Hop It Brewing Co. is a Rebel Beer Brand With a Cause
by Jessica Deseo on 01/20/2022 | 5 Minute Read
With an irreverent tone of voice and a proposition hinged on reducing water waste. A purpose-driven concept created by JDO, Hop It is a beer brand for the ethical generation that cares, not only about how good a beer tastes or how filling it is, but also about its environmental impact. However, don’t get it twisted. Hop It Brewing Co. is not your generic, green-washing sustainability brand. With an in-your-face attitude and an arresting design, Hop It Brewing Co. here is to tell it straight, break the rules and save the world.
In an exercise to spark their creativity and knack for innovation, JDO challenged themselves to find growth opportunities in the declining beer category and develop a concept that tapped into the trends driving consumer behaviour and influencing the category in a relevant and revolutionary way.
Hop It Brewing Co. was born out of consumers desire for more positive impact brands, particularly in regards to the environment. With the climate crisis literally reaching a boiling point, the need for more sustainable solutions has never been more critical, especially in an industry that is so thirsty.
The unfortunate truth is that beer is just not that good for the environment. Of the many vital resources used in its production, the most egregious is water. Huge volumes are used (AKA wasted) with an industry standard of eight pints of water to one pint of beer. A disturbing ratio that’ll never last. Possibly even more disturbing is that most beer drinkers are not aware of how much water is wasted for them to enjoy a couple of cold ones.
To create a beer brand concept with reducing water waste at its core, we asked ourselves the following questions: If most beer drinkers aren’t aware of water waste, how do we broach the subject and make consumers care about it? How do we hero a sustainable brewing process and its benefits whilst also creating cult-brand coolness? And lastly, how far can we push?
That’s how we came up with Hop It Brewing Co. – a sustainable, purpose-driven beer brand that cuts to the quick with its mission: Unsustainable Brewing Can Do One. Hop It Brewing Co. will achieve this in three ways. First, it’ll implement a dry floor policy, which is a re-working of the brewing processes to drastically reduce the amount of water needed to brew by 60%. They’ll then donate the proceeds of every second can sold to Water Aid because they believe everyone deserves water. Not stopping at water, they’ve also created the first-ever reusable beer can. Take that carbon footprint.
New question: How do we communicate the many aspects of this powerful purpose with a design that is relevant to craft-obsessed beer drinkers hopped up on innovation and on the constant search for authenticity? The answer: We do it by straight-talking in a language that they’ll understand. We do it by being bold, unapologetic and optimistic. We do it by using a bit of humour and showing a lot of humanity. And we do it by becoming a symbol of how things need to change.
The brandmark for Hop It Brewing Co. is the graphic of a wide, open eye with a water droplet. This reflects the idea sitting at the heart of the brand that we, as a society, need to take a hard, unfiltered look at the truth of our misguided use and total lack of care for life’s most fundamental resource. This motif is locked up with the brand name in a circle, a subtle suggestion of the interconnection between us and the planet, and how all our actions have an impact, even something as small as having a drink after work. The font is simple and legible, with no frills or flourishes to seduce or over-promise – an honest friend that you can trust is going to tell it to you straight. The design embraces the cultural vernacular of pubs, clubs and the streets of the UK to send their message in an audacious way that cannot be ignored.
The main feature in the centre of the beer can is a hand giving the two fingers, a rude British gesture used here to convey the need for change in unsustainable brewing. The hand is covered with symbols including hops, rain clouds and mountains with the logo smack in the centre. Bold and in your face, these powerful visuals demand attention and shows that the Hop It Brewing Co. refuses to be subtle with its message.
With bold simplicity, the iconography gives the brand its own language, engaging consumers to decode and join the movement. It also provides the brand with the flexibility to tell new stories across brand communications and as the portfolio expands in the future. Red is used for a number of reasons. Firstly, the colour reflects the brand’s ballsy and brazen personality. Secondly, it is an eye-catching and active colour that consumers will notice on the shelf. And lastly, it is to distinguish it from water brands as well as other “feel good, do good” propositions.
The strong graphic style uses iconography to communicate the many aspects of the brand’s story. Hops obviously represent beer, while rain clouds, mountains and waterways convey the brand’s focus on reducing water waste and ending water poverty. Tridents express the strength of Hop It’s commitment to its cause while hearts and stars show its irrepressible optimism in creating change.
Yes, Hop It is looking to change the tide of the water crisis, but it is not doing it by asking politely. It is doing it by making people forcing people to look at the truth and act accordingly. Messages on the can and throughout communications span the spectrum of outright shock at the situation we’ve created, rallying cries for real change, and true magnanimity encouraging consumers to embrace, “A new way to drink responsibly.” With a short bite, the brand’s name becomes the equivalent of telling someone to “jog on” or “f*ck off” and a way for the brand to express its mission in an unmitigated way: “We say ‘Hop It’ to water poverty.” In a time in human history when climate crisis is on the horizon, we need brands willing to take a stand, tell the truth, fight for change and lend a helping hand. Hop It Brewing Co. endeavours to be one of those brands, using the powerful design to rattle consumers out of their comfort zones and compel them to consider the consequences of water waste, change the way they consume, and care about the earth and each other.
- Creative Director at JDO: Andy Briscoe
- Designer at JDO: Frank James
- Visualiser at JDO: Damian Hughes
The GRO Agency