Design Week Sacramento 2019

What a wild ride this has been. What started as a fun idea just 6 weeks ago has come together so fluidly with the help of many enthusiastically passionate local designers, and I cannot thank them enough for the work they all put in to make this happen.

With the first annual Design Week Sacramento rapidly approaching, I knew I had to get involved somehow, so I decided to reach out to the amazing Amanda Sanchez (founder of DWS) with an idea for a beer design event. While the details of what the event would evolve over time, the core concept stayed the same throughout: local designers talking about designing for Sacramento’s thriving craft beer industry.

Design With Beer In Mind

My initial plan was ambitious to say the least, planning to pair 3 local breweries with 3 local designers to create 3 Design Week themed labels for new beer releases set to come out during Design Week. Given the timeline we were working with, considering design time, brewing day schedules, and printing coordination, it simply wasn’t possible to execute. Maybe next year!

However, Lucky Clover Packaging was kind enough to donate a half pallet of sleeved crowler cans for the event, so I jumped at the opportunity to create a label that would promote the event throughout the week as well as make for a rad souvenir! The design was inspired by the Tower Bridge connecting West Sac to Downtown Sacramento. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and we got to watch the cans get sleeved which was simply hypnotic to watch!

The official Design Week Sac 2019 promo crowlers! Freshly sleeved, ready for filling.

The official Design Week Sac 2019 promo crowlers! Freshly sleeved, ready for filling.

Opening day rolled up and began with a pop up shop at Urban Roots Brewing, followed by the opening party to kick the week off. Slingin’ merch was fun, but meeting all the local designers I’ve been following for the last couple years was by far the highlight. This event has really brought the creative community in Sacramento closer together and I’m grateful for it!

Kilian Slingin’ some GRDC merch at Urban Roots Brewing

Kilian Slingin’ some GRDC merch at Urban Roots Brewing

Finally, Thursday had arrived. I got to Yolo Brew early to get everything set up for the event, we even managed to get the projector working without any technical difficulties! After some networking time we moved the crowd into the back room where the panel would be held, and we got things rolling.

The questions were great, and everyone on the panel had a unique perspective from which to answer. When design and beer come together, everything gets better.


It was standing room only for the two full hours we sat up on that panel. People were engaged in what we were saying, and when we finally got through all the prepared questions, the audience had more. It was a ton of fun and a total success in my book. Can’t wait for next year!

Panel Members: Chase Daley (Moderator, @barbabyco), Peter Haldorf (GM @yolobrew), Steph Zangeneh Azam (@mightywithin), Lily Therens (@lilytherens), Hans Bennowitz (@shampooswan), Emilee Rudd (@emileerudd), and Kilian McMann (@kilianmcmanndesign)