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Brewer signals new design thinking in craft beers

To help sales stay on the upswing, craft brewers are leveraging innovative packaging to match the active lifestyles of their target audiences.

Pw 5125 Beer

Despite the challenging economy, craft-brewing industry sales grew 5.9% in 2008, according to the Brewers Association. To help sales stay on the upswing, craft brewers are leveraging innovative packaging to match the active lifestyles of their target audiences and express the personalities of their distinctive beers.

Big Sky Brewing Co., Missoula, MT, is representative of the new age of craft brewers. The company is transitioning its Trout Slayer Ale and Moose Drool Brown Ale to 12-oz cans from Crown Beverage Packaging North America (www.crowncork.com) to the glass bottles that long have been a hallmark of craft brews.

The brewery also cites other reasons for a switch in packaging formats: Metal cans are portable, chill quickly, provide a superior barrier to light and oxygen, and offer expanded decorating options.

In addition, Big Sky Brewing worked with Crown to signal a premium image for its two brews through distinctive decorative techniques. To prevent the graphics from resembling cartoon images, the artwork was transformed from processed color to spot color that also includes sepia tones for high-quality appeal.

โ€œThe imagery is about where you want to be, not where youโ€™re at,โ€ says Bjorn Nabozney, Big Sky Brewing co-founder.

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