A Tale of Two Ales


Molson Coors manages several beer and ale brands in the UK, including Caffrey’s and Worthington’s. Beginning this week, these two ales will have entirely new brands, including logos, packaging and other branding elements.

Worthington’s will have a logo design and packaging with a retro feeling. The dagger and shield, which lurked in monochrome at the back of the old can, have been made into a proper logo and coloured bright red to increase contrast. The cool black and cream colour scheme of the can combined with an old-fashioned font make the ale have a decidedly classic feeling. Worthington’s will use an advertising scheme that promotes this feeling as well.

This retro brand makes sense for the ale, which has been a UK favourite since 1744. It points to the ale’s long heritage, which will appeal to lovers of old fashioned drinks. The look will be similar for all of the Worthington’s ales, which include Creamflow, White Shield and Red Shield.

Caffrey’s has also been rebranded, although the result is very different. The premium Irish ale had previously used a logo design and packaging that were intended to give a modern and refreshing feeling, with a silver and green gradient in the background and black images with blue accents. This has been changed to a bold emerald green with a gold Irish knot. The writing is traditional with modern accents—the connected crossbar on the F’s, for example.

This communicates a distinctively Irish brand, one that has history but is overwhelmingly modern. Both brands have certainly been differentiated, with a look and feeling that are very different from those of their competition. This is particularly important in the drink business, where there are huge amounts of competition in almost every niche. If a brand has a characteristic that sets it apart, it is important that this be highlighted and made a major part of both the logo design and the packaging.

Branding and logo design are important in every business, but especially so in beer and ale markets. It might seem like taste and other product aspects are the main reason that consumers choose certain beers, but branding plays a huge role. No one in a pub is going to order an ale that will make their mates laugh at them. By the same token, many of us have chosen a beer or ale off of a shelf simply because it sounded good. Branding plays a huge part in both of these situations—and indeed in many situations in which ale is being bought.

If you are interested in whether the contents of the cans live up to the packaging, you will have the chance to find out in a week or less. Both the Worthington’s and the Caffrey’s identities have been recently introduced and should soon be seen in a pub or supermarket near you.