Phoenixville’s Root Down Brewing Takes Marketing Award

PHOENIXVILLE, PA — As Root Down Brewing gets ready to mark four years in Phoenixville its Creative Director has again garnered a “Crushie” award for great craft beer marketing.

Root Down’s 2021 Crushie is one of six awards to four different brewers in Pennsylvania in the international Craft Beer Marketing Awards (CBMA) competition. Top Hat of Pittsburgh took three Crushies this year.

Todd Farrell, Creative Director at Root Down, is a Chester County native who lives in West Chester. He said it’s his second year winning a Crushie for Root Down Brewing. He won two Crushies last year, in CBMA’s first competition.

“We are doing well moving forward,” Farrell said. “We are lucky to be in Phoenixville with wonderful and supportive locals!”

Root Down’s brewing team has won gold and silver at Great American Beer Fest for their beers, Farrell noted. “I am mainly Creative Director, but handle social media and all graphics, including merch, beer labels, glassware, and web. I also title myself as a Polymath, after my role model Ben Franklin.”

Farrell said he works closely with Root Down owner Mike Hamara. “We’ve known each other since grade school. It’s great working with him as we are on the same page and snowball ideas off each other. A lot of our ideas come from the (retro) era we both grew up in,” Farrell explained.

“I attended Coatesville Area High School in a diverse amount of culture, style, music, and people — all of which are a big part of not only my art but my life.

Farrell studied media at Kutztown University but said the creative possibilities of graphic design didn’t hit him until much later when he discovered the world of computer design. He said he mostly taught himself Adobe and Corel. “My first graphic design job was early in the time of computer design which required me to redraw a lot of corporate logos that weren’t in vector format, another reason for my love of re-envisioning iconic logos into parody.”

In his creative process, Farrell said sometimes the beer name inspires the artwork and sometimes artwork ideas inspire the beer.

“It’s a fun relationship of art, life, and beer. Comedy also has a big play in that, as the usual starting point is something that makes us laugh,” he added.

Craft Beer Marketing Awards said in its announcement of this year’s winners, “Creative artwork and branding in retail marketing are becoming increasingly critical for business success and competition with the rapid increase in craft breweries around the world. To be timely, a pandemic and human rights categories were added this year.”

2021 Craft Beer Marketing Awards Pennsylvania Winners are:

  • Root Down Brewing, Phoenixville, Wild Cards, Retro Branding: Gold.
  • Warwick Farm Brewing, Jamison, Best Bottle Design: Gold.
  • Top Hat, Pittsburgh, Best Bottle Design: Gold.
  • Top Hat, Pittsburgh, Best Can Design: Gold.
  • Top Hat, Pittsburgh, Best Logo Design/Unique: Gold.
  • Tröegs Independent Brewing Hershey, Best Original Video/Series: Platinum.

View some of Root Down’s craft beer designs here.

‘We were so impressed by the sheer creativity, innovation, and caliber of marketing displayed in entries from around the world in every category,” said CBMAs Co-Founder Jim McCune.

A panel of more than 300 judges from around the world chooses the Crushie recipients, CBMA said. The 2021 CBMAs consisted of 33 categories evaluated by the judges, covering all aspects of brew marketing, from labels to logos and tap handles to taprooms.

Entries come from every region of the world, CBMA said. All winning entries can be viewed on the CBMA 2021 Winners Gallery.

The presenting sponsor for CBMA is Hillebrand, a global beverage supply chain management and integrated logistics services provider.

This year’s competition added two special categories that reflect recent events: “Pandemic Marketing,” which looked at original marketing undertaken during the COVID-19 outbreak, and “Human Rights,” to celebrate those who support the fight for equality for all via different forms of marketing and design, CBMA said.

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