The Story of How the 33 Acres Brewing Co. Brand Came to Be

Branding Vancouver is a new column in which we look at some of the more interesting logos and icons that appear in Vancouver’s food and beverage scene. Some of the explanations will be long and others short, but the goal of deeper understanding will be constant. If you want the backstory of a particularly compelling local brand revealed, let us know via @scoutmagazine and we’ll try to figure it out.

The Brand: Today we look back at how one of the more iconic local microbrewery brands – 33 Acres – came to be. Scout reported on the Mount Pleasant brewery’s imminence before it opened back in March, 2013, noting the meticulous attention to detail of just about everything, including the tight branding and merchandise:

33 Acres will very much be “the brewery that Josh built” as he’s had an active hand in virtually every aspect of creating it, from renovations and building upgrades to installing the brewing kit itself. But that’s just Josh’s approach: if you want something done right, best do it yourself. “No short-cuts,” he says, “that goes for not only the beer, but the merch, brand, the furniture, the floors, the walls, everything.” Josh’s dedication shows in the space he has created. Breweries are often efficient affairs, design driven by practicality first and human use last. This is not the case here.

Designed By: Joshua Michnik, Founder | The Story: as told by Michnik

“There’s a bit more to the name 33 Acres then just a measurement of land. I knew from the beginning that building a brewery was going to be extremely hard work. I didn’t have any money…so it started there.”

Josh continues: “Yes, I did well for myself in the design world, but not well enough to save the kind of money needed for the build out of a 7,600 sqft, commercially built brewery. To complete this task the only thing I could think of was to use hard work to supplement the lack of money. I’m talking brute, physical strength, mixed in with some begging, borrowing, and maybe a little fibbing. On that note, I’ll just say the City can be a pleasure to work with when you know what you’re doing, but back in the day, when I was opening, they were a scary bunch to me and held my fate in their hands. That all said I wanted to find a word that represented “hard work”. I settled on Acres very quickly. Not only does it sound simple, but it sums up what I was looking for. The original definition of an Acre was how much land an ox could plough in one day. That really resonated with the whole idea of hard work. Farming is obviously a big part of where our ingredients come from. It all just tied together nicely.”

Now, where 33 comes in is a bit complicated, but again, to us, it doesn’t represent an actual number. It represents “Success”. Success through Hard Work. This is our motto. If you do some research and talk to some people that are a bit mythical about numbers, 33 represents success, not in the sense of money or cars or fancy unaffordable Vancouver single family homes, but moreso about living a balanced lifestyle with no ego kind of sense. As for the logo itself, I wanted something timeless, and to the point that matched this ethos. Keep the junk out of it. Clean.


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