Awash with fresh, vibrant colors and decorated with fictional tales of the quirky inhabitants of the town of Beanblossom, new 250-mL cans of Beanblossom Hard Cider in five fruit flavors reflect the vision of its brand owner, Oliver Winery of Bloomington, IN. “We believe wine is meant to be approachable, and winemaking is meant to be honest and fun,” says Bill Oliver, president of Winemaking for Oliver Winery, a company that boasts the “most modernly equipped winery in the Eastern U.S.”
The Beanblossom line of apple wine with natural flavors was launched a decade ago in traditional glass wine bottles. Last year, Oliver rebranded and reintroduced the product in resealable 500-mL aluminum bottles from Exal, employing hand-drawn type and illustrations from local artist Kevin Pope. “Kevin listened and threw out some concepts that were right on, right from the start,” recalls Oliver. “It’s an absolutely fun, fresh package that reflects the bright fruit flavors we’ve achieved with the cider.”
In spring 2012, Oliver added the 250-mL aluminum can, supplied by Ball, to the lineup, providing a single-serve option for the 8% ABV cider beverage. This smaller size comes in a four-can multipack, housed in a similarly colorful and creative carton.
Artwork for the bottles, cans, and cartons comprises characters imagined by Pope, illustrated in his signature style, with stories for each “that are very true to Americana and rural or oddball lifestyles,” explains Oliver. “His drawn people try to become someone everyone might know—an uncle, an aunt, neighbors—usually not as bright as they truly believe they are, but also risk takers and adventurers.”
Flavor varieties are distinguished through different color palettes—such as pink and green for Raspberry, and cyan and red for Strawberry—with pull tabs brilliantly colored to match.
According to Oliver, adapting the artwork from the aluminum bottle for the can and carton formats required Pope to redraw most of the graphic elements to fit, as well as create new elements for the four-paneled carton. Skuzzio Design managed quality control for the new formats. The aluminum bottles are seven-color dry offset-printed by Exal; cans are offset-printed in six colors by Ball.
Beanblossom Hard Cider is sold wholesale, retail, and online, in nearly half the U.S. states. Bottles are sold individually for $4, while a four-pack is available for $8. Says Oliver, “Beanblossom Hard Cider has become a top-selling item for retailers who have carried the product the longest.”
“People are drawn to this product for its packaging, but also for the idea of a winery making craft ciders,” he continues. “We’ve put a lot of energy into making sure people understand it’s an adult beverage that happens to be colorful and comical, but seriously delicious.”