Craft brewers building community through custom branded apparel


A local and deeply community-minded operation from the start, Dry Dock Brewing Company was the first brewery to open in Aurora, Colorado in 2005. Dry Dock started as The Brew Hut, a shop designed to support homebrew enthusiasts, and has grown into one of Colorado’s most award-winning breweries, with 7 World Beer Cup awards, 23 medals from the Great American Beer Festival, and a Brewery of the year award. With their origins in homebrewing, Dry Dock brings passion and hands-on care to everything they do: from brewing, to hosting regular events for the community in their taprooms, to their Gives Program, where they donate and contribute to organizations that share their values.


Hoping to connect more with all of their customers, and to continue to distinguish themselves in a saturated market of craft breweries, Dry Dock wanted to refresh both the look and the types of custom apparel they offered. Previously, they had offered a line of basic screen printed t-shirts and hoodies, as well as some branded bike jerseys. They were also feeling limited by their current designs, and looking for exciting designs that would set them apart.


Our design team worked closely with Dry Dock to reimagine the apparel they could offer their customers. They were familiar with screen printing, so they were excited to see the additional options available with our VersaTek material. With all the options that VersaTek provides, we suggested a custom hoodie, with a few special touches made especially for Dry Dock. We created a sublimated design hidden in the hood and cuffs, adding a depth of detail that standard branded brewery apparel lacks. Our VersaTek material has the advantage of being durable, comfortable, stain-resistant, and easy to care for as well as being more versatile in design applications: a perfect wardrobe staple for Dry Dock’s easy-going and outdoorsy clientele.

While the craft beer industry can be male-dominated, Dry Dock wanted to have more inclusive merchandise so that all of their customers could find something that they loved. That’s why we custom designed both men’s and women’s flannels – made from preshrunk cotton that is lightweight, breathable, and wrinkle resistant – allowing for a Dry Dock fan of any gender to support their favorite brewery. We also created facebuffs with a variety of designs to appeal to a wide array of customers.

Our experience with creating merchandise for the brewing industry put us in a unique position as designers and collaborators. By working closely with Dry Dock to really get to know them as a brand, we were able to guide them to the type of custom apparel and design refresh that they needed. As a hybrid branding and creative agency, we were able to create merchandise that aligned with Dry Dock’s brand identity as a community hub that is unique, welcoming, and fun.