Victory Brewing changes its look for the first time in 23 years. Here's why.

Feb. 11, 2019

Chester County's Victory Brewing Co. revamped its look, rolling out new packaging so its entire portfolio, for the first time in its 23-year history, is visually consistent as it continues to churn out new products.

The move proves that even stalwart and nationally known players need to stand out in an increasingly competitive subsector of the beer industry.

The Downingtown-based beermaker launched new packaging for its products, which includes a revamped logo. Victory previously made slight changes to its packaging for individual brands like Golden Monkey and HopDevil.

But the new look marks the first time Victory updated its packaging to follow one consistent look supporting the beermaker's brand across its entire portfolio, including its popular Summer Love golden ale.

Victory, celebrating its 23rd anniversary this month, had two reasons for the redesign, Chief Marketing Officer Derek Detenber told the Philadelphia Business Journal.

"The first is simple. ... When you are around for 20-plus years, you need to make sure that your look is relevant and contemporary," Detenber said. "The second is to make the brand easier to shop for our fans as well as new consumers to craft [beer]."

Over 7,000 brewers operated in the United States in 2018, up 20 percent over 2017, according to the Brewers Association. More than 85 percent of U.S. drinking-age adults live within 10 miles of a brewery.

With so many players, beer designs have to stand out. About 66 percent of U.S. craft beer buyers say a beer's package and label are important for getting them to notice it, according to Nielsen. About 60 percent said the package and label is important in convincing them to try and buy a brand.

Craft beer's explosion gives consumers more choices, but it's also "made it more difficult to shop at retail," Detenber said.

"It is now very important to have a consistent look across the Victory brand making all of our beers easier to find while still showcasing the special stories behind each beer," he said.

Consumers are more likely to purchase beer, or remain loyal to, a brand whose story they resonate with — which also makes on-site tours or visitation equally important for alcoholic beverage makers.

Victory unveiled the new packaging in conjunction with the debut of three new brews: Twisted Monkey, an extension of the Golden Monkey brand; No Brainer IPA; and the New England-style Cloud Walker Hazy Juicy IPA.

The new packaging is organized to create an impactful and consistent look on the shelf level, Detenber said, "and to layout information around style, ingredients, and specs in a way that enhances the customers experience at shelf."

"This will set up Victory for success moving forward as we continue to build on the legacy of core brands like Prima Pils and Golden Monkey but also as we continue to innovate and add new beers to our portfolio in the coming years," Detenber said.

Victory is also redesigning its physical spaces. The beermaker opened its Downingtown brewery and taproom in 1986, and early last year it invested $500,000 to upgrade and expand it for the first time in 10 years.

Victory in 2016 joined Southern Tier Brewing Co. under parent company Artisanal Brewing Ventures, formed by New York-investment firm Ulysses Management and Southern Tier to provide assistance to independent brewers. Artisanal Brewing Ventures is now among the largest brewing companies.

By Kenneth Hilario, Philadelphia Business Journal