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Goose Island Beer

Design, Print, OOH

One of the pioneers of the craft beer movement, Goose Island was a micro brand with a microscopic brand image. Our job? Help carve out a niche for this very drinkable portfolio of brews. A look back at brewing history provided an interesting nugget: Chicago was once the country’s beer capital, home to more breweries than any other city, including Milwaukee or St. Louis. We decided to tap into the provincial pride that runs deep in this city and positioned the brand as a neighborhood brewery and the only one that truly understands Chicagoans. We gave the brand an anti-mass image with a gritty, local, underground tone. (TDH shot the photos ourselves with disposable cameras to avoid a big brewery “slick” feel.) And this part was pretty slick: on-premise sales for Goose Island increased 11% that first year.

01 | Print

Goose ad1 Goose ad2 Goose ad3

We came up with this campaign for Goose Island in 2002. It was the first big win for Tom, Dick & Harry and put us on the map. Problem was, we spent most of our first month's fee celebrating the win at the Map Room bar. But the good thing about Goose Island beer: they use superior ingredients. The best barley and the choicest hops. So we arrived at the office properly hydrated and ready to earn month-two's fee with nary a hangover. 

02 | Design

Goose logo

Goose Island came out with this really expensive line of designer beers that cost nearly $20 for a four pack. It was priced like wine, with just as much alcohol, and aimed at super beer geeks. The stories behind the ingredients were amazing. Their brewmaster used a secret stand of yeast from a French brewery to craft "Pere Jacques." So we turned the stories into intricate long-copy labels that we wrote and designed, along with the carton packaging.  We also recommended that the labels be hand-applied, crooked and with creases. That way the beer lived up to its super high-end hand crafting and helped justify the price point.


The logo to the right was designed to make Goose Island an integral part of the historic Chicago flag. We had real-sized flags made up and distributed to key on-premise accounts for a fraction of the cost of a neon sign.

03 | Outdoor

Goose outdoor

The brewery couldn't afford traditional outdoor postings. So we suggested buying strategic garage roofs to place messages you could see from the el trains on your way home from work. A few flats of shingles are a lot cheaper than a 30-sheet outdoor board on the Kennedy Expressway. And besides, the homeowner gets a new roof out of the deal. Let's drink to that.