With Anderby Brewing’s hazy IPAs, Imperial stouts and hard seltzers, you’ll find Preston and Michell Smelt’s love of music, cats and Stephen King novels. Their popular triple hazy New England IPA called The Shinning is a tribute to the Simpson’s Halloween episode with Georgia malt grains lending an appropriately intense orange hue. The creepy twins from the classic Stanley Kubrick horror film make their appearance in Come Play With Us, a double hazy IPA inspired by French flavors.
FUN AND FUNKY VIBE HELPS BREWERY STAND OUT IN THE CROWD
Although they founded Anderby Brewing in 2019, the couple took advantage of closing down during the pandemic to create a new brand image for their craft beer business and taproom located just outside of Atlanta in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. The mash-up of pop culture and original art, inspired by the likes of Rocky Horror, Godzilla, Prince and Van Halen, is the result of the owners fully embracing their fun personalities and quirky sense of humor.
“When we first started, our brewery’s name and branding related to the town of Anderby in the U.K., which has a family tie, but it didn’t feel relevant to us. We wanted designs and beer names that really speak to who we are,” said Michell.
For help with the new branding, they called on 88 Design Group, the in-house design team at Grandstand in Lawrence, Kansas. Grandstand supplies Anderby Brewing’s glassware and retail merchandise, including t-shirts, hats and keychain bottle openers.
“I love 88 Design Group. I can just talk through an idea with them and they nail the design the first time every time. Sometimes I know what I want and I can send examples and pictures while other times it’s hard for me to put it into words. When that happens, I do the best I can and just say, let me see what you can come up with,” said Michell.
FINDING THE RIGHT COMBINATION
As Michell handles marketing, Preston focuses on brewing unique flavors, starting with combining different types of hops to see how well they work together.
“When we opened, I brewed what I liked. While our taproom provides for the majority of our sales, we need distribution to stay viable as a business. Realizing that forced us back to the drawing board,” said Preston.
“IPAs, for example, sell really well so we get creative and have fun with them. Of our 19 taps, at least six or seven will be different types of IPAs. We play with a different aspect every time we brew. We can use the same basic ingredients on three different IPAs but by tweaking different aspects of the process, they all come out completely different. It makes for a fun brew day.”
The Smelts rely on 88 Design Group to create art that echoes that philosophy and helps their brews and brand stand out in the taproom, in the marketplace and in liquor stores across Georgia.
“We have an Imperial stout called Chunkzilla, which is inspired by the nickname we gave our black and white cat, Greta. I sent over a picture of Greta and asked the designers to create art inspired by old school Godzilla movies but use our cat as the monster. They came back to us with a really cool design,” explained Michell.
“Then we had them create variations on the theme with Chunkzilla’s Revenge and our more recent Taming the Beast, which is a German chocolate cake milk stout. I asked the designers to incorporate a helicopter flying in slices of German chocolate cake to tame the beast. Their first design was perfect. It was exactly what I wanted. We liked it so much we had a Chunkzilla mural painted on our back wall.”
CREATING FRESH EXPERIENCES
Not content to stand still, the Smelts continue to evolve their products as well as their designs. For summer, 88 Design Group adapted the brewery’s logo for running and biking events to use on commemorative t-shirts and glasses.
“We run and we cycle. I used to do triathlons. It’s our lifestyle. By hosting events, we’re again leaning into who we are. While definitely not a monetary play, the events bring in a lot of people from out of town and allows them to get to know us,” explained Preston. “We like having the flexibility to use a logo for each type of event.”
With its creative, flexible branding and ever-changing IPAs, stouts, seltzers and more, Anderby Brewing is constantly evolving, ensuring their fans enjoy a fresh experience every time. It’s an important strategy considering the high number of craft breweries in the area.
“I think it keeps customers coming back and also brings new people to the table,” said Michell. “We finally found our voice and now that we have, we’re able to run with it. It’s exciting how much attention it’s getting.”
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