Categories ,

The Steam Machine Brewing Co.

Positioning a new independent craft brewery to stand out in a crowded market place

The Steam Machine Brewing Co. approached us to create a brand identity and packaging design for its new range of craft beers. Their team of eccentric scientists had poured their heart and soul into crafting recipes; experimenting with water chemistry and yeast biology to create the perfect beer – they wanted a brand identity and packaging design that reflected this devotion.

The craft beer industry is booming worldwide and in a crowded market it was essential we positioned the Steam Machine Brewing Co to stand out amongst their competitors. We worked closely with The Steam Machine Brewing Co. to gain an understanding of the company’s ethos and future aspirations and create a brand identity to truly capture the attention of its target audiences and packaging design that would differentiate it from its competitors.

With the brand name at the heart of our thinking, we were heavily inspired by steam punk counter culture and Victorian retro-futuristic technologies. We created a bespoke, playful and eclectic illustrative brand identity that changes colour to depict the wide range of beers on offer. It was essential whatever we created would work on everything from the bottle labelling to pump clips in bars.

The new brand identity was rolled out across multiple channels including packaging design, POS and digital platforms and the company is steaming ahead after they got to meet Sir Richard Branson as part of Virgin’s Start-up #MentorMeBranson competition when Sir Richard gave our new brand identity and packaging design the green light!

Steam Machine_Close Up

When we created the packaging and brand 3 years ago they started with 3 beers in bottles. They have grown their range considerably over the past 3 years and now have 11 beers and produce special seasonal beers. The decision was also taken to move to cans in early 2017 as the quality of canned beer is much better than bottles and cans helps keep in the hop aroma.

As the range has grown we have worked with them to produce can artwork and create new illustrations and approaches to differentiating each flavour. The cans cleverly have transparent areas to make use of the metallic can and give it a metallic ink feel at an economical cost. This was a testament to the close relationship we have and the trust we have built with the Steam Machine Brewing Co.

Within a year of developing the brand the product was stocked in over 30 bars nationally, but since 2015 production has grown from 1200L to  12,000L!  The beers are sold in premium bottle shops and craft beer bars up and down the UK from North Scotland to the South Coast of England and they are  rated in the top fifty breweries of England from craft beer review site UNTAPPD. 

We spend a lot of time crafting our recipes, but know that before a single drop reaches our customer’s taste buds they’ll see our keg or bottle label – it was essential that we got the brand identity and packaging design right. The designers did an outstanding job – the final creative designs surpassed how I could ever imagine them to look. We are really proud of our brand identity and our customers love it too.

Nick Smith
Founder & Master Brewer
The Steam Machine Brewing Co.