Virginia Beer Goes Gorgeous

The Virginia Beer Company debuts fourth flagship beer and new neon cans as part of a brand refresh

by | May 1, 2023

Virginia Beer Company's new Gorgeous IPA

There’s a new IPA in town, and with a name like Gorgeous, it’s no surprise that the hazy pour is turning heads. Gorgeous is a soft, citrus-forward beer crafted entirely from citra hops. Its maker is none other than the Williamsburg-based Virginia Beer Company.

When Virginia Beer Company co-founders Chris Smith and Robby Willey first experimented with Gorgeous, they had no idea just how drastically the Indian Pale Ale would impact their brewery.

VBC beertenders couldn’t pour fast enough as locals arrived in droves to sample the lauded 5.7% single hop variety. Members of the brewery’s Full-Time Friends Social Club were particularly pleased with the pour and pushed Smith and Willey to consider Gorgeous as a year-round offering.

“Our [Social Club] has grown since 2017 to include more than 300 members. We say that they are the lifeblood of the brewery as they are our most ardent and outspoken supporters,” say Smith and Willey. “They definitely have a voice in our brand development.”

Now, Gorgeous is not only a permanent fixture in the Williamsburg taproom, but on grocery store shelves, too. Gorgeous joins Elbow Patches, Saving Daylight and Free Verse as VBC’s fourth core beer.

Moreover, Gorgeous set in motion a series of changes that resulted in a complete overhaul of the VBC brand. Last month, VBC commemorated its seventh anniversary by debuting the company’s new look.

“The world has changed dramatically over the past seven years, so for us, [we thought], how do we make sure we are shifting and changing to adapt to what today’s craft drinkers are looking for?” says Willey. “The craft beverage market as a whole has changed too.

The camaraderie is still the same, but the market is fiercely competitive, especially when it comes to shelf space in the stores.”

Willey and Smith consulted with their leadership team and pinpointed the exact area in need of modernization—their cans.

“The refresh started with the cans. We decided they needed to look consistent enough to attract old buyers and sharp enough to grab the attention of new consumers,” says Smith. “You can innovate the style of beer, but you can also innovate the ways beers are packaged.”

VBC’s primary concerns with its previous labels were their lack of color and excessive verbiage. The Leadership Team reimagined the cans to be lighter, brighter and more succinct in their messaging. Although modernized, the new cans also maintain VBC’s signature, vintage feel, a trademark that pays homage to the brewery’s history as a 1970s-era garage.

The new cans feature a white background overlaid with sweeping neon lines. The lines mimic colors similar to VBC’s retired cans, so vetted VBC drinkers can still easily find their drink of choice. Also presented proudly on the front of each can are the beer’s name and three tasting notes.

Gorgeous recently debuted in 16-ounce cans inscribed with the words “citrusy, soft, hazy.”

Willey notes that shoppers may pick up a beer for any number of reasons – its flavor profile, alcohol percentage or hop selection, just to name a few.

“We wanted to stand out to buyers who may not have a brewery in mind, but know the flavors they want. We [designed] a can that helps make that decision for you,” he says.

New labels aren’t the only thing VBC has in store, however.

“Diversifying our package offerings to include a 16-ounce year-round selection, as well as 12-packs of 12-ounce cans and Variety Packs are a big part of our over refresh going forward,” say Smith and Willey.

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