Opened late last year by home brewer Ryan Pitman, Eastlake Brewery & Tavern is a microbrewery in Minneapolis, MN, located inside Midtown Global Market, an indoor market with fresh and prepared foods, restaurants, and arts and crafts vendors. Eastlake serves their beers — IPA, Pilsner, and Stout — on tap only, with growlers for take-out and for restaurants, and welcomes outside food from the other merchants in the market. Eastlake’s identity has been designed by (of all places) Vietnam-based Rice Creative.
Our intention became to supply the brand with an open identity which put an emphasis on uniqueness. We soon took note of the rich cultural heritage of the Eastlake Brewery neighborhood. Ryan let us know that he believed his establishment would be frequented by a rotating cast of local characters.
This inspired us to create a set of unique characters which would together represent the community as well as the eclectic brews. Along with these characters, we developed a range of logos which harken back to the olden days of both Minneapolis and Eastlake Avenue, as well as a set of graphic elements which tip a hat to the city of lakes.
This would normally be a Friday Like kind of project but the Summer gets a little low in big-news redesigns — I have one of those for you tomorrow though! — and this is quite fun and well done. The project starts with a hipster structure of various logos brewed in a variety of hip, weathered, typographic stylings we’ve seen before, particularly in food and beverage establishments. Some of the logos are not that good like the growler with the extended the “A” or not that imaginative like the script version with the Dodgers-like swash but the rest are solid and the last one, bottom right (above), is pretty cool and is the one used in application most excitingly.
In addition to the multiple logos, there are multiple animal characters in various states of lumber-sexualness. Major bonus points for doing the “inverse” versions actually work on a black background and not just changing the black ink to white ink, so the shadows remain shadows and the highlights remain highlights. The animals are unexpected and humorous, giving the whole identity a slight surrealist vibe.
In application, there is a lot of flexibility with all elements doing something different and not just getting repeated in the same use. Like the wavy logo I mentioned earlier being used as a step and repeat pattern on the bottles with the animal characters on top or the script wordmark used on its own on the glasses. Overall, this is exactly what a brewery in a hip indoor market is meant to look like and the execution has been carried out perfectly across all materials. Now, if only Friday could come quick enough for a pint…