When we show people our Lost Abbey labels, they unanimously approve of the artistic impression that they make. Nothing makes me more proud than to hear the words “your labels are so beautiful.” It tells me that it was all worth it. And then they talk about the beer inside and I know we are on the right track. For an inspired life is a life worth living.
Starting last October, Gina, Jim, myself and Vince met every Wednesday night after work and began working on the artistic direction for the new brand. When developing a brand as rich in connotations as The Lost Abbey, everything has to be perfect. Wanting things to be “just right” required an enormous amount of energy. There were always revisions and corrections to be made- week after week. For those who care to see the process, we have archived many of the versions at our brewery and you can view them on our walls and see the progressions of our meetings.
It’s not easy to develop a new brand and identity from scratch. It’s your baby and the artistry of a label can and sometimes is the one thing that people will look at before purchasing. It has to be powerful. It needs to be approachable and ultimately, it needs to convey the spirit of the brewery. The success of brands is not by accident.
In developing The Lost Abbey, we set out to tell a story. Every brewery has its own unique story. It revolves around the same premise. There are hundreds of brewers making the best beer in the world. Many of them take the same 4 ingredients blend them together to make beer. How they tell the story of their existence determines their success in the business.
Each of our beers will tell the story of beer as art. It starts with a talented artist. His name is Sean Dominguez. You can view his work at www.artbydomo.com. Working with Sean has been tremendous. His ability to paint and sketch the visions for our beers has been first rate. As we are still developing new beers each month, we get to meet and see the artist at work. One of the best parts of the project is each month when the new art for our labels show up. There is nothing cooler than seeing an acrylic oil painting on canvas in your conference room of a beer that you have brewed. If you have visited the brewery, you probably have seen these pieces hanging from our walls.
As a writer and a creative person, I am tasked with completing the wording for the labels. In my quest to tell the story of the brewery and each beer, I am sometimes more verbose than space permits. As such, you will find only a fraction of what is known as the back story on each label. If you dig a little deeper on our website, you can read the entire back story for each beer and my inspiration for brewing the beer.
I typically write these stories at the end of the day after working in the brewery. These stories remind me that while we work in a concrete stainless jungle each day, there is a deeper connection to life found in the stories behind our beers. It is my job as a brewer to create the story of the beer in the bottle and on the label of the bottle. But most importantly, I must also find a way to make the story memorable enough that our patrons want to retell the story. Mankind’s history has been one of stories and symbols. And for many years, it was an oral history passed down from generation to generation in the form of stories. It is my hope that The Lost Abbey and our storied beers will inspire a similar oral tradition replete with rich symbols, art and tales worthy of being told and retold.
So please read along as we develop new stories for each one of our beers. I get almost as much pleasure out of writing these pieces as I do brewing. For me, they are both creative opportunities to express myself and my thoughts to The Lost Abbey faithful. If you like what you see, pass it on or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org