For a craft brewery with only four years under its belt, Denver-based De Steeg Brewing is quickly making a name for itself through a relentless focus on exploring Belgian and related beer styles. After producing more than 136 unique recipes, the brewery decided in 2016 to make the leap from tasting room-only availability into retail distribution across the Greater Denver area. Company owner and president Craig Rothgary chose Baton Rouge branding and design firm TILT to package its two initial bottled offerings, French Saison and Biere de Garde.
“Our French Saison is a distinct variety of the classic farmhouse ale,” explains Rothgery. “It’s a smoother, more refined profile than many traditional farmhouse or Saison beers—delicate, yet extremely flavorful. De Steeg Biere de Garde is an old-world recipe that’s gloriously simple, yet produces an amazingly complex beer where the yeast is the star. We wanted to showcase these fantastic beers in 22-ounce ‘bombers’ and set the standard for what to expect from us. We believed TILT could help us do just that.”
TILT partner and lead project creative director Brendan Bayard is thrilled to help bring wider exposure to De Steeg’s exceptional beers. “De Steeg is a real beer-lover’s gem,” Bayard says. “When you find it, tucked away behind roadside storefronts in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood, it’s like you’ve discovered a secret pub that’s brewing some of the best beer you’ve ever tasted.”
Continues Bayard, “With our label design work, we wanted to pay homage to the working-class men and women who historically brewed and enjoyed these humble French and European ales. So we married custom illustration—a nod to the roots of these styles—with a more modern design framework. It’s a blending of two worlds that we believe personifies De Steeg’s embrace of both tradition and experimentation.”
“Packaging is an extremely important investment,” says Rothgery. “It’s the first thing customers see, and it has to convey that they’re about to experience a high-quality product. With the craft brewing explosion, it’s harder than ever to stand out from the masses. Your branding and style have to capture interest—and TILT has definitely exceeded our expectations for how to represent our beers and our brewery.”
With French Saison and Biere de Garde now available outside the tasting room walls, look for more from De Steeg this year and beyond. Continues Rothgery, “We’ve recently expanded our fermentation capacity and dramatically increased our barrel storage. We may be Denver’s smallest full-production brewery, but you can expect us to produce some of the biggest and boldest beers on the shelves. We’re out to show that with proper attention and dedication to the Belgian style, you don’t need gimmicks or a truckload of hops to create a delightful drinking experience.