The best in beer merch
There are now more than 2,000 craft breweries in the UK, according to The Guardian, with over 100 of these based in London. UK craft beer is going from strength to strength. This is especially true in the capital, where, according to one report, 69% of beer drinkers say that craft ale is better than the mainstream alternatives. Craft breweries are embracing the country’s love for their brews by inviting customers to experience it direct from the source, opening up tap rooms and tasting experiences that offer the chance to meet the people behind the beer.
In many cases, they have quality merch on display alongside the pints. The logic is simple enough: if you appreciate a quality, finely crafted beer, then you’ll be enamoured by a nicely-designed t-shirt too. For this reason, many breweries have embraced a worthy line in merch: the beer shirt.
Here at ICON we’re pleased to work with some of the capital’s most exciting breweries and bottle shops, helping them create custom merch to celebrate their distinct brands. Whether that be embroidered caps or screen printed t-shirts, for newer, independent breweries, creating distinctive merch is a great way to advertise what makes your beer special, and offers customers a way to feel more attached to what you do. Many are creating merch that serves two purposes: personalised workwear for staff that’s also a collectible item for customers.
Here are some of our favourite examples of the breweries and bottle shops nailing the visual approach.
Pillars eschew the usual ale-obsession of independent breweries, and are instead passionate champions of the perfect lager. Based in Walthamstow, Pillars bill their brewery and taproom experience as a ‘love letter to craft lager and its drinkers’. Pillars’ brand identity is built around a kind of psychedelic steampunk aesthetic that is instantly eye-catching, and their distinctive ICON tees are cleverly designed to reveal a bold graphic when the bartender turns around to pull pints.
The Manchester-founded Cloudwater brewery have built their business around the value of drinking beer at its source, emphasising the quality that only a taproom drinking experience can offer. Their friendly rain cloud logo is distinctive and simple, making it perfect for stamping across pint glasses and the breast of their tees. Cloudwater, as the name might suggest, also educate people about the way that beer changes with the seasons, and accordingly commission a different artist every season to create new designs for their brews.
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🎶 Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing. Thanks for all the joy they're bringing. 🎶 Forgive the ABBA reference, but music is a constant source of happiness and inspiration for us, so we're delighted that Mobile Speaker – our much-loved collaboration with @dryandbitterbrewing – makes its return next week. But this time round, we're really gonna get the party started, as we've brewed three different versions, each showcasing a different hop combination on top of the base (or should that be bass?) of Citra and Mosaic. Mobile Speaker Grey is based on the same recipe as the original, so features Galaxy and Simcoe. Meanwhile, Mobile Speaker Red stars Centennial and Nelson Sauvin. Finally, Chinook and Simcoe take the limelight in Mobile Speaker Blue. All three are available to pre-order from our online store from 9am tomorrow. Deliveries will start next Wednesday, when the trio will also be launched at @cloudwaterunit9, 73 Enid Street and @fermentorencph. cloudwaterbrew.co/store
Camden Town Brewery is perhaps one of London’s most prolific craft breweries, and you can spot their castle logo on taps across the city. Another brewer that champions the oft overlooked lager, they have taken their red and black branding and run with it. Not only do they dress their staff in a range of Camden Town branded apparel, but they have created their own distinctive pint glasses, so that drinkers in any pub still enjoy a slice of the brewery experience.
At the Brick taproom in Peckham you will find all of their core and seasonal offerings, as well as a number of taproom exclusives and guest drafts to sweeten the deal. Brick brewery live up to the reputation of their trendy home, with a simple but effective logo logo that looks, well, like bricks. This is carried a little further on the design of their cans, which feature a brick-wall pattern as their base.
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Starting our week off by welcoming 3 new members to team Brick 🏠 Stu (middle) will be leading the sales team as Sales Director with George and Michael *insert Wham! joke here* joining Fred as Sales Managers, getting more of our beer out into the wider world and your hands 🍻🌍 It's so exciting to see our team grow, please help us give them a warm welcome 👋
Mother Kelly’s is an American-style bottle shop and tap room with mind-boggling array of beer on offer, as well as specially selected wine and spirits for your ale-averse friends. Now with five locations across London, they have cemented their reputation as the go-to place for adventurous and nerdy beer drinkers alike. Their high-quality ICON-printed totes reflect the vibrant and varied offering of the business. They also offer hoodies and embroidered beanies, for the cold-weather drinker.
Any regular visitor to Hackney Wick has probably found themselves sitting by the canal, enjoying a pint of Crate Brewery beer and a slice of their equally delicious pizza. One of the first new businesses to open in what is now a thriving island of clubs, bars and venues, Crate have cemented themselves as Hackney Wick institution. Their ‘C’ logo and all of their beer labels cleverly distort a cube design, nodding to the shape of their namesake crate.
Beavertown are another London brewery with a rather trippy visual identity. Their bright and brash cans stand out on taps and in fridges, reeling in curious customers who want to try something new. Designer Nick Dwyer has worked with Beavertown from the start, and his hallucinogenic, skeleton-heavy designs are probably just as beloved as the beers they decorate. Having such a unique designer on-hand means that Beavertown can create and sell merchandise that feels truly in-step with their brand – a little out-there, but always great quality.
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Is that a faint ringing of bells in the distance? Guess it's time to HAIL SANTA! 🎅⠀ ⠀ Beavertown Brewery presents our official not-so-ugly Christmas Sweater, the perfect garment for any beer lover's Christmas Jumper Day. Available in sizes Small to 2XL, you can grab this seasonal piece from our Webshop 🌲⠀ ⠀ Looking for gifts? 🎁Check out our "Gifts" page for Advent Calendars, beer bundles and more.
Canopy have a very spiritual approach to their beer, celebrating it as a reflection of life’s journey and the mistakes that get you where you need to be. The designs for their beer reflect this, each featuring a chopped up animal spliced together consequences-style from a series of designs by a varied pool of illustrators. The tees, totes and posters available from their taproom and e-store also feature this playful design.
Want to create merch for your craft brewery? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting clients such as Pillars, Mother Kelly’s and Meantime. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.