DRIVEN packaging craft beer ad agency atwater beer Detroit

Atwater Brewery Pumps Up Marketing with Creative New Approach

Three new Atwater Beers to launch in January

Detroit, MI, December 16, 2015 — Calling themselves “a group of hard working, beer loving folks who get to bottle our enthusiasm every day,” the brewers of Detroit’s Atwater Brewery are pumping up their marketing muscle with a new brand identity and labeling program designed to set them even further apart from their competition.

“Atwater Brewery. Born in Detroit. Raised Everywhere.” The new brand theme says it all and the vividly colorful new labels by popular Detroit artist Tony Roko (whose recent accomplishments include commissions by Lady Gaga, Jay Leno and Ford Motor Company) depicts it all in a personal style that reflects Roko’s own favorite artist, Vincent van Gogh.

The new branding will be rolled out early in January (2016) concurrent with the introduction of three new Atwater brews – Going Steady IPA, a grapefruit session ale that “rocks any situation while keeping you rock steady,” Corktown Rye IPA, a spicy, sweet, bitter aromatic rye malt with a caramel backbone, and Tunnel Ram, an imperial bock that Atwater calls “the big block of big bock.”

“Craft brewing is becoming a big business but it’s a business about good times. Brewing it and coming up with these new flavors and personalities is part of the fun,” says Atwater Brewery owner Mark Rieth. “We’ve been all about Detroit since we brewed our first German-styled lagers years ago and said we wanted to ‘bring Detroit everywhere.’ We’re now doing that with distribution in 27 states and Canada and still growing. Now we’re focused on making sure people remember us and think about us first and that’s what these new labels are intended to do.”

“I’m a huge fan of craft beers and was thrilled to get the call from Atwater,” says Roko. “What started as a single painting for one label for just 40 cases of beer months ago has turned into designing 26 labels for one of Michigan’s most exciting breweries. I feel like a kid in a candy store…or a young man let loose in a brewery!”

Roko uses an expressive style and tried to match Detroit’s colorful characters with individual beer flavors. He plans to frame each final label painting with unique handmade frames made from base moldings reclaimed from abandoned Detroit homes, another of his pet interests. “Our new brand theme lets consumers know that Atwater brews can be enjoyed anywhere because they’re just damn good beers,” says Rieth. “We always say you can take the beer out of Detroit any time you want, but you can’t take our Detroit pride out of the beer.”

DRIVEN, a modern communications and branding agency, worked with Atwater and Roko on the theme and its correlating packaging. “Each beer has its own unique personality and profile, so we proposed the idea of creating a character for each beer in the portfolio,” said Brian Cusac, Driven’s principal and chief creative officer. “The most important thing a craft brewer can offer a customer is authenticity. We feel that Atwater provides this in spades by staying true to the types of beers they like to make and by never forgetting their Detroit roots. This campaign is simply a reflection of this culture.”

Atwater beers are available at craft brew retailers and at Atwater’s two locations in the Detroit area.  Atwater in the Park in Grosse Pointe Park and Atwater Biergarten and Tap House in Detroit. The brewery is set to open their second, Atwater Biergarten and Tap House in Grand Rapids early 2016.

More about Atwater’s New Beers:

Going Steady IPA – Grapefruit Session Ale: Abv 4.60%; Ibu 55; Color, Golden

This citrusy session’s got enough cascade hop and grapefruit flavor to go around, with just enough good stuff to make whatever you are doing a little better. Full bodied flavor that balances malt and hop characters and, typically, a clean finish which offers high drinkability without overwhelming the senses.

Corktown RYE IPA – American IPA: Abv 6.20%; Ibu 68; Color Copper

An IPA heavy on rye malt with a caramel backbone, Corktown is a spicy, sweet, bitter and aromatic rye IPA. Not to be confused with a German Roggenbier, Corktown’s bitterness tends to be more moderate to allow the often spicy and sour-like rye characteristics to pull through.

Tunnel Ram Imperial Bock Abv 7.80%; Ibu 28; Color Light Straw

Crisp with a slight injection of sweetness. This one gets your motor warmed up with a subtle alcohol overtone and hits the finish line with clean, bright lager flavor. It’s a perfect balance of sweetness, warming alcohol strength and crisp lager finish.

• For further information on Atwater Brewery and its beers, please visit

• To learn more about Tony Roko and his art, please visit

• For more information on Driven visit