12:51pm

Wed August 28, 2013
Craft Beer

A New Look For New Belgium

That bottle of Fat Tire you know so well is getting a new look. That’s just the first in a complete makeover of New Belgium’s labeling and packaging.

Ann Fitch’s watercolors have been the familiar artwork that has graced many New Belgium beers for 22 years. New Belgium’s look hasn’t been firmly static though.

The current New Belgium labels using watercolor paintings by Ann Fitch.
Credit Nathan Heffel / KUNC

There have been other small changes, including a new graphic look in 2010 for Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Part of the Explorer Series, Ranger IPA and Shift Pale Lager also received the treatment a year later. Brewery spokesman Bryan Simpson says while the look of the Explorer Series was distinct; it wasn’t easily recognizable as a New Belgium brew.

“Cool look, but it definitely could come across as not being from New Belgium if you walked by the cooler too fast,” says Simpson.

Simpson says this is the first time the brewery has completely updated its packaging portfolio. Thanks to the introduction of the Explorer Series, there was a desire to bring brand cohesion and create something new for consumers.

“Ann's watercolors really helped establish the look of our brand on the shelves for years,” said Simpson. “Many of the elements she incorporated are still in play. We started looking into this more than a year ago and by a happy confluence, Ann stated that she was looking to retire from production art right around then, so the timing turned out great for all parties.”

It seems that it has always been about a happy confluence. Ann Fitch is the next door neighbor of New Belgium founder Kim Jordon.

“We feel these designs will delight our long time fans while also inviting new folks into the fold,” said Strategic Marketing and Branding Director Josh Holmstrom.

New label for New Belgium Brewery's Trippel Ale
Credit New Belgium

The new packaging will begin to roll out this December with New Belgium drinkers in Ohio getting a first look.

Colorado should start to see the packaging in January 2014.