Many people along the Front Range are familiar with the Monument, Colorado brewery named for one of the most visited mountains in the world (at least, so the tourism board claims), but not familiar enough it seems. This week, Pikes Peak Brewing Company unveiled a complete re-vamp of their logo, merchandise, beer labels, and brand as a whole. Why would a brewery that is just two years old and had a recent expansion (read: successful) go through all this headache? Pikes Peak discovered that while the Colorado Springs/Monument area has a rather high highest concentration of craft beer drinkers, there were still many people who were unaware that they had Pikes Peak Brewing practically in their back yard. So they hired a marketing firm to guide the process of re-inventing themselves, while still staying true to their founding ideals of community and simple, straight forward beer.
One of the most obvious changes has been to the logo. Gone is the oval full of complicated colors and tiny details, and in comes the more simple and clean sort-of-rectangle, meant to invoke the National Forest signs. The brewery’s home city is prominently placed at the top, and the name sake mountain rounds out the bottom. The beers themselves also got a through clean up. The main line beers have all been re-named, all with a nod to some part of Colorado Springs history, and all with their own color schemes. For example, the newly-minted Little London English Mild, with the blue label, is a nod to the days when there were so many British nationals living in the area that is was nick-named “Little London”.
The newly simplified designs are all part of a broader goal: to bring you Pikes Peak Brewing Co in delicious and popular cans. That’s right, these guys are the newest Colorado brewery to join the craft canning craze. Working with the wonderful people at Mobile Canning Systems, Pikes Peak developed a plan to bring you 4-packs of 16 ounce beers in delicious camping-worthy cans. First up will be their Elephant Rock IPA, which will be canned and sent out to play later this month. The second release will be the Devils Head Red, hopefully by late in July.
The rebranding does not stop with just canning and totally new art work. They are also launching their Penrose Private Reserve. When Pikes Peak doubled in size in October, they added a barrel aging program and the Penrose series is the fruit of that labor. Named for Spencer Penrose, who founded the Broadmore Hotel and hid high end beer and wine under said hotel’s pool during Prohibition, this series is promising to be something a little different. I was able to try the first release from the series, 1302 (year and month bottled) which is their Gold Rush Belgian golden ale aged in Chardonnay barrels. I got beautiful soft bready yeast, just a touch of Brett funk, some interesting crispness from the Chardonnay, and as it warmed, a healthy booze note. These guys are not the wonderful barrel-aging mad men down at Trinity Brewing, but I did enjoy the 1302 for what it was. The next in the series is going to be a whiskey-aged Summit House stout, which sounds quite promising. Later in the series, they are going to be doing some tequila barrels. Sign me up for that!