(Est. 2019) “Away Days Brewing Co. is an independent brewery and bar based in Portland, Oregon, rooted in travel, adventure and the best of European beer. Born under the watchful eye of its neighbour The Toffee Club, an English style football pub.”
Land of Plenty (London, UK)
From the outset this was about creating a new-wave brewery brand. The existing Portland craft beer scene was one of dark wood, heavily illustrated labels and industrial bar fit-outs. Our objective was to counter this with a brand rooted in youthful thinking and street culture.
The visual identity hangs on a bold stripe reminiscent of parasols and awnings shading continental bar terraces on warm summer evenings – but also evoking a sense of nostalgia for classic football jerseys. This is complimented by a wordmark and mascot (Away Dave), more in-keeping with a streetwear brand than a brewery. This was of course all part of the plan to appeal to the younger beer drinking crowd, those with fresh ideas about what a modern brewery should look like and behave like.
Land of Plenty provided text
Images (opinion after)
Let’s start with the name, as it’s the one thing that trips me up about this. It’s explained as such, “In the US it relates to days off from work – holidays. Whereas in the UK it’s a reference to following your (footy) team on the road.” I don’t think I have ever used or heard anyone in the U.S. use “away days” in a sentence but maybe I don’t get out enough, which I don’t. I can’t vouch for the UK use but I imagine it’s for real, which would have been a good enough explanation, although the name is still awkward. Nonetheless, I get the premise: combining footy with chill and I can go along with that. The hero of the identity is “Away Dave”, an amorphous dot-thing wearing a goofy vacation hat and tube socks. It’s awesome. And unexpected for a brewery. I would totally buy a t-shirt just for the sake of Away Dave. The wordmark is a very odd choice as it feels very corporate. On its own it’s nicely done but it doesn’t say “brewery” or “sports” or “fun” in any way. There is a chunkier sans serif used throughout the identity that would have been spot on. The use of stripes is also unexpected for a brewery and their use looks great on the menu and trays. I don’t like the beer cans at all but I do agree that they are like a footy kit stuffed with beer, so it can’t be all that bad. Overall, this is fun and lighthearted in a way that most breweries are not as most of them try to play it overly cool and/or moody. Not Dave though. Classic Dave.