Makers & Allies: Duo Helps Local Drink Firms Tell Their Story

By Kendra Aronson | September 15, 2015
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Wine label and cork designed by Makers & Allies
Photos courtesy of Makers & Allies

One extremely crucial element in creating wine is relaying the story behind the product to the end-consumer: the inspiration behind the blend, the unique terroir that influences the flavors, the specific production methods used, the history of the vineyard. Enter: Sarah Berger & Garrett Deiter, Co-Founders of Makers & Allies. This creative duo is crushing it (wine pun definitely intended) in very a different way. Makers & Allies is an award-winning design and branding studio located in San Luis Obispo producing branding, packaging, spaces, and experiences exclusively for the wine, craft, and spirits industry. 

Many SLOcal winemakers, wineries (and brewers and distillers) are now turning to them and their small-but-mighty team to help bring their wine stories to life. They do everything from brand naming, brand concepting, and brand strategy to bottle label design and packaging. “Our mission is to enable artisans to tell their story,” says Garrett. Their take on storytelling and design is artsy, edgy, provocative, bold, surprising, gusty, striking, fresh, impactful—always attention-grabbing and always head-turning.

When asked about what wine project was currently getting their own creative juices flowin’, they simultaneously shouted, “we are really excited about putting wine in a can!” Yup, wine in a can, folks. We are all well-versed in bottled wine and boxed wine—but wine in a can?! Now, that’s a new one! “We are all about new ways to package wine!” they exclaim. These two are always pushing the unconventional boundaries of how wine should be presented and consumed; and in turn are reaching out to a whole new audience that these wineries weren’t previously able to capture.

Garrett Deiter, co-founder of Makers & Allies
Sarah Berger, co-founder of Makers & Allies
Makers & Allies home base
Makers & Allies home base interior
Photo 1: Photo courtesy of Makers & Allies
Photo 2: Photo courtesy of Makers & Allies
Photo 3: Makers & Allies home base. Photo courtesy of Makers & Allies
Photo 4: Makers & Allies home base. Photo courtesy of Makers & Allies

Their services don’t stop there, they also offer: space planning, interior rendering, interior design, exterior design, lighting design, signage design, and web design for restaurants, breweries, and wine tasting rooms. Around town, their most notable work is Foremost Wine Co.’s lavish, intricate, moody interiors and ornate punchy lime green print collateral. Around the County, their most noteworthy tasting room to date is Tooth & Nail's amazingly dramatic, grandiose castle perched in Paso Robles. Next up, they are working on the tasting rooms of GREY (formally Grey Wolf Cellars) and Ancient Peaks, so stay tuned!

Wine bottle label
Force of Nature bottle labels
Wine bottle label by Makers & Allies
Wine bottle label by Makers & Allies
Photo 1: Photo courtesy of Makers & Allies
Photo 2: Intricate design on one of the Force of Nature bottle labels. Photo courtesy of Makers & Allies
Photo 3: Photo courtesy of Makers & Allies
Photo 4: Photo courtesy of Makers & Allies

When tackling each project, Sarah and Garrett always make it a priority to connect with clients on a personal level. “A lot of inspiration is drawn from actually tasting the products, listening to the maker, and talking about their inspiration and their story—we find something very detailed and then build out from there,” says Sarah. It’s interactions like these that collectively propel creativity and generate brainstorm sessions of experimental ideas. These conversations and mutual respect for each other’s craft enable Makers & Allies to tell distinctive stories, create memorable brands, and push limits in the wine industry.

Interested in working with Makers & Allies? View their complete portfolio at

Photos courtesy of Makers & Allies

Article from Edible San Luis Obispo at
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