Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Berghoff Brewing Relaunches With New Packaging and Recipes

If you think you know Midwest-based Berghoff Brewery, you may want to take a second look. Owner Ben Minkoff has been working over the past year to revive the 126 year old brewery, from the recipes to the brand message. Minkoff consulted with brewing experts Randy Mosher and John Hannafan to create the recipes for the top-notch German-style beers. They broke down the elements of each recipe and reformulated based on modern brewing techniques to give them individual personality and character. 

Max Hertwig (1881-1975) German stamp designs
Randy Mosher, an acknowledged craft beer expert and accomplished designer contributed to Berhgoff’s new packaging and brand messaging. His goal was to fulfill the promise that the brand's heritage was supposed to be all of these years. 

"I wasn't reinventing the wheel here. I was putting the wheels back on the wagon and helping the brand be what it wants to be by reviving its heritage," says Mosher. 

He began by locating the original, pre-prohibition Berghoff labels through beer label curator, Bob Kay. Mosher turned the clock back even further, exploring what the brand would have looked like if it had been bottled in much earlier days. He was inspired by German typographer Max Hertwig, who's style he refers to as "the sweet spot". Hertwig's 1920 era work in particular combines the richness of gothic black lettering, calligraphic techniques and a touch of modernism. Mosher used this approach when creating the typography seen on the new Berghoff label designs. 

Vintage Berghoff labels

"Many of the original US breweries did not survive because they were essentially all making the same product. The only real difference was how well they could sell and market their product and how cheaply they could produce it," says Mosher, who was excited for the opportunity to work with a brand that has such an "iconic stature." "Berghoff is a proud and confident brand with deep rooted Midwest history. Chicago needs an old-school beer brand with character."

Two of Berghoff's new labels designed by Randy Mosher

Berghoff will debut its lineup of new beers this Thursday, June 20 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. with a festive Launch Party at Sheffield’s (3258 North Sheffield Avenue, 773-281-1350). Berghoff aims to capture a larger audience of beer lovers with its revamped product and this Launch Party is an opportunity for discerning Chicago beer lovers to sample their new recipes firsthand. 

“We are truly excited to be launching our new beers at Sheffield’s. We’re proud of our updated portfolio, and we look forward to sharing them with old fans and a whole lot of new consumers who have never tried Berghoff before,” says owner Ben Minkoff, whose family has owned General Beverage Distributors for the past 80 years and purchased the Berghoff brand in 1994.

The Launch Party will feature all Berghoff beers on draft for $5 each including: 
  • Solstice Wit Beer (5.2% ABV), made with Calamansi juice, an Asian citrus fruit, and spices, for a refreshing summery beer from a long tradition of unfiltered wheat beers
  • Straight Up Hefeweizen (5.2% ABV), a Bavarian hefe-weizen, with the creamy goodness of wheat, plus a fruity and spicy nose
  • Dortwunder Lager (5.5% ABV), a classic and evenly balanced pale lager in the Dortmunder tradition
  • Reppin’ Red Ale (6.2% ABV), a serious red ale that mixes tangy rye and crisp toasted malts with plenty of American hop character
  • Sir Dunkle Crispy Dark Lager (5.5% ABV), smooth and malty, with a bright crispness, making a drinkable and very satisfying beer. 
New logo by Randy Mosher
Berghoff will also introduce the first beer in its Überbier Series, Germaniac Extra Pale Ale (6.3% ABV), brewed with honey and molasses, it will be a briskly hopped extra pale ale patterned after the old “outlaw” beer style, Kottbüsser. 

A DJ will be spinning live music and beer lovers will enjoy selections from Sheffield’s menu including pulled pork, brisket and pulled chicken tacos, with a choice of side, for $10 each throughout the event.

For more information about Berghoff Brewing visit, follow them on Twitter (@BerghoffBeer) 
and like them on Facebook.