Tommyknocker Brewing doubles its output, changes its look

Categories: Beer Man

The old logo.
Many of the bigger craft breweries across the country overhaul their image every three or four years, adding beers to the lineup, changing their look or their labels.

But time moves a little slower in Idaho Springs.

"We are doing a whole image revamp," says Steve Indrehus, the head brewer for the Tommyknocker Brewery. "It's the first time in sixteen years. Our concept has become slightly antiquated."

Tommyknocker was founded in 1994 and quickly became one of the better known microbreweries in the state. But it has long been surpassed -- when it comes to name recognition and devotees -- by dozens of other Colorado breweries. Recently, however, Tommyknocker has been climbing back into the public consciousness with beers like Hop Strike Rye IPA and Colorado IPA Nouveau.

The new logo.
But like other Colorado microbreweries, it is still growing - quickly. Tommyknocker made around 8,000 barrels of beer in 2010, but after a major expansion that is underway right now, the company plans to brew about 14,000 barrels in 2011.

This month, Tommyknocker will temporarily remove its roof so it can add four 85-barrel tanks and one forty-barrel tank. And after buying the building next door, the brewery will also add 122 seats and a conference room in the 8,000-square foot addition.

"It's a good time to be in the craft beer business," Indrehus says.

The goal of the redesign, he says, it to replace the cartoonish characters on most of Tommyknocker's bottles with an image designed by Seattle artist Von Glitschka. "It's edgy and its' supposed to be. Some won't like it, but some will."

TundraBeary, a summer seasonal flavored with berry juice, will be the first beer to get the new logo this month, but the rest will follow over the course of the year.

The new logo will make it easier for Tommyknocker to add new brands and beer styles in the future - something it had some success with recently with Hop Strike, a rye IPA that Tommyknocker brewed for a special event in Alabama, but which has since turned into one of the brewery's best sellers. In fact, it will be coming out in six-packs soon.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan.

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I like Tommyknocker and I hope that they're successful with this. I can say that in my personal experience that at least as of a few years ago, one of their biggest issues with growth out of state was that they were not doing a great job on getting proper handling from their channel partners. At least that was my impression having had them in Colorado and then trying to acquire their brew on the east coast. Most times that I bought one of their beers out east it tasted like it was no longer in its prime or had been stored improperly. Maybe it was just me. I know that there are some Colorado craft brewers who go through painstaking efforts to ensure that they only go into a new market when they have the resources in place to ensure that their products are properly supported. And that is how you build and protect a brand. Packaging and labeling are quite secondary to me.


Yikes, I think the new branding is subpar. They need to keep working on it.

David Costantino
David Costantino

Not a fan of the new logo. What's wrong with the old one? I enjoyed the cartoon-style miner guy with his pickaxe. Stop changing things just to change them!

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