Sketchbook Unveils New Look and Expands Distribution

EVANSTON, Ill. — Evanston’s community-supported microbrewery celebrates their third year with fresh design, an increase in production, and new distribution markets. First opened to the public on November 15, 2014, Sketchbook has come a long way from its early days filling growlers from an alley.  Fueled by fierce customer loyalty and a passion for brewing excellence, this Evanston success story is proud to share several pieces of news.

More Cans/New Look

The growing craft can market, along with a recent lease of a Microcanner canning system, has allowed Sketchbook to quickly package and distribute their beer. In addition to more widely available cans, Sketchbook is introducing a refreshed look developed by design and marketing firm Good Beer Hunting.

“The Sketchbook re-branding opportunity was a best-case-scenario for our team at Good Beer Hunting: a thoughtful, engaged team on the client side who was excited to work with us in a collaborative way,” said GBH’s Michael Kiser. “We start every project by listening for the insights that will make a brand special and own able long after the launch, and with Sketchbook, there was a ton of pent up creativity and personal inspiration that connects them with their community. Our job was to create a design system that would enable them to grow both in their community and commercially. We wanted the casual customer walking by the shelf to feel that same hook that we felt when they first walked into our studio — a small brewing company that’s bright, energetic, and having a ton of fun.”

Sketchbook’s new look was revealed to members and friends on November 13, and new cans will be hitting retail shelves this month. The first beers to be released with new packaging include No Parking Citra Pale Ale, Orange Door Double Dry Hopped IPA, Insufficient Clearance Hazy IPA, Night Game Double IPA, and Snowy Owl Red Rye Ale.  Cans in the works include an Imperial Stout, aScotch Ale ‘wee heavy’, and Pale Ale with honey and basil.

Expanded Production and Distribution 

Thanks to a recent accolade from DRAFT Magazine, which named Insufficient Clearance one of the 20th Best IPA’s in America—and consistently high quality—the interest in Sketchbook outside of Evanston has grown, and Sketchbook is equipped to meet that demand. Sketchbook has tripled their beer production since they started brewing from 850 to roughly 1400 barrels a year) while expanding their wholesale footprint. Now available to retailers through distributors such as Chicago Beverage System and Joseph Mullarkey Dist. Inc., customers can look for Sketchbook cans as far north as the Cook / Lake County border, as far south as Chicago’s loop, as far west as route 53 and as far east as Lake Michigan. See this cool map illustrating Sketchbook’s footprint.

“We are so proud of the beer we’re brewing and…a little surprised!” said Shawn Decker, Managing Partner. “When we launched three years ago, we were focused hyper-local, on building a neighborhood growler-fill fan base. Eighteen months after we opened in our alley, we moved street-side and began pouring pints in our Tap Room in the lively Main-Dempster Mile section of Evanston.  We counted on our local fans driving our business, and are sustained by our 400-strong CSB membership program. The surprise? The response from restaurants, bars and bottles shops! We feel confident our new design choices will allow Sketchbook to compete in a wider market and help win us new customers.”

About Sketchbook Brewing

Sketchbook believes beer is art you can drink.  Inspired by the loyalty of their 400+ members and the sheer fun of creating a wide range of historical and adventurous beer styles, Sketchbook considers their brewery a yeast studio. They are fiercely devoted to building beer by hand, right in the heart of Evanston. Flagship brews include Orange Door IPA, Snowy Owl Red Rye Ale, and Night Game Double IPA.  Recent recognition includes international awards (silver medal in Copa Cervezas de América) and Design Awards for their intimate Tap Room (Design Evanston, Excellence in Interior Design, 2017).  For more beer information, news, upcoming events and more, visit


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