This content was originally published by The Hop Review, a digital magazine that joined the Hop Culture family in March 2020.
This piece was written by Jack Muldowney.
A staple in downtown Madison, Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company originally opened near Capitol Square in 1994. Seemingly, since then the brand had little been touched, despite expanding to several locations in and around the state’s capitol. In 2014, Great Dane celebrated 20 years, which provided the catalyst for reflection and a revised vision for their brand and its’ future.
Enter Zimmer-Design, of Chicago (the creative minds behind the rebel-ish 3 Floyds packaging and the sophisticated Une Année bottles). They stripped down the brand to a strong and punchy 2-color design that just feels “Wisconsin.”
According to Ted Peterson, Director of Operations for Great Dane, “We knew we wanted to incorporate a classic upward-diagonal banner, not only as a nod to Wisconsin’s vintage flat top can designs, but as a symbol of growing upward and moving forward. Coincidentally Wisconsin’s state motto is ‘forward.’ We wanted to embrace the simplicity of an identity that fell somewhere between “iconic and retro.’ As the artwork progressed, what was most appealing to us was the limited use of color, and most importantly the cleanliness of the design.”
Great Dane–which derived its name from the Wisconsin county it is located in–wanted to embrace and re-establish their unique Wisconsin roots. That includes now utilizing local hop producers, helping contribute to Wisconsin’s growing hop renaissance. Like the state’s vintage breweries, the Dane has deep passion for their business, product and loyalty to the community.
Their new brand conveys an authentic, non-sophisticated, credible story. Plus, those cans–those look right off the set of That 70’s Show, in the best sense possible. I see these stripped down cans having a home at many a UW house party or Badger tailgate.
Images and Photos provided by Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company. Designs by Zimmer-Design.