TRAVERSE CITY – Right Brain Brewery is homing in on an award that will put its label in front of a unique corner of the beer market – beer can collectors.
“These guys aren’t just looking for rare cans, they’re looking for high-end cans,” said Leif Kolt, Right Brain branding, marketing and events coordinator.
Clayton Emery, a longtime Right Brain customer and member of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America, nominated Right Brain’s Willpower pale ale can to the 3,207-member club’s Can of the Year competition.
The can is now one of four contenders for the best designed beer can in the U.S. The winner will be crowned at the BCCA’s annual “canvention,” held late August in Dallas, Texas.
“It’s going to set the groundwork for us outside the state,” Kolt said. “These can collectors are looking to try new beers based on new cans, what’s hot right now. If we do win this award it’s going to give us some national exposure.”
Emery has been a BCCA member since the early 1990s, and 500 of his 4,000-can collection are from craft breweries such as Right Brain. Right Brain sponsors the local BCCA chapter, and Emery offered thanks by nominating their designs for Can of the Year.
It doesn’t hurt that Right Brain was one of the first craft breweries to can beer.
“In the last year it’s really evolved, the friendship between us,” Emery said. “I like what they do and say the cans are just icing on the top.”
Kolt designed Willpower’s can with vigor in mind. He wanted the design to reflect the beer and its name, to inspire a “fighting against all odds” feeling with contrasting colors and a militant scene.
“The name is Willpower, something that conveys strength,” Kolt said. “It has a bold flavor, it’s fairly sharp and hoppy. I wanted to make something that’s not proletariat, but something that’s very iconic, something that has a bold design.”