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.
We first highlighted the design work over at Indiana’s Big Lug Canteen, at the end of 2016, after their brewpub had opened, with a distinct and refreshing aesthetic. It was done by a design shop out of Indy whose work we have featured a handful of times now, CODO Design, frankly, because they have impressively honed in on the niche for branding and packaging work for independent craft breweries. The latter of that offering–packaging–was missing in their original design package offering for Big Lug. But, that recently changed, after the brewery headed into cans, under a new concept.
We got word of this new project from CODO’s own Isaac Arthur, who went on to describe the new packaging effort for us:
“We first worked with Big Lug Canteen on their flagship brewpub in Nora, Indiana. Fast forward two years, and we’re now partnering with them on two new concepts: a Bavarian-inspired beer hall called Liter House, and Camp Big Lug, a beer retreat set in rural Indiana (more on these soon). In addition to being one of the state’s most anticipated new restaurant openings, Liter House is in a large enough facility to allow Big Lug to package some of their fan favorite beers. Don’t sleep on Goat Ranch, it’s one of the best beers in Indiana.”
The more we hear and see about this unique beer brand, the more intrigued we get. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for that ‘beer camp’…
See below for CODO’s original branding and environmental design work for Big Lug.
We spoke with CODO’s Isaac Arthur, as to their approach to designing the “anti-brewpub.” “We’ve taken the idea of how a brewery (and by extension a craft beer bar) is supposed to look—reclaimed wood, a dim, rustic atmosphere, beards and flannel everywhere—and packaged it, inseparably, with craft beer itself. We’ve stereotyped these ideas to the point that they’ve become an easy target for competitive lampooning. We assume that they’re essential; that they’re just another checkbox on the list of ‘How To Pass As Craft Beer.’ And we’ve done this under the auspice that craft beer is a commodity. But craft beer isn’t a commodity (not yet, anyway). And these ideas are not essential to a brewery’s success.
Culturally, we’re guilty of an unfortunate oversimplification—albeit an oversimplification that heralds an incredible opportunity. If we know how we’re expected to look, then we know how to defy that expectation. By extension, we know exactly how to stand out. And amidst the burgeoning craft beer marketplace, knowing how to stand out is pretty damn important.”
Images and photography provided by CODO Design.