The Lagunitas Brewing Company began on a kitchen stove in Northern California in 1993 and has been crafting hop-forward beers ever since. It’s one of America’s most iconic craft breweries and is chiefly responsible for the IPA’s resurgence in popularity. To stand out among the sea of pale ales in Bay Area bars in the mid-90s, the founder Tony Magee developed a new-world spin on an old-world style: the India Pale Ale, which he shortened to IPA. Palates at the time couldn’t handle the hoppiness, but Tony had a hunch that this was the next big thing.

This was a full rebrand and pack redesign for their portfolio of 6 national brands. It’s no small feat to re-imagining such a beloved craft beer icon. Rebrands like this can often be fraught. It’s easy to lose fans with too drastic a change, but of course, remaining stagnant isn’t the answer. Our goal was to maintain what was essential to the brand, and what resonated most with consumers. With a firm through-line, we could trim what wasn’t working and find spaces to push and evolve, hopefully appealing to new customers.

Through several rounds of consumer research, we were able to strike a balance between updated, eye-catching visuals that maintain the brand’s essence, while setting the tone for the next 30 years of brewing. The creative team delivered a clear vision, executed with efficiency, producing designs that exceeded all research expectations. Despite the entire craft beer category experiencing decline, post-rebrand Maximus saw double-digit Y.O.Y. growth, as did Hoppy Refresher, which has created a whole new beverage category: hop water.

Creative direction by Fred Abercrombie, art direction, design and illustration by Benjamin Allison.