A Soulo Case Study

The Rusty Bumblebee

Brand Identity
See the site in action
The Rusty Bumblebee self pour tap house logo


The Rusty Bumblebee, located in Blaine, has the largest self-pour tap wall in Minnesota. ‘The Bee’ has 60 different offerings on tap, an often-changing selection featuring beer of all types, including micro-, macro-, and everything in between. They also offer seltzers, ciders, wine, even milkshakes, smoothies, soft drinks, and kombucha. Their website lists everything that’s currently on tap as well as what’s on deck. They truly offer something for everyone.


  • Develop a name
  • Develop a logo and brand
  • Create a website
  • Create and install window vinyl
Blaine's Protected Beer Sanctuary

Client Relationship

The Rusty Bumblebee was founded by four families that shared a common love of beer and camaraderie. They had some ideas for the tap house name, but were looking for a design agency to partner with. A Google search turned up SOULO. They liked some of the work we’d done with other beer brands and the Malcolm Yards food hall—and SOULO’s ‘vibe,’ according one of the founders!


SOULO started with a brand discovery process that included a competitive market analysis of other tap houses and area breweries that served on-premises drinks. That analysis showed that the names they were considering weren’t unique enough, and undersold the full breadth of beverages the founders planned to offer.
The SOULO team worked through a naming process, eventually whittling the options down to 20, then five, which were then presented to the client.
Name and logo ideation

Picking the name and forming the brand identity

In the end, the partner members chose The Rusty Bumblebee for several reasons. For one, it had a local tie: the Rusty Bumblebee is Minnesota’s official state bee. The name also offered lots of fun options for branding, taglines, and other content. Finally, it wasn’t limiting geographically: something like Twin Cities Tap House would play well in the metro, but would have less salience in, say, North Dakota (where, in fact, a second Rusty Bumblebee is set to open soon).
The curious keg prototype sign
The Rusty Bumblebee prototype design
Two mock-ups to visualize brand potential

Working on a deadline

The challenge then became scheduling. The Rusty Bumblebee’s hope was to open very quickly, not even three months after engaging SOULO. We worked with them to develop a production strategy, breaking out the timing of every aspect of the project, with each party agreeing to be accountable for responsiveness. Collaboration was a must for this project to succeed.

producing the brand

It worked. SOULO was able to leverage our in-house creative and production teams to streamline the branding materials we created. The tap house’s vivid name helped focus design choices, and we created a logo and other iconography that was cheerful and fun. Those branding and design choices then filtered out to the large-format vinyl graphics and signs at the tap house, as well as the exterior sign on their building. We also designed a website that clearly shows how the self-pour system works and, most importantly, lists the drink options available at any given time.
Working Rusty Bumblebee Logo
Working logo design
Final Rusty Bumblebee Logo
Final Logo and Variation
Final Sign Design
Outdoor signage Design


Results have exceeded expectations. The original location in Blaine is buzzing with activity, and the partnership is set to open a second facility in North Dakota, with a third location in the works for the south metro. The project had to fly quickly, but with everyone working together—no queens or drones here—the results are sweet as honey.