Bell’s Big Packaging Shift

Bell’s Brewery has become one of the larger craft brewers in the U.S. due to the quality of beer they produce and the loyal following they’ve amassed. To meet this growing demand, Bell’s did what any growing company would do – they expanded their production capability and distribution lines. In 2015, Bell’s announced a $50 million expansion plan to their primary brewery which will add in additional bottling and production capabilities. More recently, Bell’s continued their quest to distribute nationwide by announcing that they would begin to distribute in Texas starting in early 2017 – this follows their expansion of distribution to seven other recent states including West Virginia, Nebraska and Kansas. It’s clear that Bell’s is well on its way to becoming one of the most prominent brewers in the U.S., so here’s a quick look at three exciting ways Bell’s is making changes to their brand in 2017 and beyond.

The Big Rebrand:

Bell’s has been around for over 30 years now, but their VP, Laura Bell, knew that it
was time for a reformulation of their packaging, as a way to heighten the brand logo while also making the labels more visually appealing. The result: in celebration of their 30th anniversary, Bell’s announced a retouched logo, along with package redesigns for each beer that highlighted their unique qualities while also harking back to their shared heritage. I also liked that two of Bell’s most iconic logos, Two Hearted and Oberon, were not changed at all, but were instead “heightened.” The new packaging should be on shelves now!

A Shift Towards Cans:

As you might’ve read in my craft beer predictions for 2017, I believe that cans will continue to increase in popularity this year, and Bell’s is one of the larger breweries leading that charge. Back in 2015, Bell’s decided to package one of its fan favorites, HopSlam, solely in cans, and the subsequent popularity of the new packaging push has led Bell’s to continue to bring more of their delicious concoctions to the canning line. Along with the 2017 iteration of HopSlam, new beers making their forays into cans this year so far include Oatsmobile APA and Smitten Golden Rye Ale.

Credit: Bell’s Brewery

Are Mini Kegs the Future?

Credit: Bell’s Brewery

Cans are great, but mini kegs might be one of the cooler beer trends sweeping the industry recently. Mini kegs give you a good amount of beer to bring to a cookout, long weekend or BBQ and you’ll look pretty cool bringing it. So when I saw that Bell’s was distributing one of my favorite beers, Oberon, in the mini keg, I immediately got excited – not only for the new packaging but also for the feeling of summer it reminds me of. Although Bell’s has featured mini kegs for years the packaging on the keg is very fun and bright, sticking to Oberon’s summer roots, and I for can’t wait until I see this bad boy on shelves in late summer.

So that’s my write-up on how Bell’s is positioning its packaging in 2017. With a clear focus on cans, kegs and brighter packaging, it’s clear that Bell’s is trying to appeal to a wider, and perhaps younger audience. But regardless of how they present their beer, at the end of the day it’s all about the beer and the taste it brings, which is something that Bell’s will continue to excel at in 2017 and beyond. I’ll be on the lookout for the next packaging move they’ll make and I hope you will be too. Cheers!

Taylor Laabs

Taylor Laabs

23, Chicagoan, lover of (most) beers due to my Wisconsin-based education and craving of brewpubs. Cheers!
Taylor Laabs