September 17, 2020. As the summer comes to a close, Yards Brewing Company’s latest beer, Unter Dog — branded and marketed by Brownstein Group — is hitting store shelves throughout the region. The Oktoberfest lager, a smooth, roasted, and malty brew, is represented by a regal German Shepherd that stands for the resilience of Philadelphians while alluding to Oktoberfest’s Bavarian spirit.
“As the weather changes, people shift to heavier and richer flavors, making the mild but bold flavor of Unter Dog the ideal, in-between brew for the fall season,” says Ryan Cook, Associate Creative Director of Copy at Brownstein. “Our goal was to make the beer relevant to Yards’ local audience, while imbuing it with the celebratory spirit of Germany’s most notorious beer festival.”
The Oktoberfest brew is a classic fall beer based on the traditional Märzen style, usually brewed in March in anticipation of October’s festivities. In America, the category has been relatively unexplored and dominated by import brands, giving Yards the opportunity to grow in the regional market. Brownstein’s integrated campaign, including social media and point of sale marketing, will champion Unter Dog’s seasonal flavor and appeal.
The idea for the Unter Dog design transpired while the team was looking to connect the themes of Oktoberfest with local Philadelphia culture. The German Shepherd lends itself as an icon not only because of the dog breed’s origins, but also for its use as a symbol of team ferocity by local sports teams, who occasionally don dog masks to embrace the city’s “underdog” reputation. The engraved, woodcut-like style of Unter Dog fits well within the vintage style of Yards’ other brews.
The beer follows Yards and Brownstein’s “Philly Born and Brewed” campaign, which sought to engage local beer drinkers and remind them of why they love Yards beer and the city of Philadelphia. Unter Dog also comes after the release of Featherweight, Yards’ first low-calorie marketed beer, a Hazy Pale Ale.
“The silver and bold design of the Featherweight can is a departure from Yards’ other brews and clearly makes it stand out to a broad audience,” says Natalie Eyerman, Senior Art Director at Brownstein. “On the other hand, its name serves as a counterpoint to Brawler, Yards’ boxing-themed dark English Mild Ale.”
The two beers are now available at bars and stores around the region, and are bound to follow up the success of Brownstein’s collaboration with Yards on Philthy Hazy IPA, which was lauded by Forbes and Advertising Week’s PopIcon for its bold design and marketing launch earlier in the summer.