Free Beer* – Packaging Design & Branding

As the title reads “Free Beer”, so just drop me a message and we’ll go for one (also exchangeable for one non-alcoholic drink).

I wanted to write about what I think is fun to swig and fun to look at.

Tasty on the eyes is almost as important as being nice to drink, the shelves here are very crammed with craft beer so with competition fierce the brand owes it to themselves to give the design some attention.

I think with a renaissance in beer making going on it’s something to admire.

So in no particular order here’s my top five list of packaging and branding for beer I like.



First of my choice in crafty beer companies from a place very close to where I’m from here in Ireland. Ballykilcavan is the brewery located just outside Stradbally. This place has some amazing history and an equally impressive location to boot!

The land has been in use by the same family for twelve generations, they use 100% Irish barely to make Irish beer. They have a griffin as their symbol, originating from the Walsh family, who have been farming at Ballykilcavan since 1639!

In comparison to a few other choices on this list the packaging, branding and logo is early days but I’m definitely rooting from them because they have a unique history. In an age of pop up breweries, they’ve been here longer than a lot of us! They could claim to be going longer than Guinness. I can’t wait to see what kind of direction they will go with the design, be it abstract or staying close to their roots in a more traditional way. One to watch.

I couldn’t not mention the taste on the Long Meadow IPA, it’s not gassy like a lot of beers out there. It’s named after a 300-year-old field on their fam and brewed with “Azacca and Amarillo hops”, I haven’t a clue what they are but they taste good. Thanks Ballykilcavan!

On a personal, note it’s really nice to learn that near the house I grew up in with nearby fields that my families people would have done a bit of toiling in those very fields that are today still in use – that’s nice.

Check out this cool video they made.



Wicklow Wolf

Next up is the really cool Wicklow Wolf, taste and flavour is something that’s covered by these people no problem. Their logo is the silhouette of a wolf, it’s got a slight weathered aged effect as does it’s Branding overall.

The elevation pale ale they do has a really nice blue and the contrast makes the brand stand out. Like their branding, their range of tasty beers is consistently good.

You delve into the name then you learn about the history. Wicklow is a really stunning landscape, we don’t have wolves here anymore but the very last one ranged freely across this land. Hence the name, when we see a wolf in advertising then the connotations takes you to what qualities a wolf brings: guardianship, wild and noble. I love how their wolf looks with the branding.

Big shout out goes to the vans they have going around. I’ll include a picture if I find one, they have them grey in a muted kind of tone, it’s great because it just makes their branding stand out way more.

Plus the name is great, I love amazing alliteration absolutely ascertaining attention.



Franciscan Well

Next one I like is a brewery called Franciscan Well, it’s based in Cork and last year they celebrated their 20thanniversary. They’ve a great deal of history with the grounds they’ve based themselves being a Franciscan well dating back to 1214, check out their site to read more.

They got an updated logo in 2016, I love it since it’s more bespoke and says a lot more, a stark improvement from the old logo. Mind you I love the monk having a beer but with the change of type, it makes it more accessible to a bigger audience. Staying to its roots with the inclusion of the arch. Great to see something from Cork too, great place.

They launched it at the same time they brought a new canned range. Great clear lettering from what I’m going to say is similar to Brandon Printed One but I could be wrong.

The beer is very tasty and not malty, I’m not usually one for ales but their Rebel Red is great. Definitely recommend it. Additionally, the owner is called Shane,





McGargles (Rye Brewery)


So Rye Brewery company have a wide range of drinks, a great history and nice approach to adding flavour to packaging and design.

One label in their range is the McGargles!

Now here’s one I think it’s great because with a great art style and unique approach of giving each beer it’s own personality. They only went and made a family of unique characters and each beer is giving a quirky name and personality to match. My favourite is Rosie, she’s a really nice pale ale. Even mentioning the beer as a woman’s name and being fond of it is a nice association to have and would definitely recommend.



And then last but definitely not least Brewdog! I love this lot! So ethos, branding, image, language, marketing and how they communicate everything is really well done. Each bar they own does, of course, carry its brand on almost every detail. Very cool culture.

A contemporary cool logo, abstract hound in a crest/emblem silhouette. Something in a crest must be old and established so they turn this on its head by having the outline of funkily shaped dog inside. Really cool, simple, memorable and fits everywhere. Kudos to them and their lovely logo.

They have a beer called punk IPA…I love this, I love it so much that I can’t drink it but Its label and colouring is just brilliant. Be it in bottle form, can 330ml or the 660ml (I’d always go for this one because more is better right?). Just look at it! Beautiful!


So these have been a list of my favourite beers to drink, order, look at the packaging and logos. For a brand to have a presence it’s got to do it well and these beers are doing something right. It’s been thirsty work this.

Thanks for reading, if you know a beer you think should be on a list then let me know!

If you’d like to learn more about logo’s check out this link to my other blog post, click here.




Author: smoran86

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