Thirst Craft rebrand Bellfield Brewery to resonate with everyone who enjoys great-tasting beer
Thirst Craft. the strategic drinks consultancy in Glasgow, worked with Bellfield over the last 12 months to develop our new branding. Here Matt Burns, Creative Director, talks about how they approached our brief:
Since it was established in 2015, Bellfield has been on a mission to brew great-tasting beer that everyone can enjoy: beer that just ‘happens’ to be gluten free and vegan.
The brand was developed to appeal equally to male and female beer drinkers, whether coeliac or not, and the product is positioned as a premium, small batch craft beer.
Their brief posed a challenge: to help build their brand into a clearly recognisable and trusted one, desired by consumers both in the UK and internationally.
They wanted the brewery to have a personality and engage emotionally, with their consumers.
They also wanted to achieve stand out on very crowded shelves and in a crowded category, where impactful design is everywhere while remaining ‘true to their roots’; they were never trying to compete with the many super cool craft breweries in the UK, whose labels are literally mini works of art.
And, as the business develops, there was a requirement to extend the range and package their products in a wider variety of formats - not just cans and kegs, but potentially in future, in multipacks and with labels for foreign markets.
The ease and speed with which they can adapt (in-house) their products to new packaging requirements is of the utmost importance to how the business develops.
Their ‘bell logo’ branding had become increasingly inflexible and suffered from a high degree of inconsistency in how the brand was portrayed and applied to point of sale and merchandise.
Due to its subtle colours, it also lacked impact.
A new strapline – For the Free: exceptional beer, no exceptions
We developed a new positioning for Bellfield, grounded in a campaignable strapline – For the Free – which obliquely references their gluten-free and vegan credentials without focusing on it.
We turned the absence of gluten into an attitude which could apply to beer lovers, coeliacs, gluten avoiders, vegans, veggies and craft beer lovers, alike.
A revolutionary rebrand followed.
We called the concept ‘Resonance’.
Instead of opting for a literal ‘bell’ we focussed on the ‘clapper’ (yes, that’s what the inside part of a bell is called, we didn’t know either).
This forms a strong, industrial wordmark from which bold patterns, inspired by sound waves, resonate out.
Pattern and colour theory
We aimed to create a brand that can stand the test of time for this ambitious and creative brewery, so we developed a design theory that underpins every variation, depending on the beer style in the can or bottle.
Each beer’s flavour profile can be reflected through shifting patterns and complementary - or contrasting - colours, while always remaining recognisably ‘Bellfield’.
The brandmark always features strongly, as that was important to the business and in its typography, it retains some of the ‘feel’ of the old brand, to underline the idea of continuity.
Plus the bold, playful pattern resonates easily off can into merchandise, POS, environment and beyond.
Crisp pilsners and lagers will use clean, thin lines and vibrant colours to showcase the flavour profile whilst hoppy, juicy ales use thicker lines, undulating patterns and more adventurous colour palettes. If they produced one in future, a sour gose might use angular, pointed waves to indicate the tart and sour flavour.
We have helped to present Bellfield as beer for those seeking ‘exceptional beer with no exceptions’.
The message is: you don’t have to compromise on flavour or aesthetic when choosing ‘free from’.
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Takeaway sales have literally been a lifeline for us these last nine months. Along with online sales, to all over the UK, they’ve kept our small business afloat.
It’s also been wonderful to meet and chat to so many local customers, albeit from behind a mask in a socially-distanced way!
Thinking about a cold, crisp, refreshing, classic Pilsner to have in between all those weird drinks you’ll be offered at Christmas?
Our Bohemian Pilsner (4.5% ABV) is a classic Czech pilsner style that won ‘Silver’ in Best Pilsner category at last week’s Scottish Beer Awards. Featuring Saaz, a noble hop, Bellfield Pilsner is pale with a light body, background bitterness and gentle floral tones leading to a soft finish.
If that wasn’t enough to whet your taste buds, Keith our brewer is busy filling 5-litre mini kegs of it, fresh from our conditioning tanks.