For 120 years, The Berghoff Restaurant has been an integral presence in the Chicago food scene. Herman Berghoff began selling his beer outside the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 before acquiring the space for a small café in the heart of downtown Chicago. The Berghoff’s popularity was widespread thanks to the hearty German family recipes and the production of “near-beer” and root beer sodas during Prohibition. After Prohibition ended, The Berghoff was the recipient of Chicago’s very first liquor license and has been for every year since.
Now an extensive 40,000 sq. ft. operation in the coveted Chicago loop area, The Berghoff hosts a restaurant, a bar, a café, an in-house bakery and a café location at O’Hare airport, one of the busiest airports in the country.
Over the course of six months, we were able to elevate The Berghoff’s presence online to a new generation of Chicago diners and event planners. On the heels of this success, The Berghoff approached us for a full-scale digital brand development project for their latest and largest undertaking—an in-house brewery.
Generations of families and friends have built memories within the walls of The Berghoff. One of those families is that of our very own, Josh Meyer. “My dad has been a huge fan of The Berghoff since he was a kid,” Meyer recounts. “When they approached me to help develop the new digital presence for their new brewery and beer brand, it was a huge deal.” Meyer chuckles, “My dad is still so proud.”
“The Berghoff came to us with this huge news—building an in-house brewery,” Meyer explains. “They wanted it to be an integral part of the restaurant and preferably align with their long-established brand but, at the same time, they wanted it to have its own unique presence on the web.”
It was up to us to create a modern, intuitive digital brand experience that also remained in keeping with The Berghoff’s historic significance to the city of Chicago.
Furthermore, The brand was to launch online prior to brewery completion or having all digital assets prior to the brewery being fully built and ready, which meant we had to anticipate the brewery experience prior to having photography as a guideline.
Given the unpredictable schedule of construction, we worked within a flexible time frame, making our teams available as needed and providing updates within 24-48 hours.
We started with the baseline—how do we create a new brand that marries the historical significance of an iconic Chicago landmark to attract millennials and generations to come?
We had our copywriters work in close consultation with The Berghoff to understand the entire history of the restaurant, the family, and the significance of beer to the city of Chicago. This allowed us to determine how to integrate the stories of the past into an experience for the future.
Got IT Digital worked with The Berghoff’s design and marketing team to develop a multimedia-based website that would display seamlessly on any device. Website highlights included: a navigable historic timeline, sliders to showcase before and after photography, cinemagraphs, e-commerce capabilities, and animations