So why design our own Design Bridge beer?
Well, we have designed for lots of fantastic brands, from Super Bock to Tiger to San Miguel, so we like to think we know a thing or two about what makes a great beer design.
In a city known for its artisanal brewing, and given how much we all enjoy a cold one at the end of a hard day’s work, it felt even more apt to turn our skills to creating our very own Design Bridge Amsterdam brew.
Where to start? Naming? Design? Back-story? Our Creative Director Claire felt the best way to get our creative juices flowing was to bring out our healthy rivalry streak. An office-wide competition was launched, with the brief given: “Bring the true spirit and heritage of Design Bridge Amsterdam to life.”
Some entries dug deep into the rich history of our office building, others told a truly original Amsterdam tale, but it was our love of great storytelling that won through.
The chosen route was based on the classic tale: The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Creating our very own legend was truly appealing, but it was Trip Trap (based on the sound the goats hooves made crossing the troll’s bridge) that was chosen to be the name.
We had our direction, so next elicited the skills of entrepreneurial young brewers – Brewhemoth for collaboration on the project. Dutchman Robert Muijzert (a Project Coordinator in our Client Services Team with a furious passion for brewing great beer) and South African Etienne Marais met during their uni years and saw eye-to-eye on two things: beer and metal.
Their ambition is to create bold, full-flavoured, artisanal handcrafted beers. Unimpressed with the selection offered to the masses (the commercial, easy-going pilsners and lagers) they desire to help people realise the potential of beer and the plethora of flavours that can be created.
After sampling a selection of their wares, we were blown away by two different brews and ended up choosing them both to showcase what Brewhemoth’s beer is capable of: a fruity, hop-forward India Pale Ale (IPA), and a malt-focused, robust, dark Red Ale. This dual approach also allowed us to utilise our integral Design Bridge brand colours of black and white. Trip Trap’s Pale Ale and Dark Ale were born.
While the two beers slowly fermented, and waited to be bottled in their traditional Dutch long-neck brown glass, we took the final label design to local screenprinter Paul Wyber. Based in an Amsterdam town house in the Jordaan district, his attention to detail and knowledge of techniques, added another dimension to the label printing. The ground mother-of-pearl mixed into the printing of the white label, makes the ton-sur-ton illustration shine beautifully as it catches the light.
Once bottled and labelled, Robert numbered every one of this small-batch brew by hand.
The end of our tale culminated in a fantastic edition of our monthly “At the Bar” Evening, where the design team of Sam and Alex introduced the process, followed by Etienne and Robert from Brewhemoth, who gave a rich and entertaining insight into their world of artisan brewing.
They shared their passion and stories as they have grown from a kitchen-top operation to an impressive backyard Brewhemoth!
The audience (comprising of the office, friends, family and even a few beer-loving clients) were able to sample the two ales, while getting the story straight from the goat’s mouth. Seeing how an entire product and brand were created, from a simple competition, through design development, to brewing of the beer, the production and finally the launch.
Every step of the process has been hands-on, from the milling of the grain to the illustrated goat motif. The craft involved is truly reflected in the final product.
Trip Trap is made by hand, and designed to be drunk.
TripTrap captures the spirit of the studio brilliantly; our joy of storytelling and an irreverent sense of humour. We are truly proud of our first step into the world of beer making… just be wary of the troll-like headache it might induce!
*No goats were harmed during the making of this beer.
*Pictures by Richard Rigby