Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Regional Brewery Spotlight #4: The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Farmville, North Carolina

This is certainly one of the finest corporate logos I've seen. At first I was like, wait, yes it's awesome - but WHY is it awesome? You can take it at face value - it works either way you look at it: it could be a thoughtful, hopeful sort of bunny; chin lifted, contemplating an almost-reachable frond of tender shoots, or, it could be a truly disturbing duck with soulless, demonic eyes and a weird, backward-projecting skull that houses its mutant demon bird brain. This is one logo that works on more than one level.

But the audaciously ambiguous ace visual up front is only half the tale to tell. This is a logo with deeper, almost psychological underpinnings behind it. It's one of those where you get the reference first on a deeper-than-conscious level. And then later on, it hits you consciously: it's a reference to the classic Warner Bros. short "Rabbit Seasoning"!

So of course, I was dead-set on ordering a t-shirt, immediately, by means of the internet - until I got a good look at what they had on offer. Question #1: how could they mess this up? With a beautiful clean eye-catching design like that, how can you go wrong? Question unfortunately answered by Question #2: what is with these "polo-tee" designs they have these days? Where the shirt front has only a teensy pocket-size logo, and the back has the big bold display you would have wanted on the front? The visual you want is wasted on the back of the shirt! I'm not going to order one of those. It's useless. People are already going to know how cool I am by the time I they see me walking out of the room. I want them to know right when I'm walking in.

In this economy especially, merchandising is important, so I hope they get it together.

Now let's talk beers. The Duck-Rabbit Amber Ale comes with a label whose red ground is a bold choice to complement the bold black and white of the Duck Rabbit itself. Note that this is the only label in which the Duck Rabbit's eyes are white, instead of the prevalent red. The Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale is known for the deep, rich, nutty brown of its label. The Duck-Rabbit Porter is complemented by the twilit silvery gray of its label, and the Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout features a stark white that brings to mind the clean, cold purity of winter's first snow.

I need to get to North Carolina at some point, try some of these brews. I could write a much better review then, I am sure. Who knows - perhaps a part 2?

Anyway, if you happen to be in the area, stop by the brewery and tell them to get their act together on those t-shirts. And while you're at it, please pass on this hint with compliments from me, would you? Free marketing/R&D advice: in the cutthroat breakneck dog-eat-dog world of regional brewing, seasonal brews are the hottest thing going, and The Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery is in the cat-bird seat to capitalize, if they hop to it! Or...waddle to it. They need to develop two seasonal brews: "Rabbit Season" and "Duck Season."

Then release both at the same time.

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