Atwater Brewery is making a splash this summer with refreshed packaging that aims to create a more consistent look across its portfolio of beers.
The Detroit-based brewery debuted its new look this month across its cans and bottles in an effort to better stand out on shelves to drinkers across its distribution footprint.
“The idea is to get everyone aligned — we at the brewery, our distributor network, retailers and customers — with that consistent look,” says Mark Rieth, Atwater’s president. “Our goal was to be creative and innovative, while ensuring our primary logo remained front-and-center to jump out at retail.”
The 24-year-old brewery’s longstanding logo – a hard-hatted worker raising a beer after a hard day’s work – ties the brand back and pays tribute to its hometown and includes the tagline: “Born in Detroit, Raised Everywhere.”
A consistent look and feel are crucial for Atwater, particularly in out-of-state markets, where it's seeking to make inroads with new customers after establishing itself in its home market of Michigan.
“This is not only a refresh on packaging, but a refresh for our people as well. As we roll into summer and key months, it’s also about getting our people excited about it, so they’re like ‘This is awesome, let’s go,’” Rieth says.
Known for its Dirty Blonde Ale, Vanilla Java Porter and POG-O-Licious IPA, Atwater is gathering momentum as drinkers return to bars and restaurants, which account for more than a third of its total volume.
Coming out of the pandemic, “we had to go from zero to a thousand miles an hour again (with draft) and we’re ramping up as fast as possible to meet demand,” Rieth says. “We’re really bullish about what will happen during the rest of the summer and into fall and beyond.”
Atwater kicked off 2021 with the launch of a new brand, Light Citrus Blonde Ale, a lower-calorie and lower-alcohol version of its flagship Dirty Blonde. The 4% ABV, 100-calorie beer is “going over very well, and we’re really excited about it,” he says.
The brewery will pair it alongside Dirty Blonde in a retail promotion slated to launch in advance of July 4th as part of a summer campaign called “Red, White and Blonde.”
Atwater also plans a new ale this fall in collaboration with Forgotten Harvest, a food bank and distributor that serves the greater Detroit metro area. The fall-inspired beer, Forgotten Harvest Ale, will use Michigan hops. A portion of its proceeds will be donated to the food bank.
“We’ve always been very mindful of community and local, and we’re really excited about that project,” Rieth says.