Beer brand writing that totally crushes it

Julie Myers, Freelance Writer IN
February 9, 2019
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I've scoured Google to find examples of great writing for beer brands. Small brands are sometimes more gutsy than bigger ones. Blue Point Brewing doesn't have a lot of copy on its website, but the copy it does have is kickass wonderful.

At Blue Point, we brew beer that stands up to New York's standards. We know it’s good, they know it’s good, and if someone disagrees, fuck ‘em. We first and foremost brew beer that we want to drink. If there’s some leftover, we’ll sell it.

Blue Point Brewing

The copy below from Goose Island is interesting because it balances two different voices. Read along and the copy is good ("big, bracing, piney hop flavors") but not unexpected. The ending, though, snaps like a cowboy's lariat. Perfect, because the duality of the writing mirrors the duality of the beer itself, with its combination of piney woods and the tropics.

It’s 7%, but totally crushable — it’s not quite like any other IPA you’ve had. Big, bracing, piney hop flavors meet a tropical bouquet of Nugget, Citra, and Mosaic hops. There’s a balanced bitterness that blends seamlessly into the light to medium body. Sip it or rip it. We're not your mom.

Goose Island (Next Coast IPA)

Dogfish Head Brewery's copy is full of smart copywriting. Who can resist a sentence like, "It’s hard being the sequel, unless you wrote the original story." But I have singled out Dogfish Head's informative block on its brewing process. Usually, informative copy is flat and dry. This copy makes sense and does a great job of quietly selling the product.

Traditionally brewers make just two hop additions – one big dose early in the boil for flavor & another bunch at the end for aroma. But thanks to our invention of continual hopping – a process of adding hops throughout the entire boil – our continually hopped 60 Minute delivers an outrageously hoppy IPA that isn’t crushingly bitter. 

Dogfish Head

Brooklyn Brewery has grown from a home-based beer operation to a well-established millennial favorite. The copy on its website is much better than average. Nothing shocking or truly distinctive, but it is intelligent and finely crafted storytelling. Below is a typical example,

Two hours later, Milton [Glaser] was persuaded to join in with the bold plan set forth by Steve and Tom. He first insisted on changing the name to Brooklyn Brewery, saying: “You’ve got Brooklyn here, who needs an eagle!” He even agreed to waive his usual fees in exchange for an equity stake in the company and a supply of fresh beer. Steve and Tom had no problem with that; after all, they had no money. 

Brooklyn Brewery

Speaking of Brooklyn Beer, they do an amazing job of maintaining their brand in their label designs. Each label expresses the uniqueness of the specific brew, but clearly is part of a brand family.

Monday Night Brewing's copywriting drips sincerity but lacks authenticity. Who brags "We are humble folks..."? If you have humility, it should come across in your tone. But, Monday Night does tackle a difficult issue and deserves chops for it.

We believe that the craft brewing industry is particularly lacking in diversity.We work in an industry that skews overwhelmingly white male, and that is something that we need to acknowledge and own in order to move towards a place of more diversity and inclusion

Monday Night Brewing

Randy Mosher says in Tasting Beer that every beer tells a story

Many startup brewers write their own marketing copy. After all, they know their product best. They understand the vision. They have the passion. The only problem, really, is they lack the writing skills. It's not just nailing the right words. It's a matter of telling the right story.

Craft beer is, by and large, a social story. Meaning, it's not about quenching your thirst or popping tops on the sofa. It's about sharing an experience in a public venue. This makes craft beer a uniquely millennial phenomenon that combines idealism with a sense of belonging.

Founders Brewing Company, one of the largest craft beer producers, said on its website in 2014, “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us.”

That sentiment remains in the tagline, "Brewed for Us." But otherwise, the message has been replaced by a much slicker one about chasing one's dreams. This is another millennial thread that drives all sorts of gig economy jobs, including writing.

After some initial challenges due to making well-balanced but unremarkable beers, we were on the verge of bankruptcy.

It was at this point that we decided to brew the kind of beer that got us excited about brewing in the first place: complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, big body and tons of flavor.

Founders Brewing Co.h

Second Self Beer Company follows the same train of thought.

Second Self is about fulfilling a dream. We are lucky enough to do that daily in our Upper Westside Atlanta brewery. We all have our passion projects or side hustles that we do because we love it. We hope you embrace YOUR Second Self and live YOUR dream.

Second Self Brewing

Terrapin Beer Co. also began with a dream, specifically a daydream. (Yawn.) The copy is flat, giving no indication that the beers are anything special.

Terrapin Beer Co. began as a daydream between founders John Cochran and Spike Buckowski, who met while working for a microbrewery in Atlanta. 

The two recognized that they had something to contribute to the brewing industry in the southeast, and began crafting recipes

Terrapin Beer Co

Hop Butcher for the World takes its name from a Carl Sandburg poem. The brewery's About page is the most poetic and literary of the brewery websites. It is unique because it does not treat the reader like a dumb fuck. Instead, it appeals to the erudite self most of us secretly believe we have.

In his poem "Chicago," Carl Sandburg first refers to this great city (Chicago) as "Hog Butcher For the World." And while the literal meaning behind that moniker has faded since the mid-twentieth century closing of the Union Stock Yards, it anchors and inspires our ethos in three meaningful ways: For starters, we love hops. The variety of ways they can be used in brewing and the range of flavors and aromas that they bring to beer are vast and areas in which we enjoy experimenting heavily. No surprise then that the word "hop" appears in our name and that the majority of our recipes begin with a specific variety or intuitive blend of hops in mind.

Hop Butcher for the World

Creature Comforts ties the experimental aspects of craft beer to curiosity. In turn, it links curiosity to the adventurousness of artists, explorers, and thinkers. It is a distinctly millennial-focused message, because that age bracket is all about new experiences and creativity.

CREATURE COMFORTS IS DEDICATED TO BETTER BEING THROUGH BEING CURIOUS. FROM OUR SCIENTIFIC BREWING PROCESS TO OUR WIDE-AWAKE CREATIVE IMPULSE TO OUR SMALL TOWN TENACITY, CREATURE COMFORTS IS DRIVEN BY THE PROMISE THAT A CURIOUS MIND LEADS TO BETTER LIVING. WE TAKE INSPIRATION FROM THOSE WHO CRAVE CURIOSITY AND SHARE ITS REWARD. THE THINKERS, THE INVENTORS, THE ARTISTS, THE EXPLORERS.

Creature Comforts

Finally, these beer product descriptions from Big Axe Brewing are totally whacky self-contained stories. And they're totally engaging. You won't find anything like them on competitor products.

SPLINTER CAT

The Splinter cat will hurl itself from tree to tree, smashing the trunks into pieces, revealing the tasty morsels inside.

Medium body with a balanced malt presence from a high grade pale malt. slight sweetness to accommodate the expected IPA bitterness. Notes of citrus and pine finish it

BILDAD BLONDE

When the fish rise to the surface of the water, Bildad quickly springs past and smacks the unsuspecting prey with its paddle-like tail.

Easy drinking blonde ale. Low bitterness and light in body. Slight notes of citrus and lemon from a small late hop addition.

Big Axe Brewing
Bildad 12 oz can
Monday Night Brewing
typewriter

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Briefly...

I am a Florida-based freelance copywriter who works with clients across the U.S. and globally. My specialty is creating brand voices for the food industry and using them online and offline. I have been a copywriter for 30 years and have loved (almost) every minute of it.

To solve a problem, begin by looking at it in new ways. Asking new questions will result in new answers.

ˆf you have questions, drop me an email. If you are in a panic give me a call (but email is usually a better way to go)
Julie Myers |  Copywriter
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