Music to My Mouth: How a Studio Album Was Released via Beer Packaging

The following spotlight of HOW Promotion & Marketing Design Awards Outstanding Achievement winner Adam Ritchie Brand Direction will also appear in the Fall 2017 issue of HOW magazine. The Awards recognizes excellence in promotion design—and every year we celebrate our winners in the pages of HOW. ;We invite you to subscribe today so that you can go behind the scenes with even more top winners as soon as the printed issues lands in your mailbox in September.

Imagine walking into the liquor store on a Friday night. You look past the brews you’ve already tried for something new. You spot a silver and gold capsule of a can, with a strange goggled figure on the label. The copy tells you this beer was formulated to fuel your journey through the multiverse, and it contains a sci-fi album as the soundtrack. To get the album, there’s a special hashtag. By tweeting it, you’ll receive a message telling you what you’re doing right now in a parallel reality, and a link to the music. Curiosity piqued, you bring it home, crack it open, take out your phone, and experience audio, visual, touch and taste in a single moment in time.

The T.R.I.P. album release beer is the first time a new studio album has ever been released on a beer can. The challenge that prompted the unique project was to figure out how to get people buying new music again, while helping a small indie band reach new fans. The solution: Pair the band with a brewery and turn the beer aisle into the next record store. The Lights Out wrote an album about traveling through parallel realities, and Aeronaut Brewing Co. developed a beer to pair with the songs. “A lot of the same people who once walked the music store aisles every weekend are now going to the beer store at least that often, with the aim of discovering something new. Most beer decisions happen in front of the cold case. The opportunity for someone to discover a band there caught our curiosity,” says Adam Ritchie, owner of Adam Ritchie Brand Direction and guitarist for The Lights Out.

album releases on beer can

Aeronaut T.R.I.P. Beer Artwork by Raul Gonzalez; Photo by Erin Genett

album releases on beer can

T.R.I.P. used design in a creative way to solve a decades-old music industry problem, give consumers a complete sensory experience with visual, touch and taste, and restore music fans’ physical relationship with new music. The campaign resulted in a new way for music to be discovered, generated international attention and caused the product to quickly sell out. “Adam’s team created a tremendous launch experience which completely transcended the ordinary and set a new standard for how these things should be done,” says Aeronaut Brewing Co. co-founder Ben Holmes. “It’s a game-changer that succeeded beyond our wildest expectations.”

beer and album releasesDigital asset production on Canning Day

T.R.I.P. Album + Beer Launch | Design Firm Adam Ritchie Brand Direction, Boston; | Creative Team Adam Ritchie, campaign concept/execution/audio composition; Ben Holmes, brewer; Raul Gonzalez, illustrator; Jesse James Salucci, interactive/audio composition; Leesa Coyne, videographer; Erin Genett, photographer; Rishava Green, Matt King, audio composition; Benny Grotto, Nick Zampiello, audio engineering/mastering; Abigail Taylor, event management; Kyle Stearns, coding | Printer Reid Label & Digital Graphics | Clients The Lights Out, Aeronaut Brewing Co.

Click here to preview and order T.R.I.P. 

The Lights-Out T.R.I.P. Beer band photo by Erin Genett

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