Castle Rock Brewery

Building a solid foundation

Nottingham’s Castle Rock is one of the brewery industry’s biggest success stories of recent years. Founded by former Campaign for Real Ale chairman Chris Holmes, its award-winning beers include Harvest Pale, Elsie Mo, Sherwood Reserve and Preservation. It also operates a successful pub estate across Sheffield, York, Lincoln and Derby, as well as 16 venues in Nottingham. Eight years on from creating Castle Rock’s benchmark brand presentation, we were excited to be brought back on board to refresh the brand in a bid to keep it current in an increasingly competitive market. 

Building on the brewery’s market leader status, we introduced a new corporate font and colour palette and reinvigorated the design of the distinctive Castle Rock logo by simplifying the detail on the barrel icon to create more standout. Produced in three formats, it allows for greater flexibility of use across pump clips, bottle labels, glassware, literature, display materials, apparel and merchandise. Next, we redesigned the brewery’s range of regular pump clips, making them bigger with new illustrated compositions to give them maximum impact at the bar and evolved the brewery’s bottled beer presentation with a new label format and use of spot varnishes to maximise its premium appeal on shelf. We also evolved Castle Rock’s ‘Nottinghamian’ tribute beers, incorporating the updated identity within an editable design template so that the brewery’s marketing team could add new beers into the portfolio throughout the year.

More recently, we created a much needed, new contemporary design for the brewery’s popular ‘Wildlife Beers’ in association with the Wildlife Trust and remodelled Elsie Mo, one of Castle Rock’s most popular beers, replacing her out-dated saucy pin-up pose with a new design celebrating the role women pilots played in the Second World War.

Work scope

  • Visual identity
  • Logo
  • Stationery
  • Pump clips
  • Keg badges
  • Packaging design
  • Illustration
  • Glassware
  • Bar runners
  • Beer mats
  • Sales literature
  • Advertising
  • Staff apparel
  • Vehicle livery
  • Photograph and art direction

Happy client

“Our refreshed identity, distinctive new pump clips and bottled beer labels have given us a premium presentation across the bar and on the retail shelf. They have contributed greatly to the increase in sales over the past eighteen months. I would highly recommend Nick and the team at Blackbird.”

Colin Wilde, Managing Director