Beer Man

Snow-Beer Photos Are Coming in Hot, But New Belgium Has Already Won the Hashtag Game

Happy measuring!
Happy measuring! New Belgium Brewing
It finally snowed! And although the totals in Denver, at least, weren't much, the weather is a good reminder of what's coming over the next few months: snowy beer photos on social media.

But not just any snowy beer photos. With the confluence of winter sports and craft beer, Coloradans love to measure the moisture by sticking bottles or cans of beer outside and seeing just how far the snow piles up around them. They're fun to post online — and way better than snowy patio furniture shots.

New Belgium Brewing knows that as well, and its latest can for Accumulation Hazy Winter IPA makes for an Instagrammer's dream, as it depicts a four-inch tall ruler running down the side of the label. This stroke of marketing genius means people will be more likely to use the can for snow photos and post them.

"We like to throw in those small, discoverable Easter eggs to grab people’s attention," explains Michele Winkelman, a creative designer for New Belgium who worked on the label. The brewery's warm-weather seasonal beer this year, Summer Bliss, also had an Instagram-friendly sticker on it.

So why haven't other breweries thought of this before? They may have, but Winkelman says she hasn't seen other versions. "We thought it was a nice little add."

click to enlarge The previous version of New Belgium's Accumulation. - NEW BELGIUM BREWING
The previous version of New Belgium's Accumulation.
New Belgium Brewing
Accumulation itself was released for the first time in 2013 in bottles as a "white IPA," which was a popular style at the time. It was a cloudy wheat-based beer with Mosaic and Amarillo hops, and the label featured the Fort Collins-based brewery's Airstream trailer covered with snow. But the beer was rebranded this year as a more contemporary-sounding hazy winter IPA, and given a new logo and artwork.

The 2021 recipe still includes wheat, but oats were added to give it a softer mouthfeel, and the hop bill now includes trendier varieties like El Dorado, Strata and Lotus in addition to the original Mosaic.

Winkelman says she's excited to see when people finally begin engaging with the label on social media — though as of yet, there are no posts under New Belgium's #snapyoursnow hashtag.

After all, as Winkelman notes, "We just really need some snow."
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes