Just this week, Brew City Online was voted “Best Website Design” by the Shepherd Express readers, in its first annual 2011 Best of Milwaukee Web Awards. This came as a huge and pleasant surprise, mostly because we probably should have been feverishly tweeting, facebooking and calling all of our friends and relatives to vote for us. But, we truly left the voting to the Shepherd Express readers, so it makes the honor double as great.
Ironically, it’s also Brew City’s 25th anniversary in 2011, so as we reminisce about producing the first independently designed Milwaukee apparel, I would also like to give you a brief history of the Brew City Online website:
Our website began in the 90’s with a cool local web designer named Kristian (Lars) Larsen. He coached us to avoid the bells and whistles, animations and sounds, and focus on the minimum clicks to get to integrated product content. The main page was a series of short newspaper style headlines, each leading to product categories. We still have this “story” approach, and even the color scheme of orange and brown has been retained through the years.
Later on, we needed to link our e-commerce database to our site, giving us real time inventory levels, and features such as cross-referencing, automatic credit card processing (with county codes for sales tax), wish lists, and e-mail capabilities, among others. Spectrum Creative designers Alan Lepkowski, Cesar Hernandez and Martta Mayo helped to keep our main page grid clean, still paying homage to Lars’ original design.
In the past few years, Brew City alumni Will Boucher worked within the grid to add seamless and clever integration of Facebook, Twitter and WordPress links, sizing tables, and a highly effective use of Google Adwords, peaking out at over 3000% ROI, at certain times!
So, as we concede that Brew City Online doesn’t break any new programming ground, or locate your next beer via GPS, we thank you for recognizing the local flavor, and allowing us into your lives, a few Brew City clicks at a time!
Frank / Brew City Brand