Be You! Honouring Our History, Preparing For Our Future
The busy late summer and early autumn weeks have meant that’s it’s been too long since our last Be You blog and update on the rebrand project – we had hoped to keep you involved in every step of the project, but that ambition proved to be a little too much given the work we’re undertaking, so we’ll start this blog with a quick apology – sorry guys!
The story so far – in part one, we introduced our partners for the project, Glasgow’s O Street, who were given the task of taking all the information we had gathered – the research, the project briefs, all our current packaging and promo materials etc – breaking it all down and developing a new look and feel for our brand that makes sense of it all. Piece of cake.
Collaborating with O Street in Glasgow has been an enlightening experience; we entered into the rebrand project knowing we’d be working closely with whichever team we chose, but I’m not sure we appreciated quite how closely we’d be working with them. O Street has been an excellent partner, and part of the reason why is that they haven’t been afraid to challenge our assumptions of what we think we know and what we think we want when they can see that it’s worth exploring a different avenue.
So what does this mean in practical terms?
We’ve had long conversations, with our team and with the O Street team, about how to honour the near-17-year history of the Fyne Ales brand, while reshaping it into something that better represents where we are now and where we want to go as a brewery. Colours, shapes, logos, beer names – even our name ‘Fyne Ales’ has been the subject of discussion, debate and tough decision-making. How much of should we keep, and how much are we willing to change?
And that’s been the key challenge throughout this process – finding a way to balance a reflection of the history and heritage we’ve built up over the past seventeen years, with something that represents our ambitions as a progressive brewery and create something new to help drive us forward for the next 17 years.
It’s probably important to start by saying that even though they’re going to look different, none of the recipes or the way we make our core beers will be changing. Whether you’re buying draught or bottle, you’ll still be enjoying the same Maverick, Highlander, Vital Spark, Hurricane Jack, Avalanche and Jarl that you always have. We constantly monitor the quality of the core beers being produced in the new brewery and have been pleased with the consistent high quality we’ve achieved with our year-round beers – we’re of the opinion that they’re tasting better than they ever have, so we’re in no rush to change them!
So what might be changing? The biggest decision we had to make was our name.
The feedback we had from last year’s research was that some beer drinkers don’t know what or where Loch Fyne is, some think we’re using a ‘ye olde’ spelling of ‘fine’ (ironically it actually comes from an old version of the word ‘wine’) and some find the double meaning a bit cheesy.
But we are Fyne Ales. We are a farm brewery at the head of Loch Fyne, nestled in the beautiful Glen Fyne and we make ales (and lagers and mixed fermentation beers and dog biscuits… but you know what we mean). The name makes sense and we decided that it’s up to us to do more to showcase where our name comes from, rather than giving up something so important to us. We are Fyne Ales, and always will be.
After an easier decision on our name, came a much tougher one about our logo. The ‘FA’ device we use today dates back to 2008, when our original lowercase ‘f’, uppercase ‘A’ logo was simplified. The logo hasn’t been without its challenges – some of which were confirmed during our research last year.
Does this mean that the new-look Fyne Ales will have a new logo? It does – one that we’ve worked closely with the team at O Street to create and refine; one that acknowledges where we’re from, helps to better tell our story and better reflects the forward-thinking, progressive nature of our brewery. We will always have fondness for our current logo, and it’ll still be around for a little while as we gradually bring the new branding to life, but the new logo is something we’re excited to start seeing on our beers, merchandise and signage around the brewery!
And the changes haven’t stopped with the logo – the new look of our beers that we reveal in a few weeks’ time will be a bit of a departure from the ones you’re familiar with. The O Street team have created a concept for our labels and badges that not only brings our year-round classics up-to-date, but can be adapted and rolled out across all our beers, meaning a clearer, more coherent Fyne Ales range. The design is heavily influenced by our farm brewery status, tying into our history, heritage and location as we continue to prove that rural and rustic can be a source of outstanding quality. That’s all we’ll reveal for now, but we’re pretty excited about the newly designed bottles, pump clips and cans.
Come back soon for more new about when you’ll start seeing the new look Fyne Ales – the next few weeks are going to be very busy, but we’ll be squeezing in a couple more blogs before you get to see what we’ve been working on.