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April 22, 2015 By Josh Counsil in Branding 6

Sometimes, others know you better than you know yourself. Angus, Doug and I have spent three years developing our brand, but it took the collective genius of Breakhouse to help us consolidate our thoughts. Let’s walk you the history of our company brand.

Doug’s original concept art.

In the fall of 2012, Angus proposed the name, “Wrought Iron.” “Iron” is an allusion to the iron rings Canadian engineers wear. “Wrought” implies forged under extreme conditions, which we felt we were in our former careers as engineers. “Wrought” also means “stir the pot” and “former”. Hence, we are a band of former engineers here to stir the craft beer pot. The next step was finding a logo. We contracted out to several crowd-sourcing websites and received myriad entries mostly focusing on emblems like shields, hammers, swords, helmets and the like. We weren’t happy with the results. We wanted something warmer, funnier and friendlier, something that encompasses who we are.

Josh’s original concept art.

We saw ourselves as “wasted knights,” goofy bastards leading the charge against mass-manufactured beer and stumbling in the process. We nearly had a logo we liked. Then, at the last minute, we decided a character wouldn’t look good on a bottle cap, letterhead or business card. We completely changed direction and had an artist sketch up this hammer.

One of the outsourced logos from www.brandsformed.com.

The taproom concept work reflected this image with exposed copper, Edison bulbs, re-purposed farm equipment, and other steampunk attributes. It was dark, dank and industrial. The brand was consistent, but not at all reflective of our personalities. Breakhouse saw us more as drunk robots, engineers who were capable of crunching numbers by day and crushing beers at night. They tossed some concept art our way.

Drunk Robot concept art.

We liked the general direction, but we’re more than just drunks. We’re lushes, winos, inebriates, misfits, weirdos, and degenerates. We’re also pretty good dudes who love good beer and good times. And when we walk out the door for a night on the town, mom always warns us to “be good.” Noticing a pattern here? Breakhouse certainly did.

The concept art worked. The robot’s head doubles as a boombox, a nod to our beginnings and reunions. On the first day of college, Doug walked into my room uninvited, said, “I heard you listening to rap,” and proceeded to upload Kanye West’s College Dropout onto my computer. Meanwhile, Angus was bumping Dylan and Rage in his dorm room much to the dismay of the authorities. Hell, Angus’ first entrepreneurial endeavour was a DJing company at age 15. And when we all left college to seek out the real world, music festivals brought us back together every year. Our flagship beers are nods to some of our favourite musicians and artists. We’re much more in tune with Good Robots than Wrought Iron.

Taproom concept art.

The brand permeates our taproom concept art. Music posters abound. Engineering disasters, too. Re-purposed farm equipment gave way to drop-top Cadillacs. Cold, hard and rustic became warm, goofy and surreal. Ultimately, we’re children who refuse to grow up. Children with exceedingly high tolerances for alcohol.

Putting the “cute” in “compute”.

We like our new name and logo. We hope you do, too. And even if you don’t, it’s all good.