We’ve taken the idea of how a brewery (and by extension a craft beer bar) is supposed to look—reclaimed wood, a dim, rustic atmosphere, beards and flannel everywhere—and packaged it, inseparably, with craft beer itself. We’ve stereotyped these ideas to the point that they’ve become an easy target for competitive lampooning. We assume that they’re essential; that they’re just another checkbox on the list of How To Pass As Craft Beer. And we’ve done this under the auspice that craft beer is a commodity. But craft beer isn’t a commodity (not yet, anyway). And these ideas are not essential to a brewery’s success. Culturally, we’re guilty of an unfortunate oversimplification—albeit an oversimplification that heralds an incredible opportunity. If we know how we’re expected to look, then we know how to defy that expectation. By extension, we know exactly how to stand out. And amidst the burgeoning craft beer marketplace, knowing how to stand out is pretty damn important.
In the case of Big Lug Canteen, and often without even realizing the magnitude of the task at hand, we wound up wrangling with some pretty high-level questions. Such as:
How can another craft brewery stand out in an energetic, fiercely competitive market?
How might you delight a customer by playfully defying their expectations?
Or to put it more plainly: What if we didn’t encrust every inch of the tasting room with black pipe, dark wood and too-cool-for-school glowering Edison bulbs?
CODO set to work creating mood boards to create a visual match for the “high-quality with no frills” approach to beer and food that Big Lug would offer.
The resulting Big Lug brand is “clean and contemporary, a bit goofy and non-pretentious.”
Architect George Small was brought in to extend the brand to the building’s interior and exterior.
See and read much more about this branding process on the CODO Design blog.