In development since 2013 and launched this year with local distribution and the opening of its tasting room, Coppertail Brewing Co. is a microbrewery in Tampa, FL, started by a “reformed” attorney and a professional brewer. The brewery offers four core beers year-round, available in draft and bottles. The name was the idea of the 5-year-old daughter of the lawyer — Coppertail being an imaginary sea monster that lives in Tampa Bay — and the identity and packaging have been designed by local firm Spark.
A very thorough and entertaining microsite that builds out the legend of the beer can be seen here.
Armed with a name (Coppertail) and an idea from his daughter (the Coppertail is a sea monster), we built a brand celebrating the playful and fantastical with an imaginative approach. It champions the freedom to dream up wild and whimsical ideas while embracing tradition. Coppertail’s three core values — Imaginative, Timeless and Ironic — are each realized in Coppertail’s final design and brand execution.
You are probably thinking, “Great, another quirky microbrewery about to get a positive review” and you would be right but if it’s any consolation I don’t cover every microbrewery that comes through my inbox — and there are plenty of them. What stroke me about this one was how deep (no pun intended) Spark and Coppertail went into coming up with a bonkers mythology about the Coppertail monster and all the stories behind the off-kilter labels. It also looks pretty great.
The logo features a “C” monogram made out of the scaly tail of the mysterious monster in the midst of turbulent waters, making for a great drawing on its own but a very catchy graphic as a logo. The wordmark is like the more grungy cousin of the type found in the recent Milwaukee Bucks logo. Its simplicity clashes a bit with the more ornate style of the icon but works great with the illustrations in the packaging.
The four core beers have great names — Free Dive, Wheat Stroke, Unholy, and Night Swim — and the overall darkness of the packaging gives them all a groovy noir feel while the copper and white illustrations provide some pleasantly dark humor. The heavy use of illustrations on the bottles give away that this is a small brewery — even larger microbreweries realize that a more systemic and typography-driven layout gives the illusion of a larger operation — which is not a bad thing and even then there is a clear, simple system in place for this small range of beers.
Everything about the identity has been very well considered where even the taps look as if they came from wood salvaged from a shipwreck caused by the Coppertail monster and the illustrations on them look great. One of my favorite effects of the identity is the white version of the logo on the glasses where the white sea plays so well with the white foam of the beer. So, yes, another quirky microbrewery gets a positive review… it ain’t the worse that could happen.