing an opportunity for High River Brewing Co. to collect qualified, beer loving leads.

Reflection

“We loved the opportunity to work with the team at High River Brewery – it was a great display of all of our team’s strengths. We really got to run the gamut for all of our teams – from conducting audience research and helping develop a marketing automation strategy, to designing the brewery logo and labels to developing the website and the naming of the inaugural line of beer.

The inspiration for all design was drawn from the passion that Kevin has for the rich history of the town of High River and being a part of the community. A surprising twist for us was when it came to helping name the first family of beers – before we started, we never would have thought that there would have been so many challenges with naming brands of beer! Please note – apparently you can’t name a craft beer after a moose very easily in North America.

It’s been a lot of fun watching High River Brewing Co. on their journey from concept to grand opening – and being able to help along the way!” – Kristine Waddell, Group Account Director