Real Ale Brewing Co.

Branding, Digital, Film, Packaging

Since 1996, Real Ale has quietly been making some of the best beer in America. We collaborated with their team to make their history and unique brewing philosophy the heroes of their brand design.

Real Ale has been independently brewing for twenty years, with a diverse line-up of award winning beers. Yet, beer drinkers identified more with their individual beers than the brewery. One beer, Firemans #4, was far more identifiable than the brand itself. Without a dominant identity and packaging system to help beer drinkers see the larger picture, the brand was relegated to obscurity.

The “Hop Sprocket”

Building from the equity of their best selling beer Firemans #4 and the illustrated hop in their original logo, we designed a new core identity that pays homage to their history and communicates a forward-looking aesthetic. This ain’t vintage Texana.

Packaging Redesign

We designed packages for 20 different offerings. It’s a system flexible enough to communicate the unique individual characteristics of each beer and cohesive enough to family strongly on store shelves. We also used package to tease up a core brand message, “Only In Texas” a reference to their promise to focus on serving Texas. Unfiltered. Unpasteurized. Unavailable in 49 states.

Beer Icons

Custom icons serve as the entry point to the narrative of each beer and give each its own distinct personality.

We overhauled carriers to give them one clean, consistent look that creates visual rhythm on the shelf.

A “hop sprocket” adorns every tap handle, a hat tip to the original Firemans #4 handles that used bike chain rings.

Brand Film

This short film shares the philosophy of the brewery. The music was written and performed by Alex Maas, a member of The Black Angels, and Brett Orrison through their project Water Moccasin. Enjoy.

“The Butler Bros took the time to understand what we’re all about and what we were looking for. They are passionate about what they do, just like we are. They are Texans who enjoy good beer, so it has been a great fit. We are thrilled with the results.”

— Tyler Linton, Real Ale Brewing Co., Creative Director

Print ad for Texas Monthly.

Mysterium Verum & Brewers' Cut

New logos were created for Real Ale’s barrel-aging program Mysterium Verum and their experimental Brewers’ Cut series.

We created a new destination for thirsty web visitors that celebrates the beauty of the Hill Country, shares the breweries history, reveals the breadth of the offering and experiments, and showcases every beautiful beer they make with stunning photography.

Celebrating 20 years of brewing.

Rio Blanco hat designed to fundraise for flood relief efforts in Blanco, TX.

We designed this tap handle and icon to help separate this big, juicy beer from the growing IPA herd.


Cheers, Y'all

We are grateful for the experienced and passionate team at Real Ale who worked diligently with us throughout this project. We are also very thankful to the army of creatives who helped us bring this project to life. Special thanks to Jody Horton and Adam Voorhes for allowing us to use their photos to tell this story.

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