These days it’s more often than not the case that craft was a crucial component to a great weekend. You probably remember it fondly (or not) from yours. But it hasn’t always been that way.
An imported manifestation from our across-the-pond friends, and originally the tipple of dads and sports fans and part-time micro-brewers, craft beer has paved the way for a revolution of sorts over the past few years in the UK. Much like coffee or wine, the way you drink your beer says a lot about you as a person. Beer is no longer just a drink; it’s kind of a lifestyle now too.
So, why has the increase in the fizzy, over-hopped beverage come to be? We reckon that its fifty percent great product and fifty percent solid branding. So while the prospect of drinking is on the horizon, here are four great craft beer brands with impeccable marketing.
Keeping right on trend with all things punk and edgy, Brewdog is potentially the biggest success story for micro breweries in the UK. The brand wins mostly through its print advertising and ‘in-your-face’ headlines. The metallic-textured graphics add a gritty depth, as if the art direction was dreamed up by Messrs. Joey Ramone or Iggy Pop. Even the inspired copy messaging isn’t afraid to shout out against conformist values, bringing some punchy personality to the brand that makes you feel dirty and desperately in need to be cleansed of your sins.
Brewdogs bottle packaging has made many a pub-goer ask bar staff, ‘what on earth is that?!’ in a time of green Heineken bottles and ye old England ales. Quite simply, Brewdog pioneered Scotland’s craft beer scene in the late noughties and it has gone on to transend ht eindustry thoughout the UK. It may have reached its nexus; it might not be as cool or innovative as the newer stuff coming out. But it’s hard to argue that this craft beer craze owes much to Brewdog’s unusual but highly effective approach to its branding.
2. Camden Town Brewery
You’ll find Camden Hells almost anywhere worth going to these days. And for good reason; it’s a fantastically crisp beer. A great pick-me-up after a long week or for cleaning your pallet before you start on the stronger stuff. No one's denying that the product is good, but the branding? It’s better. We especially like the simple logo design and the powerful red block colouring that looks like it was pulled out of Dazed and Confused or Vice. They’ve even taken the liberties of building passionate ‘Beer Teams’ to spread the good word about any upcoming events or products that you should know about. And it’s worth knowing about CTB; it’s the beer of the 2am trendy taco truck generation; the folks who might flock to a refurbished car park in Peckham to dance all night. It is the beer of right now, and that’s an incredible feat to achieve.
Here’s a brewers unafraid to paint murals on their bottles and cans. The brainchild of Robert Plant’s son Logan, everything about Beavertown’s branding is fun and uncomplicated. The illustrations are hilariously creative, depicting the living dead wandering Mars with laser guns (like one of those weird dreams you have after eating too much cheese). Beavertown has an excellent line of products with names that poke at pop culture and rock n’ roll references – like the Black Betty beer and Holy Cowbell. The team ethic behind the brand looks like a cracking time too, holding charity runs and competitions like the ‘Least awkwardly photographed 2014’. In the end, Beavertown’s core message is that it has nothing to prove to anyone. It’s a good beer made by some very twisted and creative people who probably like to listen to AC/DC and talk about 80’s horror movies. And you’re invited to join in the fun.
A lesson in keeping up with the times without compromising your brand identity, the granddaddy of London craft beer has over one hundred and sixty years’ experience on the hops and shows no sign of giving up. The logo remains unchanged; enforcing images of Victorian dockland pubs and patterned carpets that reek of ale. But Fullers knows that with a strong history comes great responsibility (that’s how that one goes right?) and have marketed themselves as 'London's Beer' , with print advertising that touches the heartstrings to remind us why we love our city so darn much. It’s a strong claim to make, but not exactly misleading. Long live Fuller’s.
Let us know if we’ve missed any of your favourites in the comments section.