Edinburgh brewery's lockdown success spurs growth and major rebrand

Edinburgh brewery's lockdown success spurs growth and major rebrand

Edinburgh's Bellfield Brewery – the UK's only, exclusively gluten-free and vegan brewery – is ringing in the changes with bold new branding, investment in production equipment and an all-weather beer garden at their brewery taproom near the city centre.

When lockdown started in late March, the brewery lost 95% of its on trade sales overnight but managed to quickly pivot to online sales, enjoying a dramatic increase in sales from customers in Scotland and across the UK via their online store.

Takeaway draught beer in 3-pint jugs, served from a pop up bar in the brewery's yard, also proved popular with Edinburgh residents as many more of them 'shopped local' and became a local success story in such dark times.

Bellfield's Taproom beer garden opened in July and features a series of outdoor booths, each separated from the one next door with acrylic panels, to facilitate socially-distanced drinking while keeping the friendly feel of a pub.

Meanwhile, Bellfield's new branding has been launched, and is designed to give the brewery stand-out in the on-trade and retail.

The launch will be supported by a TV advertising campaign that goes to air for two weeks from August 10th as part of the STV Growth Fund. The TV ad was produced in collaboration with Edinburgh agency, Gerry Farrell Ink, local animator and filmmaker Ross Hogg and with music from Jacuzzi General of Paradise Palms Records.

Ahead of the launch, Bellfield has secured a listing with Lidl as part of their summer festival starting on 6th August. This will see 330ml cans of Bellfield's Bohemian Pilsner appear on the shelves of 105 Lidl branches across Scotland.

Masterminded by Thirst Craft in Glasgow, the new branding is also intended to help Bellfield gain new listings, boost exports and extend its range with new products and seasonal specials.

The 'Resonance' design, with its bold lines and colour palette, represents the sound waves emanating from the clapper of the bell of Bellfield's earlier brand mark. The colours and patterns will vary, depending on the beer style.

Counting down to the brand's go-live date for its new branding, a social media campaign that features eye-catching animations has been designed by Ben Whiting and Daniel Paylor, two talented local creatives who volunteered their help during the lockdown period.

Speaking about Bellfield's plans for investment and its brand refresh, Alistair Brown, CEO said that the investment was being made, in part, to sustain the recent, dramatic growth in online sales as well as gaining new export listings. Bellfield already exports to Italy, Malta, Switzerland, UAE and Singapore.

He said, "We're working hard to grow our business, in the UK and internationally, to become a premium-positioned beer brand.

"We plan to invest heavily in marketing to raise awareness of our award winning beers and to win more listings and drive export sales.

"Our new brewhouse and further planned investment in production equipment, will allow us to scale up production, to meet demand in the UK and overseas."

"The new branding and packaging builds on our heritage, while its vibrant and impactful design reflects our beers and the spirit of the business.

"It also reflects our ambition to lead the way in brewing award winning beers that everyone can drink - all our beers are vegan and gluten-free, hence our new strapline, "For The Free".

Since being established in 2015, Bellfield has created 10 jobs at the brewery's home in Abbeyhill.

Looking ahead to 2021, Bellfield hopes to get back to hosting brewery tours and tastings as well as events at its brewery and taproom in Abbeyhill. To date this has included music, quiz nights, comedy shows, food and drink pairings, street food pop ups, private and corporate events and moving forward will include an arts-based programme, The Bellfield Sessions.

Bellfield is also planning to invest in additional production vessels and an on-site packaging facility to further enhance its production capacity.