At this year’s Iowa State Fair, Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, recognized 398 Iowa farm families, designating them a century farm through the Century and Heritage Farm Program, established in 1976. Since then, farms continuously owned by a single family for 100 years or more are celebrated as a century farm.

Needless to say, the agriculture industry is critical for the people of Iowa, and these families’ feat of owning and operating a farm for generations is an admirable accomplishment. These resilient farmers have a positive impact on their communities. One Spencer, Iowa, couple has found an excellent way to raise awareness of these century farms while creating an inspired whiskey line with their corn.

A truly local product

Iowa natives Ryan and Amanda Bare know their community well. They both graduated from Iowa State University. In 2017, the Bares purchased a building in Spencer, Iowa, and Century Farms Distillery was born. 

As their name suggests, Century Farms Distillery partners with century farms in Iowa, using their corn to produce a whiskey that is truly “local.” To better connect consumers with the local farms, there’s a QR code on every bottle of Century Farms Whiskey that links directly to information about the farm that sourced the corn in the bottle they are enjoying.

Century Farms’ Corn to Whiskey program is unique, and Trilix was excited to tap our resources and industry experience to boost this local business’s goals.

An industry connection

Century Farms Distillery reached out to Trilix to update its bottle labels since Trilix has experience in both the agriculture and distillery industries. We were excited to work with Century Farms on their brand and packaging updates, especially since it is a community-driven brand with a great story.

Whiskey is widely known as a premium commodity, and as such, connoisseurs expect a premium level of production care. Value is placed on how favorite drinks are created, how companies perfect their craft and how the community is represented through the company’s products. Century Farms has a wonderful message and product, and the Trilix team delivered an updated look that stays connected to the original brand while elevating the overall appearance to match the product and the vision for growth.

“We often work with agriculture companies on a business-to-business level, so moving to a business-to-consumer model allowed us to bridge the gap between these two frameworks.”

Jon Miller, Trilix director of client service

“This project provided our team with an exciting new challenge,” said Jon Miller, director of client service at Trilix. “We often work with agriculture companies on a business-to-business level, so moving to a business-to-consumer model allowed us to bridge the gap between these two frameworks.”

B2C concepts

Brent Wirth, Trilix chief creative officer, and Paul Burger, Trilix creative director, met with the owners of Century Farms Distillery to plan strategic ways to build brand consistency across their product line — starting with the glass containers themselves.

After a visit to the distillery for a planning meeting and tour, Trilix kicked things off by developing a broad swath of concepts for discussion. These early concepts were meant to fully explore where the labels could take the brand and test the comfort level of what that change might look like. While they preserved enough of the original elements to retain familiarity, these concepts also embraced an evolution of the brand.

A large part of the label exploration and brand development was to discuss the family of glass that would best fit the look, the product and the production needs. The simplified Century Farms Distillery logo and new labels would dress the glass across all Century Farms products with slight variations to signify the difference between products.

Trilix continued working with Century Farms until we narrowed the labels down to a single design group. From here, minor tweaks were made to the designs to ensure we retained the desired elements from past concepts but continued to push the brand in a more “premium” direction. One of the elements carried forward was the use of the QR code, now integrated into a side label, to tell each family farm's story.

The result is a modern and consistent brand image across the entire product line of Century Farms products — conveying tradition, qualityand, above all, community. It is not a coincidence that the selected approach is a nod to the rich history of art deco architecture within the Spencer community that they live and work in.

With this project, we were able to work in two industries that are near and dear to our team. Trilix is proud to work with a company that has such a strong connection with Iowa’s farming community, and we look forward to continuing to work with local businesses, like Century Farms, to enhance their brand and footprint.