16 Mar Triton Brewing’s Brand Re-Fresh is a Merging of Past and Future
Triton Brewing in Lawrence has been a staple for the Indiana beer community for years. They will celebrate their 10th anniversary later this year, but their elder statesman status doesn’t mean that they have been resting on their laurels. In fact, they are anything but static – a full kitchen a couple of years ago, a fresh market during the pandemic, the Barn Phantom series introduced a few years ago – Triton has always looked to the future and what their fans are going to love.
I mentioned the marketplace they introduced during the pandemic so people could find food staples they were short of in a time of need (desperation for some), but that isn’t all they took on during the pandemic. In looking for how they could serve their customers best, Triton has undergone a brand refresh in the last few months.
Several things came together at the same time which made the brand refresh a natural step forward for Triton. Jon and Dave had made the decision to move from 16 oz. to 12 oz. cans, and along with a distributor change and an inquiry from a marketing/design company, the refresh was a good way to tie all those things together. As Jon told me, “After nearly 10 years of business, moving to Zink Distributing and the AB Network and the with the move from 16oz to 12oz cans, it seemed as though it was a perfect time to freshen it up.”
In each facet of the refresh, Triton has stuck to their core values and their history – what makes them Triton. Each point was well thought out and based in what they saw going on in the market and what that meant to them and their philosophy of running a brewery. As to the switch to 12 oz. cans, Jon explained, “We are seeing more companies moving away from the 16oz cans. We’re hoping to do 12-packs someday and the 12oz cans are most conducive to that package. So, in our minds it was a good time to make the move.”
Why are cans such a big deal? Because of Covid, of course. Doing a brand refresh during the pandemic was both smart and scary, but as Jon said, “Covid made everything scary.” He explained, “In the Covid world, our keg sales have really suffered. It amazes me on how many half barrels are just collecting dust right now. Keg sales have just died. Package sales are up for sure, but certainly not enough to make up the lost volume in cooperage. The can shortage just makes everything that much more challenging.”
As for the brand refresh, The Flatland (located on Mass Ave in Indy) came to Triton lots of ideas. Jon said, “The Flatland created three amazing concepts. The one we chose was one of those original three. We liked it right off the bat. It seemed to resonate most with our historic branding, and felt the most like the direction we thought the brand should be headed.”
That design theme provided Triton with a very clean, recognizable look. “We wanted to keep our look clean, keep our core colors in line, and move the ‘Triton Brewing’ front and center. It was as much about keeping our connection to our past, as it was giving our brand a ‘fresh face’ moving forward.” Jon added, “All the cans at this point will have the same base design. The core beers, our ‘Ol’ Stables,’ all have black tops and change the colors on the lower half. The Barn Phantom Gose series have white tops and the colors on the lower half. All the seasonal beers, the ‘Deployments,’ are more colorful on both the top and bottom.”
It was important that The Flatland understood and bought into Triton’s history, location and philosophy, as do the series names. Since Triton Brewing is located in the old mule stables of the Ft. Benjamin Harrison, an army training and financial center, so their history in Indianapolis and the military play a role in all things they do, like the Hometown Hero beer that is a staple from Triton. As for their different beer series, Jon told me, “All of our Ol’ Stables have very “Indiana-centric” names. Hometown Hero Golden Ale®- Our Salute to local 1st Responders, Military and Veterans. Deadeye Stout is named in honor of local author Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Deadeye Dick,” while Star 19 IPA- A homage to the State of Indiana, the 19th State of the Union and Rail Splitter IPA®- Named for Abraham Lincoln’s nickname. He spent part of his childhood in Indiana.”
He added, “The Barn Phantom Citrus series- named for an entity (or entities) that may or may not reside in our almost 100 year old Army Mule Barn, but who make themselves known fairly frequently. Our Deployments seasonals couldn’t be more appropriately named. One of the two definitions of “Deployment,” is the action of bringing resources into effective action. Our seasonal and specialty ales do precisely that. They bring our newest products and limited offerings “into effective action,” making them available to our guests and consumers. Both the O’Stables and Deployments fit nicely into our new tag-line ‘Brewed on Base.’”
The brand refresh is already starting to pay dividends. I have noticed their brand at more stores and it does stick out as distinctive and recognizable. This includes at the new Total Wine on Indy’s north side. The end caps and in aisle displays with the new designs are eye-catching. Jon noted, “We are getting some great exposure there, for sure. It has been a good relationship for us, Total Wine has done a great job of highlighting local brands.”
The entire process has gone so well for Triton. John said, “Dave and I started referring to ‘Triton Brewing 2.0,’ after we left Monarch Beverage. We were looking for a way to express this ‘new life;’ the new opportunity that the company had after struggling with our distributor for more than three years. The brand refresh was the perfect way to communicate that something had changed at Triton Brewing Company. We are very happy with our new look and we definitely worked with the right partner in The Flatland.”
The brand refresh is a great way for Triton to welcome 2021 and the re-opening of the economy. Look for great things from them this year, including a blow out of a party for their 10th anniversary in September or October. Hatch, Double Dead Eye, Barn Phantoms, pastry stouts….. this is going to be good.