Snapshot: The Rare Barrel is a microbrewery from Berkeley, California that’s set out to share with us their love of sour beer. Seeing as they exclusively make this hard to come by style of beer, they also need an equally different style to show what they’re all about.
Queue in graphic designer Mackenzie Freemire. Her interpretation of The Rare Barrel is fresh, bright and full of flavor; it's imagery that certainly matches the taste of their product. Sour beers are considered one of the more refreshing types of the lot, and you definitely get a sense of that from the minimalist, iconic graphics that are reminiscent to The Golden State's sun, mountains, ocean and waves.
If you didn’t know, sour beers go through quite a strenuous brewing process before they can be deemed perfect. Unlike most beers, which brew in a sterile environment to avoid wild yeast, sours actually try to capture various strains of yeast and bacteria to obtain the perfect flavor. This somewhat unpredictable method requires lots of testing and experimenting to get just right, so it’s not the most popular brewing method because of the time and effort required. It ends up having a surprisingly tart --and quite delicious-- taste that you’d find in lemonade (or perhaps a straight up lemon depending on the pH level).
The packaging design pays particular attention to the fact that it’s a sour beer with a sense of subtlety that makes it all the more alluring. With unexpectedly catchy names such as, Cosmic Dust and Sirius Black, Freemire approached the packaging design with a vibrant branding system that equally engages the consumer's attention.
Although the packaging for each specific drink has its own unique mix of colors and symbols, they each share a sense of geometric consistency and use of a bright neon palette to makes each one recognizably “The Rare Barrel.” In a way, this matches the brewing process in the sense that while each beer is of the sour variety, there are different tastes and textures within the context of the “genre." With a design that screams refreshing, it’s the perfect thing to enjoy while sitting out on a patio with under the rays of a bright, warm sun.