MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58 News) — A limited edition brew was made completely from scratch by four Marquette University seniors, who’ve now set a precedent for future drinks.
“People were like, ‘wow! I didn’t think this was going to be good but it’s actually, really good,’” shared Jackson Cosgriff.
He, alongside Gracie Pionek, Connor Nelson and Will Dales were chosen by Marquette faculty to undertake a business venture known as ‘Blue & Gold Brewing.’
“I was basically in charge of all of the creative concepting, the branding, any sort of design that came for promotional posters, the can itself, social media, the website,” explained Pionek.
Cosgriff said he was in charge of overseeing the budget.
“…kind of trying to see what we wanted to price certain things at, specifically apparel wise,” he added.
John Knapp, the executive director of the Innovation Alley program at the university said it’s an initiative that stemmed from alumni.
“I had the great opportunity of interviewing all of them,” Knapp said. “We were looking for, kind of, a diverse set of business students in the perspective of different subject matter expertise.”
From marketing and sales to branding and graphic design, these four students brought a concept to life.
“We were trying to come up with, you know, the name, the branding, what kind of styles we wanted to do,” said Cosgriff.
Pionek said they were given few guidelines.
“To not specifically say Marquette on the can just because we are a separate entity from the university and then we obviously decided that we wanted to do Marquette colors,” she said.
But first, they had to pick the style of beer to launch on Feb. 4, also known as ‘National Marquette Day.’
“I did a ton of research on product design and graphic design from the ’70s, which really, heavily inspired the design of the can and the branding itself,” Pionek added.
It’s called the ’77 Golden Ale.’
“We all got together with the board and then the students, and then here at Broken Bat, we actually had a tasting session where we tasted different kinds of beers and then from there, we kind of decided what we liked about each beer and then the brewers took it from there,” said Nelson.
They partnered up with a few known local breweries: Good City, Broken Bat and Gathering Place.
Pionek said the final design was approved within a month.
“Inspired by the ’77 National Championship game,” she said. “I took inspiration from the jerseys that they wore…it’s not exactly the same but I wanted it to be its own separate creation, and then all of the fonts that we used and the colors that we used are also authentic to that time.”
These students have now graduated and come Fall 2023, a new set of students, ages 21 or older, will be recruited to take over the ongoing project and create an entirely new drink.
“We’re not going to stop, you know, this business with just beer, that’s one product and, you know, we’re going to challenge our students to think how they can continue to build this business,” said Knapp.