What makes a good beer can design? Your brand vision? The can’s size (12 ounce, tallboy or beyond)? Cool inks and finishes? Unique ends and tabs? The International Metal Decorators Association (IMDA) has a thing or two to say about innovative can designs. The IMDA recently held its Annual Conference at the Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort (May 20-21). At that very conference, the association recognized Crown Beverage Packaging North America and Mother Earth Brew Co. (Vista, Calif.) with a Best of Category award, Craft Cans, in its 19th Annual “Excellence in Quality” competition.
The top honor was for Crown’s print quality, ink laydown and registration in production of Mother Earth Brew Co.’s Honcho Hefeweizen (Bavarian Style Wheat Beer) 12-ounce standard 211 size can.
“Crown really managed to make our Honcho design pop,” notes Kevin Hopkins, chief branding officer of Mother Earth Brew Co. and current President of the San Diego Brewers Guild. “While many Hefeweizens feature German/Bavarian influences in their packaging, we opted to focus on other aspects with a ‘Like a Boss’ theme. In fact, we placed the emphasis on the attitude of the beer drinker and imagined a 1960s casino pit boss, who might enjoy a well-crafted beer after a long shift. Other aspects of the design are high value poker chips that emphasize the beer’s inherent worth.”
Honcho began life as a draft offering of Mother Earth and its popularity quickly led to the 12-ounce can and its place in the brewing company’s year-round lineup. The can design features a six ink laydown on top of the aluminum base. The use of gold metallic ink shines out of the can’s dark nightlife effects.
“Craft beer is an increasingly competitive space,” noted Ron Skotleski, director of marketing, Crown Beverage Packaging North America. “There are a lot of companies in this six million barrels of beer or less brewing space and Mother Earth is one of the most successful, with distribution currently in California, Utah, Washington, Southern Florida, Hawaii and international markets. It is a huge honor to have the Honcho can design chosen by IMDA. The Crown graphics team truly partners with brewers to get the most out of their designs.”
Winning this category is becoming a new tradition for Crown. Last year, the company also won Best of Category, Craft Can, for Sunny & Share Citrus Saison, an entry from Mad & Noisy Brewing of Creemore Springs, Ontario, Canada.