A beer brand famous for strict adherence to German lagers branched out into restaurants. Those restaurants were then brought under the umbrella of Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries. We needed to position Gordon Biersch in a way that spoke with a unique and relevant voice without creating friction with the rest of the Craftworks brands.
We wanted to bring the spirit of perfection that comes from decades of brewing meticulous German lagers to an entire dining experience, without being stuffy or arrogant. We settled on a downtown metro feel that gave the brand a chance to move upmarket.
Even though a full brand overhaul wasn't part of our contract, we were asked to chart a new future idea for the Gordon Biersch restaurant brand, something that would inform the more incremental changes we'd make to the brand immediately. We dug into the history of fine dining and cultivated parallels between the discipline of German brewing culture and great craftsmanship in other areas. We sourced great photography featuring the often unseen moments that lead to the presentation of a great meal. Finally, we put all of this amazing quality at the leisure of the customer, promising an experience that was worth the most valuable resource of all: time.
With the restaurant’s identity tied historically (and legally) to the separate bottle beer business, we had to work within an existing visual grammar. We chose a modern, simplified variant of the barley+initials medallion logo and prioritized the “GB” acronym over the more patronymic longform “Gordon Biersch” in order to provide just a touch of differentiation between the restaurant brand identity and the beverage brand identity.
The Gordon Biersch restaurant website shares its powerful architecture with Rock Bottom and Old Chicago, organizing content for maximum SEO and a seamless user experience. But there was a particular wrinkle to this implementation: the gordonbiersch.com domain was owned by the bottle beer business. We worked with engineers at Craftworks to create a landing page that let Gordon Biersch fans choose between the bottle beer site or the restaurant site.