Barn Dog Chocolate Vanilla Imperial Porter by Wyndridge Farm Brewing

Label Approval by | Apr 2016 | Issue #111

You can’t go wrong with a chocolate lab, thought Steve and Julie Groff, owners of Wyndridge Farm Brewing. And Barn Dog Chocolate Vanilla Imperial Porter’s popularity has proved them right. “The Barn Dog is dressed for success,” says Vincent Reedy, creative director of Holberg Design, which collaborates with Wyndridge on their packaging. “He looks a cut above the rest in his suit.”

“All of the animals that we used on the labels are animals that visit the farm for some fun,” says Reedy of the pastoral Pennsylvania brewery. Their logo features a fox wearing a scarf (naturally). Then there’s a watercolor crow donning a tux (Laughing Crow IPA), a suited-up elk (10 Point Ale), and Barn Dog Porter’s black Labrador (“a perfect selection for the ‘Chocolate Porter,’” adds Reedy).

Dressing up the woodland creatures captures the “rustic, chic elegance” of the farm itself, and speaks to the premium-quality ingredients they brew with, says Steve Groff. “Boots and jeans or black-tie gala, we want to be a classy but approachable facility and brand.”

In artist Dean Crouser’s first draft, Barn Dog was a little underdressed. “We were not completely convinced that it captured enough ‘elegant fun,’” says Reedy. “So we quickly drew a monocle, scanned it in and placed it on the illustration. In an instant, we knew that’s what it needed.”

An upcoming expansion means Wyndridge’s formal friends will soon be gracing shelves in many more eastern states. Meanwhile, a different sort of classy creature will be visiting the farm in 2016—Wyndridge will host 50 weddings this year. “Our entire project—developing the farm, barn renovations, building a team of chef, cidermaker and brewer—has been one hell of a journey,” says Groff. “And something never expected for two married 50-year-olds and [our] 25-year-old son.”