Battle of the Breweries, Round 1
We’re pretty open about the fact that we love beer. And we’re stoked that Charleston’s seeing more and more kick-ass breweries open around town each year. So in true Schmoll Creative fashion, we’re hosting a digital Battle of the Breweries. Sixteen local breweries will compete in head-to-head match-ups, and over the course of four rounds, one will be given the prestigious title of Best Branded Brewery in Charleston.
Here’s what we’re looking at each round:
- Round 1: Logo/Bottle/Can Design
- Round 2: Beer Names/Descriptions
- Round 3: Digital Presence (Website/Social Media)
- Round 4: In-Person Experience (And Maybe a Little Taste Too)
For the first round, 16 of Charleston’s finest breweries were randomly sorted into two groups and then randomly paired up for their first match.
Round 1: Logo/Bottle/Can Design – Group A
With a manly wrench and pint glass logo for Tradesman vs. a retro font and hot pink unicorn Lo-Fi, this is quite the match-up. While we love that both logos convey clear sentiments about the brewery brands, we felt Lo-Fi took its brand to a more unexpected place. Also, we’re really feeling those old-school vibes and bright colors. WINNER: Lo-Fi
This is a bit of a Goliath vs. David match-up with Westbrook being one of Charleston’s best-known breweries and Twisted Cyprus being a new kid in town. Westbrook brings to the table an intricate illustrated style anchored with a strong W icon. Twisted Cyprus features a tastefully silhouetted Cyprus tree. For this pairing, we have to give it to Westbrook, whose distinctive cans have become quickly recognizable throughout the Lowcountry. (One of our team members may even have a pair of earrings made from Westbrook’s White Thai.) WINNER: Westbrook
Holy City’s font gives a distinct nod to classic religious texts, and the larger logo also pulls in Charleston’s steeple-dotted skyline, which is how she earned her nickname as the Holy City. The cans themselves feature locally inspired illustrations ranging from the Folly Beach Washout to the winner of a Charleston Beard Competition. Alternatively, COAST makes a splash with a logo that incorporates a wave and some beautifully designed can art with equally nautical vibes. This was a toughie, but ultimately, we felt COAST was crafting a more cohesive look across its logo and cans. WINNER: COAST
Two more complex logos compete in this hops-to-hops match-up. Freehouse sports a farmhouse as a testament to its commitment to organic ingredients. Cooper River features a blue egret, often spotted in the Charleston marshes. Although we like that Cooper River’s egret simplifies to a nice solid silhouette, we also appreciate that Freehouse’s logo alludes to the breweries unique point of differentiation. WINNER: Freehouse
Round 1: Logo/Bottle/Can Design – Group B
Located just a few miles apart in downtown Charleston, Revelry and Fatty’s are both bringing the heat to this match-up. While we love Revelry’s vintage textures and fonts, we found the overall branding to lack cohesiveness. Fatty’s Beer Works, which is younger and less established in terms of graphic design, has still managed to create a focused and recognizable look and feel for its brand featuring clean lines and a flat illustration style. WINNER: Fatty’s Beer Works
This is a true logo vs. logo battle as neither brewery has developed any other graphic design elements yet at this point. Ghost Monkey offers a hard-to-miss screaming monkey skull. Rusty Bull comes with a text treatment that looks straight out of a baseball park. Although we think Rusty Bull has a logo that will serve them well for a long time, we feel they missed an opportunity by not pulling in some rusty and/or bull-y elements. Ultimately, we have to give this one to Ghost Monkey for its undeniable stopping power. WINNER: Ghost Monkey
With its tipping small boat logo and complimentary LTB paddle mark, Low Tide conveys a nice combination of simplicity and authenticity with its branding design. Charles Towne Fermentory features a kaleidoscope-like graphic made of hops coming together. Both fit their respective brands, but Low Tide offers more visual interest. WINNER: Low Tide
Featuring South Carolina’s much-loved Palmetto tree and block lettering, Palmetto has recently rebranded with an updated look across its beer labels. The type treatment for “Palmetto” itself still has a tattoo-esque intricate style. Frothy Beard delivers adorable cartoons of bearded men. And because we’re suckers for adorable cartoons of bearded man, Frothy Beard is going to move on to round 2. WINNER: Frothy Beard
Tune in next month for Round 2, where we’ll take a look at beer names and descriptions for their creativity, originality, personality, and consistency.