The Brothers Brimm Brewery
A fairy tale inspired conceptual beer drinking experience.
Prof. Rhonda Arntsen
The Brothers Brimm Brewery is an experience that is inspired by the fantastical fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin. Written by the Brothers Grimm in the early 1800s, the story revolves around an imp’s (Rumpelstiltskin) ability to spin straw into gold. The underlying attitudes of the story are that of greed, power, and materialism.
The entire interaction is a commentary on the juxtaposition between pride and humility. Humility is often thought to be the opposite of pride. Over the years we have been made to believe that humility is lowering our self-worth in an attempt not to ‘show-off’. But pride is a huge part of our generation. With pride comes the guts to innovate and play with norms. We need pride. We need humility to balance that pride.
Beer is a humble medium that puts these aggressive voices into perspective. The nature of beer to stay true to itself in spite of elaborate processes and coagulation of varied ingredients is a quality that the Brothers Brimm brewery believes every human being should possess.
The branding is designed to radiate the voice of the brothers. The logo represents the magical infinite spinning of straw to gold reflecting the never ending need for humility. The overall structure is based on an ex-libris – a decorative seal found on the inside of books that represents the owner.
Based on the characters of the story, the beers themselves represent these four values. Through beer tastings and primary research, each value is associated with a specific aroma, taste, color, texture and ABV%.
The ideology that The Brothers Brimm Brewery is committed to is that of sharing. One’s humility is experienced only in interacting with others. There are two experiences designed towards this goal – a social one and a personal one.
The social interaction is with a large scale flight of beer called a Pride. The big scale of this piece forces it to be a shared experience. The base represents the society and the imaginary pedestals on which people are often put.
Giant versions of beer flight glasses are placed on this base. The size is an equation to the enlargement associated with pride. Each glass, made in collaboration with the inspiringly animated glassblower Jonathan Poirier, is the appropriate glassware for each kind of brew, keeping it true to beer. The clear glass, when filled is an introspection of the effect of humility on a human being. The drinker is forced to lower these glasses from the pedestal in order to ‘ground’ them.
This second interaction takes the form of a growler, a symbol of craft brewing. Its large size resembles the ideology of the glasses. Growlers are often used to store beer for sharing. The text that wraps around the growler is an ode to beer. Its structure mimics the action of a spinning wheel. The user is forced to rotate the growler in order to read the entire text.
A tag tied to the growler reveals the name of the beer in the structure of a poem just as Rumpelstiltskin reveals his name in the story. The tag itself is made of bookbinding board and twine, retaining the physical familiarity of a story book. The reflective material that contrasts the rawness of the cardboard continues to resonate the relationship between humility and pride.