10 Barrel brewing co. trade show environment

* Gulp, gulp, gulp...* We were tickled to giddy intoxication by a hops vine when 10 Barrel Brewing Co. reached out to us for the design of their 2015 GABF trade show booth as we are huge fans of their tasty brews. 10 Barrel challenged us to push their brand image in environments even more than before to reinforce & excite people about their basic mission; brew beer, drink beer and have fun while doing it.

As this was 10 Barrel’s first time attending GABF as a sponsored exhibitor, making a huge impact was essential for them. Our directives were to create a creative draft system that included a place for a changeable list of 8 beers on tap, accommodate 4 people inside a 10’ x 10’ area yet devise an impactful front serving space that would draw people to the booth while delivering the essence of 10 Barrel—outdoorsy, the culture from Bend, OR, amazing and fun. Oh, and avoiding any cliché beer industry visuals. (No hanging hops vines or lederhosen here, folks!)

10 Barrel has a straight-forward, simple, unpretentious and slightly quirky brand image, keeping their color palette to black & white, with hints of blue and touches of natural wood, in order to let the focus be on the beer itself.

After presenting 10 Barrel with several initial concepts centered around the outdoors and a community spirit, they focused in on the ideas of the ski lift and a ski lodge with how it brings people together both on the chair, and down the slopes.

As the development rounds progressed with design feedback, the ski lodge idea got whittled away to a more pure-as-snow cohesive concept of the ski slope itself. This also spoke well to the simplicity of execution that is their brand while allowing a few key design elements to become the “ah ha *burp*” moments—the chairlift and the back wall made of used skis.   

We designed a custom chairlift that addressed the unique issues of finding a defunct used one within the short time frame we had to work within as one was not manifesting in the local areas, plus it was going to be costly if found. Going custom ensured that there was the needed surface areas for serving beers over. This also allowed us to develop seamlessly the support framework needed for the structure to become immovable despite hopped up bodies leaning against it.

To further support the ski slope idea, the back wall was covered in upcycled white painted skis that were headed for the landfill otherwise, natural wood stained in charcoal black and overhead cables as a canopy. Final subtle details to reinforce the concept included back wall storage cabinets CNC’d to emulate a snow out-of-bounds fence pattern and out-of-bounds stake poles with beer directives and beer signage that mimicked trail signs—the latter two ideas that came from 10 Barrel’s own in-house designer Dan Harrill. (Ollie Dan!)

Functional details included hidden storage in the wall, stainless drip trays under the taps with an overflow catching system hidden underneath to prevent spills on the floor and a functional concealed tap system in the back wall area.

The final result was a booth that had people talking, willing to wait in a long lift line to grab their seat, er, brew, and an overall feeling of a powder day with ear-to-ear grins.

Design: Dept of Energy

Fabrication & graphics printing: Footprint Exhibits

Flooring: Northwest Creative Imaging