Responses by Oxide Design Co.
Background: The brand of Keg Creek Brewing—located in the quaint city of Glenwood, Iowa—is centered on the founders’ collective love of storytelling. Their line up of beers, found in their tasting room and store shelves throughout the region, tell the stories of local people, places and events. When Keg Creek named its celebratory 100th batch—which is an American Strong Ale—Hypebeast, its packaging needed to showcase the mother of all tall tales.
Reasoning: Oxide created a folklore-style imaginary creature, supposedly spotted in the brewery’s namesake creek. The beer label mimics a telegram warning of the dangerous Hypebeast creature, while the wrap is styled as a Prohibition era newspaper, complete with original stories recounting the witnesses’ encounters with the beast. The design intent was to make the package as covetable as the beer inside.
Challenges: The key to the success of the design is an authentic-looking telegram, which is a pretty far cry from modern-day beer labeling requirements. One of the toughest challenges in the design of this packaging was meeting federal legal standards without disrupting the historic style of the label.
Favorite details: Because this was a limited production run, we were able to include a lot of nuanced details that wouldn’t have been possible at a larger scale: custom rubber stamps applied by hand, letterpress printing and a hand-torn newspaper wrap. Also, to complete the look of contraband liquor, the wrapped bottle was placed in a wooden box packed tightly with excelsior. Every aspect of the packaging created a cohesive story from start to finish.
Visual influences: Once we narrowed our thinking and decided on a path, we spent days researching telegrams and newspapers from the Prohibition era in order to create the most authentic experience possible for the consumer. We poured over more than a decade of source material in an attempt to produce the most authentic end product possible, from label to wrap to box.
Anything new: Working with non-traditional packaging materials and processes allowed for some valuable trial-and-error, as we experimented with how to letterpress and rubber-stamp a textured paper label, and how to create a newsprint wrap using old-world metal plates.