A few days ago, a discussion thread was opened on Twitter about the way cider is sometimes presented. Specifically, the debate originated from a photo of a competition, in which some ciders had been presented in plastic jugs, “like those used for window cleaning liquid for cars,” someone said.
It’s true that cider needs a lot of marketing to show its real value. Too much to do yet. But, as Michael Stöckl aka Cider World and I agreed once, that’s a wonderful challenge. Don’t you think that in a certain way the fact of not paying so much attention to the container is a sign of purity of the content?
Okay, not always… But a good presentation doesn’t either ensure good quality. In my work as a consultant, I have always defended that the improvement of the product must go ahead of the improvement of the image, maintaining a coherence between brand identity and product.
However I think that cider has something that I’m not able to describe properly. It would be summarized in authenticity, craftsmanship, roots, culture… It is, to a large extent, what made me fall in love with cider. And I think that sometimes it manifests with apparent simplicity.
Tradition and craftsmanship are not incompatible with modernity, technology, design and marketing. Cider revolution is also about research and development, combining new (plastic, fiberglass, stainless tanks, biosensors…) and old techniques (wooden barrels, natural procedures, heritage apples…).
Increasingly, this evolution is reflected in the brand identity of the artisan cider industry, with wonderful designs for labels such as those made by The boy frost, a growing activity in social networks and the Internet in general, as well as new ways of maintaining commercial relationships and cooperating.
In fact, the International Cider Challenge organized by Gabe Cook aka The Ciderologist has a specific section for design and packaging. Cider, especially craft, must explore all these new ways just as beer did, evolving always on the traditions from which it comes and never forgetting its essence.
Pictures are from one of the cider batches which yesterday we labeled by hand with a mini printing kit. In short, Ciderzale is for me a kind of practical exercise, because to a certain way it simulates the launch of a new product. And as such, each of the 4 blends will carry their own story, naming and label. This is the first step until front and back designs are printed. We’ll see where this project ends.