Extreme Beer Makeover

Real Ale Brewing debuts fresh new look for Firemans 4 and other beers

Real Ale Brewing debuts fresh new look for Firemans 4 and other beers

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The new packaging for the Real Ale lineup, designed by the Austin-based Butler Bros. Courtesy of Real Ale Brewing
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The old Real Ale lineup, for comparison. Real Ale Brewing Company/Facebook
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From bottle to cans to beer handles, the entire Real Ale Brewing family got a face lift. Photo by Nicole Raney
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Real Ale Brewing, one of Texas' first craft breweries, unveiled a complete brand overhaul during an industry appreciation party on Monday. From the logo to the bottles to the tap handles, the entire line of products got a redesign in an effort to unite the Real Ale brand.

Most of the beers from this Blanco-based brewery had distinct artwork for each label, but the lack of consistency throughout the packaging made it difficult for people to identify with the Real Ale family.

 "We often hear people say they've been drinking one of our beers for years and didn't realize it was Real Ale," said owner Brad Farbstein. 

"We often hear people say they've been drinking one of our beers for years and didn't realize it was Real Ale," said owner and operator Brad Farbstein in a press release. "We decided it was time to make it a little easier on our customers to see and try the beers we offer, as well as understand who it's coming from."

The team at Butler Bros, a local creative communications company, is the one to thank for the makeover. "Real Ale has been independently brewing for almost two decades, building a diverse line-up of some of the most-awarded beers in America," reads the Butler Bros study on the Real Ale brand. "Yet many beer drinkers identified more with their individual beers than the brewery making them. One beer, Firemans 4, was almost more identifiable than the Real Ale brand itself." 

Fans of Firemans 4 can relax — the iconic logo for the beloved blonde ale only got a minor retouching. The remaining beers, such as Lost Gold and Devil's Backbone, received new imagery to help consumers better identify them on the shelf.

The new Real Ale logo experienced the most dramatic overhaul. Borrowing the sprocket from Firemans 4 logo, the new logo (located on the neck of the beer bottles) also incorporates an image of a hop and the phrase "TX 96," an homage to the year that Real Ale was founded.

Butler Bros — which is responsible for the look of a few other great Austin institutions like The Thinkery, Sweet Leaf Tea and the Austin Parks Foundation — was able to re-imagine the overall Real Ale brand without sacrificing the Texas brewery's emphasis on quality and minimalism. "Butler Bros really 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," said Tyler Linton, creative director for Real Ale. "They are Texans who enjoy good beer, so it has been a great fit and we are thrilled with the results."

For the other Texans out there who enjoy a good beer, keep an eye open for the new Real Ale look, which will be rolling out in Austin and San Antonio this March.