Hitting the Ground Running!

Southbound Tap
Beka Butts Illustration
Smith and the new boiler

Preparing to open a brewery has been, although very fun, quite an undertaking. Most of my time has been spent figuring out the best marketing approaches, as well as the overall look and feel of the brewery and merchandise. Fortunately, these are things that I love to do! So far, we've been able to nail down stickers, banners, shirts, koozies, glassware, growlers, tap handles, tents, posters, pens, and are almost done working on the labels. 


I've been able to establish great relationships with our vendors and am really looking forward to working with them. Figuring out our tap handle design was actually easier than I thought. Cathy, my contact at the Alison Group, guided us right through the process in creating our perfect tap handle. We are excited about the incredible detail of our logo as presented on the handle. Surprisingly, the handle itself is pretty dense and heavy, which should help if it ever gets dropped - and knowing us that may happen from time to time.


The labels for the cans/bottles have been the most intensive part of the design process. Coming up with names for the beers was a lot of fun. Since the brewery has a music theme, we wanted to keep the beer names in line with that. After a lot of brainstorming, we were able to come up with some pretty awesome names that fit the brewery well:


India Pale Ale - Hoplin' IPA 

American Pale Ale - Revolution Pale Ale 

Belgian Wit - Sun King Belgian Wit 

Belgian Tripel - Day Tripler 

Belgian Quad - The Reaper 


Each of these plays off music, whether it's a song or a musician. I created labels for all the beers (IPA, APA, Belgian Wit, and Tripel) but really got stumped when it came to the IPA and Quad. Although I have a design background, I'm not an illustrator. For the India Pale Ale - Hoplin' IPA, we wanted it to reflect a female musician's hand embellished with hop plants with the bloom fashioned as a microphone.  As much as I worked at it, the hand for the IPA label kept looking strangely alien to me. So, I considered where to turn to for help. We are fortunate to have the brewery in such a creative community. SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) is known for their extremely talented students, so it seemed only appropriate to get someone from the school involved. After a lot of searching, I stumbled across an illustrator, Beka Butts, a recent SCAD graduate. I immediately fell in love with her illustration style. I had been toying around with the idea of a "heady" reaper for the Belgian Quad, and when I saw her artistic style, I knew she could design for us. I encourage you to check out her website or Facebook page to see how incredible her work is:








I contacted Beka to start taking my vector drawing and push it farther. Recently, she sent us her color illustration that I am now working to get turned into a vector for the label. Seeing how well it turned out, it made sense to continue to move forward in that direction. I took her illustrations and began to layer them to create mixed media images for the front of the label. 


Once the illustrations are complete and "vectorized"(as Smith says), I will be able to finalize all the other parts and send them off to get approved. Although we won't be bottling/canning for a while, it will be great to be able to have these complete and hit the ground running.  We are working hard to have everything ready to go from day one. Obviously things may change, but it's our goal prepare now to be ready for production when the time comes. 


Since most of the design work is done, the next major step is figuring out what to do with the inside of the brewery. Since we aren't going to have an official tasting room at first, we plan on having a bar around the cooler. While our plan is for this to be temporary, we intend for it to look incredible in the meantime until a separate tasting room becomes a reality. Smith and I have both been collecting posters and framed records to add some life to the warehouse, and there is so much more we want to do! We have been continuously brainstorming on this and hopefully will be able to update everyone with images and ideas next time.



Carly Wiggins

Marketing Director