Resurrecting a Centuries-Old Brand for Modern Times

When the last brewery in Kilkenny shut its doors in 2013, the most authentic beer brewing city in all of Ireland—one with over 800 years of brewing tradition—was left without its most important craft. That’s why a 7th generation descendent of Kilkenny’s Sullivan brewing family partnered with a descendant of the city’s other long-time brewing family, the Smithwicks, to bring real Irish brewing back to its rightful home, Kilkenny, with the resurrection of Sullivan’s Brewery.

Sullivan’s engaged Trinity Brand Group to develop a brand strategy, package design, and taproom environment and experience to re-launch this storied craft brewery brand in Ireland and position it for growth through export. Soon after its launch, the brand experience garnered high traffic and received glowing press and the liquid has garnered craft beer award recognition. This success has paved the way for the brand to launch in the US market 12 months ahead of plan.

Kilkenny, Ireland


Doing Right by Kilkenny

Kilkenny, a city known for its many pubs and a thriving crafts culture, didn’t have a brewery of its own.  The Sullivan and Smithwick families’ stories reach back centuries in Kilkenny, and are intertwined with its history, community and brewing heritage. Their love for Kilkenny and its legacy is the very reason they reopened Sullivan’s brewery doors in the heart of the city, nearly a century after last they closed. That devotion to their beloved Kilkenny would need to come through in the brand strategy and expression.



Kilkenny’s Brewery

Trinity developed the brand strategy “Kilkenny’s Brewery” to articulate the founders’ genuine passion for the city and the community that made them who they are. The strategy has become the driving force behind everything the brand does.



Telling Our Story

Trinity’s design celebrates the city and the spirit of Kilkenny, with a strong nod to its past and a complete embrace of its future. The wordmark’s letterforms are inspired by traditional Irish pub signs, expressed in a contemporary visual language. The distinctive line drawing of this very Irish city’s skyline captures the historical place and the sense of craftsmanship and artistry the city is known for today, as well as giving the brand a unique sense of Irishness relevant beyond the country’s borders for those who’ve never visited the Emerald Isle. The tagline “Kilkenny’s Brewery,” linked with “since 1702,” serves as a reminder that the original Sullivan’s Brewery was established there more than 300 years ago, driving home the interconnectedness of Sullivan’s with Kilkenny past and present.

A flexible iconography system tells the many stories of the brand’s history, creating a visual language that extends well beyond the package, building a foundation for online, promotional and other communications to support and sustain this truly unique brand.

North American Location

Trinity Brand Group
817 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, California 94710
510 982 7177 (t) 510 982 7188 (f)

For new business inquiries:
[email protected]


    European Location

    Trinity Brand Group
    The Harbour
    Co. Wicklow A63 D329
    +353 1 524 2070(t)

    For career opportunities:
    [email protected]