Orkney’s award winning Highland Brewing Company has been reborn as ‘Swannay Brewery’ with a striking new look as it is gears up for growth. The roll out is key to the Swannay based brewer’s ambitious plans – backed by Highland and Islands Enterprise – to treble production and drive sales forward both in the UK and abroad.
Sales have spiralled by some 30 per cent on average over 10 years since Rob Hill began brewing cask-conditioned ales at Swannay in 2005. There are now plans to export both the bottled range and keg beers to target countries which include North America, Japan and Scandinavia. Keg brands will also to be offered to pubs and bars in the UK.
The new branding, new plant and new people are at the heart of the plans for growth. Four new 20-barrel fermenting vessels will boost production capacity to 100 brewer’s barrels-a-week (28,800 pints) while the team has been strengthened to six in the brewery and one on distribution and logistics.
The rebrand aims to dispel any previous ambiguity in the brewery’s identity, when it was known as both Highland and Swannay brewery. A sleek ‘reversible’ company logo imaginatively combines the S for Swannay and the B for Brewery to represent both the classic range and the modern styles. The S is on a white background for the classic beers, while turned around as a B and inverted on black it is the image for the sub-range of modern styles.
There is vivid Arcadian linked imagery for the bottle labels and pump clips for each brew with the beer name prominent over a short style description and the clearly marked strength on a colour coded backdrop complete with the founder’s signature.
Since start up, originally as a five barrel-brew length plant, beers such as Orkney Blast, Island Hopping and Scapa Special – the flagship brand – have notched up an array of some 100 national and international awards.
National success for Scapa Special with silver in class at the Great British Beer Festival in August followed hard on the heels of an outstanding triumph of five accolades at the International Brewing Awards – the world’s toughest contest.
New business leads have recently developed from ‘Showcasing Scotland’ at Gleneagles and a trade event in Stockholm as Swannay prepares for growth.
Lewis Hill, son of the founder, said: “After ten years successfully building business we are investing for the future in our plant and our people. With this distinctive new identity we should raise our profile very effectively in an increasingly crowded, exciting market place’.
“Previously the two names led to some ambiguity of identity, so the Swannay banner should now eradicate this and help build a strong brand following. But this is very much evolution not revolution. We have built up a terrific amount of support over ten years so the beer names stay the same but with a fresh, modern look that remains sympathetic so we have a true family of beers.”
“Our 100 and more awards show that we are brewing some of the best beer in Britain. Now we are investing to reach a much wider audience and look forward to an exciting future with beer lovers in both the UK and internationally.”