Familiar Creatures

"Sheep Mullet"

Making Hardywood's First Tall Boys the Opposite of Sheepish.


Party in the front.

Strategic design in the back.


Since Hardywood opened in 2011 they’ve been about making solid beer for Virginians near and far. Young and old. Well it turns out the younger ones have started gravitating towards tall, single cans—brews most commonly found in your local convenience store.

Therein lied the conceptual challenge: how can Hardywood make one of these tall boys without losing their Hardywood-ness? *cue dramatic music*



Think before you make.


Instead of jumping right onto the computer and whipping out some whiz bang designs, we attacked this project the same way we work on anything creative here at Familiar Creatures—with teams. Pairing writers with designers, we approached these cans as holistically as possible. 

And since we were fortunate to rebrand Hardywood’s identity and create their positioning as Virginia’s Beer, we had some well-informed knowledge on how to make sure Hardywood stayed true to their roots. While also looking super cool on a shelf.



One concept/character emerged.


We couldn’t ignore Hardywood’s (soon-to-be) iconic sheep in their logo, but what can you do with a sheep to make it further stand out? Give it a haircut. And some sunglasses. And put whatever the featured ingredients are in those glasses.

Sheep Mullet is a bleating testament to Hardywood’s origins and identity. As well as an ode to a hairstyle you might see around the river and bars of RVA. The mulleted sheep has as much dank flavor as the liquid itself and was designed to transcend the label into who knows what– shirts, hats, cartoon shows– the mind wanders.




Instead of farming this out to a bevy of sick-nasty illustrators, we crafted this curly ditty ourselves in-house.

In less than one year, Sheep Mullet became Hardywood’s best-selling brew and the fastest selling IPA 6-pack in VA.


Not baaaaaaaad. (Get it?)