High on Hops: Flat12 Bierwerks Rebrands


Every beer nerd will agree that it’s the liquid found inside the bottle that matters.

The label art, the brand identity of the brewery and even the name of the beer is secondary to the almighty taste.

But for drinkers making a split second decision at a bottle shop, faced with beers they’ve never tried before, there’s no doubt that first impressions count.

With that knowledge in hand, Indianapolis brewery Flat12  has embarked on an ambitious rebranding campaign to mark its 5-year anniversary and re-introduce its line of beers in the brewery’s distribution areas of Indiana, Louisville, and greater Cincinnati.

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Consistency is one of the hallmarks of solid brand identity, and the new Flat12 mark and associated collaterals cohere into a vintage-inspired packaging aesthetic. Reminiscent of hand-lettered signage, the logo has mixed weights and is slightly askew, connecting the name to the hand-crafted nature of the product. Each label has an illustration that is similar in aesthetic but speaks to the individual name and qualities of the respective beer.

“Upside Down Blonde,” a Pale Wheat Ale, is adorned with a pair of “Queen of Hops” playing cards, where the golden-haired matriarch clutches a stem of grain. The use of Noble hops underlines the significance of the royal presence.

The new “Pogue’s Run Porter,” named for a creek adjacent to the brewery property, is embellished with a drawing of a charming antique covered bridge. This plays into the history of the region as well as a reminder of the all-important water used in every brew.

The updated design for the highly regarded “Walkabout Pale Ale” references the use of Australian hops with an Aboriginal art-inspired crocodile whimsically feasting on a snake. Tasting the big burst of bright, fruity Galaxy hops will entertain the palate while the label evokes dreams from the Outback.

As new beer brands enter the market, it’s important for existing breweries to stay fresh, relevant and to recapture the eyes and purchasing habits of existing and new customers. The Flat12 rebranding is a great example of how a well-respected regional maker can seem brand new without losing its original appeal.