WBC brewers Kirby Nelson, Clint Lohman and Mike McGuire (left to right) show off the new packaging.
After opening just a little more than a year ago, Wisconsin Brewing Company is making changes in its main beer brand packaging. The Verona-based brewery will transition later this month to new labels on its year-round beer, and will shorten its name to just WBC.
"We did a lot of listening and we've been finding that WBC is how retailers and consumer identify us," says brewery president Carl Nolen. There's confusion when someone asks for something from Wisconsin Brewing Company, and retailers or servers just start rattling off the names of Wisconsin made beers, he adds. Shortening the name is among several other changes that followers of WBC will experience.
Nolen says the brewery is retiring its Session IPA, one of its original four releases when the brewery opened. That change is due to responses from confused consumers over the meaning of "session."(The term refers to beers that are generally less in strength, often less than 4% ABV, so a person feels more comfortable drinking more than one in a session.
"Our first year we were about keeping up with building the brewery so we wanted our first products to be easy to understand. Now is the right time to roll out the personality behind the brands and tell the story a little more," says Nelson. While Six-pack carriers, and bottle labels will change immediately with more pictorial images, while cans will follow in April. Recipes of the beers themselves are not expected to change.
More specifically, the changes mean that the brewery's American IPA will take on the name Yankee Buzzard. It's a reference to the civil war era story of the eagle Old Abe that flew into battle with the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment and was given the name Yankee Buzzard by Confederate soldiers.
The brewery's Brown Porter takes the name Chocolate Lab, which is a tribute to the dogs owned by WBC employees including Nolen who has a dark lab. Also getting a new look will be WBC's Amber Lager, Ol' Reliable (Munich Helles) and Zenith (Saison).