Besides cool weather, playoff baseball, football and colorful leaves, fall also brings a full-on display of seasonal packaging to beer aisles.
Fall is my favorite season, with cooler weather, football and those oh-so-amazing tree colors. It’s also a time for Octoberfest and a related slew of seasonal offerings from brewers large and small. With that in mind, we paid a visit to two chains, one a local outlet of Binny’s Beverage Depot, a chain of 30 superstores in the Chicago area that boasts a wide selection of beverages of all types, and the other a Hy-Vee Store in eastern Iowa. Our tour of the beer aisles uncovered these notable packages among the visual highlights that say “fall is here” using appropriate colors, copy and packaging design cues like yellow leaves and orange pumpkins.
First and center of target in this seasonal market is Octoberfest itself, an annual celebration that originated in Germany. The 16-day festival that starts in mid or late September and runs through the first weekend in October. A large number of packaged brews played on that theme, starting with this brew from Oktoberfest’s home turf, Warsteiner. The classy, atypical color scheme uses a gold and blue diamond pattern on bottle, carton and case packaging design that stands out among the brews we sampled visually.
Fall assortment packs are, of course, all the rage. For example, Samuel Adams provides a more conventional approach in a multiflavor Fall Variety Pack printed in autumnal oranges and yellows along with a Sam Adams blue. The 2015 pack includes a new style, Hoppy Red, alongside Samuel Adams stalwarts such as Boston Lager, Harvest Pumpkin Ale and, of course, OctoberFest.
Another sampler pack is represented by Traveler Beer Co.’s Burlington, VT, Fall Expedition bottled 12-pack of flavored shandies that uses strong fall colors to cue the trio of varieties in graphic representation, only one of which is actually autumnal: A lemon, a pumpkin and an orange. Another distinction is that the pack uses an unusual asymmetric product count in a bow to the season: 6 of the pumpkin and three each of the others.
If we can add a bit of a seasonal throwback: The Huffington Post recently named Curious Traveler Lemon Shandy as the best summer shandy.
Speaking of shandies: Harvest Patch from Leinie’s offers a whole new angle on multipacks…