Craft Beer & Cider, Customer Stories

Case Study: Vancouver Island Brewing Pod Packs to Preserve Coastal Wildlife

Vancouver Island Brewing, like so many of our West Coast partners, is an iconic brand that is tremendously committed to sustainability. Because that’s one of our core values as well, there’s a particular magic that occurs when we collaborate on sustainability-focused projects. Vancouver Island Brewing’s Pod Pack, which includes the folding carton we designed, is a great example of the wonderful outcomes that kind of magic can generate.

Currently based in Saanich, BC, Vancouver Island Brewing was founded in 1984 by a group of small business owners in southern Vancouver Island. Three years later, their original brewmaster Hermann Hoerterer brewed the first batch of Hermannator as a gift for friends. But that gift kept on giving. As the first specialty beer to be packed in Victoria for decades, it signalled Vancouver Island Brewing’s evolution into an award-winning craft beer producer.

This is a company that’s intimately woven into the culture of Vancouver Island. And that’s never more apparent than when they launch initiatives like the Pod Pack.

The Pod Pack is a tall can mix pack filled with beers produced by local island breweries. Each one sold raises a dollar for preserving wild BC salmon stocks. The orcas who reside in southern BC depend on these stocks for survival.

Case Study - Vancouver Island Brewing Co. Pod Pack
Case Study – Vancouver Island Brewing Co. – Every dollar from every Pod Pack will be donated to preserving Wild B.C Salmon stocks, a vital food source for our Southern resident killer whales.

These Packs are available in private liquor stores right now. They were also sold in 2019. The results of that run were outstanding. The initiative raised $15,000, and the Pod Pack won an Excellence Award at the 2020 North American Paperboard Packaging Competition. So, we’re looking forward to what happens this time around.

Case Study - Vancouver Island Brewing Co. Pod Pack - 2020 Excellence Award at the PPC
Case Study – Vancouver Island Brewing Co. Pod Pack – 2020 Excellence Award at the PPC

The Situation

Vancouver Island Brewing’s concept was simple and brilliant.

1. Four beers, produced by Whistle Buoy Brewing, Ace Brewing Company, Mayne Island Brewing Co., and Ucluelet Brewing Co. respectively.

2. One pack, designed to evoke a pod of orcas.

3. One dollar per pack sold to benefit the Pacific Salmon Foundation, an organization that protects, conserves, and restores wild pacific salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon.

We were excited to support the project by producing its unique, “finned” folding carton. Our history with Vancouver Island Brewing originates in a stressful time for the company. They were on the verge of being de-listed with the Liquor Distribution Board because their former supplier failed to deliver their cartons. As is the case with many brand-new clients, we mobilized quickly to fill the gap in the nick of time. Since then, we’ve enjoyed a dynamic, close-knit partnership. Creating the folding carton Pod Pack was one of several launches we’ve supported for Vancouver Island Brewing—but it was perhaps the most meaningful.

The Solution

We collaborated with the innovative 123 West Design Company to create the folding carton Pod Pack. Our pre-press team supported them to fully conceptualize a creative vision that would work practically and have real impact at the retail level.

Even though the Pack was designed as a 1-colour carton (since orcas are black and white), we were able to make it “pop” in a totally unique way. That’s where the “fin” came in. We designed it to pop up when you pick up the Pod Pack, creating a truly delightful experience for shoppers. It took three revisions, but our two teams made it work.

The Result

Case Study - Vancouver Island Brewing Co. Pod Pack
Case Study – Vancouver Island Brewing Co. Pod Pack

GLBC’s work with Vancouver Island Brewing helped the company to:

  • Raise money: their 2019 run raised $15,000 and we’re looking forward to seeing what 2021 brings.
  • Express company values: the Pod Pack represents everything deeply valuable about the company: creative, collaborative, locally minded, and sustainability focused.

As far as we’re concerned, there’s no more satisfying kind of project than the Vancouver Island Pod Pack. As we mentioned, these Packs are available in private liquor stores right now. Pick one up, enjoy the fin, and protect what’s essential about British Columbia.


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