Beaverhead Beer Branding & Video

Here is a story I like to tell about how a unique project from my home town came to be and social media discoveries I made along on the way.

What is better than developing the brand for a start-up brewery in my Montana hometown? 

Well maybe doing the research...

It started when a few good friends and I got together at Gallaghers' in Edmonds.

It is a public do it yourself brewery. We started with a recipe and the ingredients, but somewhere along the way we ended up double hopping the batch and inadvertently made a double IPA. It actually turned out really well. To carry on with the fun I named the batch lounge and cheek, the “The Drunken Sailor.” Some more friends got together and filmed this spoof commercial by my buddies boat at at the Everett Marina.



Full disclosure our “actor” Tom doesn’t actually drink.

He is just a very talented actor.

I put the video up on a custom web site and after the excitement faded kind of forgot about it. Fast forward a few years I bump into a childhood friend randomly in Ballard. She tells me her husband who had apprenticed as a brewer for Pyramid and Mannys was going to start a brewery in my home town Dillon, Montana. She said that my name kept coming up as a “local” person that did graphics or something like that and asked if I had done any work for breweries. I sent them the Drunken Sailor video link. They though it was hilarious and just had been living in Australia so they especially loved the ascent at the end of the spot.


 Beaverhead Brewing Company Poster Beaverhead Brewing Company Poster


This is Beaverhead rock named by Lewis and Clark on their core of discovery on the way to the Pacific. I ended up doing all the branding for Beaverhead Brewing Company starting with this vector illustration.

I like vector because I can then translate to any size and more easily composite for animation should the need arise.

Beaverhead Brewery is a new venture in Dillon, Montana started by Brett Maki and Anna Loge.   

Brett brings considerable brewing experience having worked with Pyramid and Georgetown Breweries in Seattle, WA.

Dillon has a rich heritage as a mining turned farming/ranching community with people that love living in the "last best place."


 Vertical Logo & Bottle Label Vertical Logo & Bottle Label


The logo developed from many iterations down to a crest and simple type lockup based on the historical type of the original pre-prohibition brewery. As Amanda can tell you I like to make lots of options as the designs become refined. The more photos a photographer takes the more likely to end up with something special with good curating. We simplified and stylized Beaverhead rock the Beaverhead River and Tobacco Root Mountains. Built a responsive web site. Prepped the logo variations for merchandise and custom tap handles for each type of beer.

T shirts, hats growlers etc. Created photo simulations to help the sign builders manufacturer the signage on the renovated building.

After all this thought it would be a interesting to get the background story in a short emotive video.

I spent a couple days with the brewmaster, in the edit was able to string together this story. I experimented with using a fast and light camera kit, the same kit I have used filming 227 Washington Trail videos for the Best of the NW. I didn’t even bring a dedicated mic, which I do now even for run & gun video projects (can hear brewing sounds in the back etc.) See video on dedicated audio here.




 Facebook viewing stats after a couple days of circulation.  There aren’t that many people in the entire county! Facebook viewing stats after a couple days of circulation. There aren’t that many people in the entire county!


Now typically on a video project I send a private video review page link on Vimeo where notes can be made on the timeline as an organized punch list of edits. I hadn’t heard anything from them, but the next day my wife said she saw my video on Facebook. Apparently the marketing person in charge of media downloaded straight from my Vimeo link and uploaded through their Facebook page. Overnight there were 6,500 views and over 11,000 by the weekend. The entire county doesn’t have that many people. I was surprised that a video in this style could attract such an audience and wanted to figure out why.

I think it comes down to clarity an authenticity. Don’t assume an audience knows why a business does what it does. Don’t assume a web site with facts and whats will be enough to convince someone to make that call or buy that product.

The second thing I picked up on was building the community in which messages will be received. People following a page on Facebook or Linked In are already interested in hearing more. Building that trust and consistency with a brand language that speaks to the core of why you do what you do.

effective communication



Living Visual Brand Language

This is our process of SINTERING. Making order out of chaos.

Building business by appealing to people and using the magic of thoughtful video to inform and inspire.

Videos are easier than ever to share online which also leads to the problem. Everyone does, so they can be washed down the stream of consciousness river we call social media.

Things that resonate tend to be targeted to a specific audience with specific interests. This can be much more refined that what we are able to do with traditional TV.

Consider the potential impact of video campaigns distributed to a very targeted audience.


More to come on that….


See more Beaverhead Brewing Company design work here.