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The Story of Dageraad Brewing’s Beautiful Branding

Branding Vancouver looks 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: This week we’re heading out to Burnaby where Dageraad Brewing brings old-world inspiration to its suburban new world tasting room. Although applications of the logo and lettering vary from standard goblets, bottle labels, tall cans and cycling jerseys, the Dageraad aesthetic remains consistent.

This brand unity is owed to the fact that since opening they’ve used the same designers – Lexane Rousseau and her partner Eli Horn at Fivethousand Fingers – for everything. Rousseau and Horn even went so far as to design a font specifically for Dageraad, which is employed across the brand’s product spectrum.

Here’s the lowdown via Owner/Brewer Ben Coli:

“A decade and a half ago I met some Belgians while travelling and since then I have visited them many times in their hometown of Antwerp. I’d always loved Belgian beer but my time in Antwerp really sealed the deal. My favourite place to drink beer there is a square in my friends’ neighbourhood called the Dageraadplaats, which translates to ‘Sunrise Square’ or ‘Dawn Square’. It’s not an important square with a lot of impressive buildings; just a mellow neighbourhood square with cafe patios on three sides, nice trees, a playground and a basketball court. The Dageraadplaats is in a part of Antwerp called Zurenborg, which is famous for its Art Nouveau architecture.

Back in Vancouver, I started homebrewing and got obsessed with trying to brew beers like those wonderful, complex, fruity, spicy Belgian beers I got hooked on in Antwerp. Like all good homebrewers, I fantasized about opening my own brewery, but unlike any sensible homebrewer, I actually went ahead and did it.

‘Dageraad’ seemed like the perfect name for my brewery, because I wanted my brewery to bring the dawn of a new kind of brewing in Vancouver. It also turned out to be the dawn of a massive brewery boom in this town. I loved the idea of incorporating art nouveau touches into the brand because they seem so fitting for the beer I wanted to brew: delicate, elaborately-wrought, pretty things; impractical and anachronistically out of step with the mainstream of how things are made today, but to my eye (and palate) beautiful enough to be worth the effort.

The last time I visited Belgium before opening Dageraad, I went around Zurenborg taking pictures of art nouveau buildings, whole streets and little details of window frames and twisting, turning wrought iron railings, and I sent them all to my designers, Lexane and Eli. They added inspiration from all over the world of design and together we created the visual identity of Dageraad Brewing. We’re still creating it to this day. The brand continues to evolve over time, adding influences and growing in scope, but always staying connected to the brand’s roots in beautiful anachronism.”

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There are 3 comments

  1. Cool back-story. I’ve saved that square in Antwerp in my Google Maps, as a place to visit. Now it’s time to line up the pints of Dageraad!

  2. I dropped into Dageraadplaats last year. It’s just as described.. Cool neighbourhood, lovely architecture and square. You must go and check it out. Nice story.

  3. I first met your beer at Fable on Burrard – they carried your Amber on the menu. A trip to your brewery introduced me to 8 degree, Brun, and a couple more. Fantastic taste thanks to your initiative. So – thanks to you.

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