As more beverage brands crowd the shelves, it’s increasingly important for them to have a logo and overall look that will catch our attention — which is why Tequila 512 recently underwent a design overhaul that helps it stand out. The redesign comes as the tequila company releases its first añejo and hires a veteran in the spirits industry, with the goal of deeper expansion across Texas and beyond.
The label design is the work of Austin-based brand studio the Butler Bros., which took inspiration from the hand-painted signs visible on buildings in Tequila, Mexico, near the distillery where Tequila 512’s blanco, reposado and añejo are all produced. A bold yellow stripe across Tequila 512’s packaging serves as the signature design element, both drawing our eyes to the bottles and paying subtle homage to the colorful culture from which tequila comes.
Tequila 512 founder Scott Willis wanted the design to reflect Austin, too — since the company is based here, after all, in new headquarters off South First Street.
“I took one of the Butler brothers down to Mexico with me, and he was just blown away by all the signs and the buildings down there,” Willis said. “The task for them was to do something that was Austin cool in the way that Hotel San Jose is, the way that Hotel Saint Cecilia is. It’s cool, but it doesn’t have ‘Austin, Texas’ all over it. So we played that down with this yellow look and decided to carry it through all three product lines.”
Having a sophisticated look is especially crucial for Willis, who hired Christopher Cain, formerly of Dulce Vida Tequila, to help expand the business and get the tequila into more places across Austin and the rest of the state. He’s also debuting Tequila 512 Añejo, and with a full product line under his belt, he recognizes the need for a design on the outside of the bottle that matches the quality of the liquid inside.
“It’s the same good juice as we had before, but we just brought our packaging up to par,” he said.
The añejo, which Willis promises is “crazy good,” was aged for 13 months in barrels that previously housed bourbon. As a result, this third addition to the lineup builds sweetly to a peppery body and a mango finish, he said. If that sounds like a good addition to your tequila supply, don’t delay in grabbing a bottle: Tequila 512 only has about 350 cases on the market, and once they’re gone, the añejo won’t be available again until next fall. You’ll be able to find it for $35-$37, an approachable price for the aged spirit.
“I’m just excited to get it out there and have the line complete for awhile,” Willis said.
He has built the tequila company from the ground up, pouring everything he’s had into it since founding it four years ago. All that hard work paid off last year, when Tequila 512 Blanco earned double gold and the “Best in Show” award at the prestigious 15th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Willis was then able to raise more than a million dollars in funding in a campaign that ended earlier this year.
Finally, Tequila 512 is in the right place for a proper expansion and the chance to continue spreading the agave love.
“We’ve had great product; we’ve always had great product. We’ve won one of the biggest awards you can win,” he said. “We just felt like we needed the packaging to match and the personnel to match. And now we have it. All the pieces are there now.”