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 re-launch this storied craft brewery brand in Ireland and position it for growth through export. In the month since its launch, the brand experience 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.
Trinity developed the brand strategy ‘Kilkenny’s Brewery’ to articulate the founders’ genuine passion for its home and the community that made them who they are. The strategy serves as the driving force behind everything the brand does. The brand design celebrates the city and spirit of Kilkenny, with a strong nod to its past and a complete embrace of its future. The wordmark’s contemporary letterforms are inspired by traditional Irish pub signs. “Kilkenny Ireland / Est’d 1702” drives home the interconnectedness of Sullivan’s with Kilkenny past and present. The line drawing of Kilkenny’s skyline captures the historical place and the sense of craftsmanship and artistry the city is known for today and gives the brand an authentic Irishness relevant beyond the country’s borders. The line art also provides a secondary graphical toolkit for the brand that, with a flexible iconography system, a bold color palette, and even bolder secondary typography, we extended to an immersive taproom experience, custom posters, signage and merchandise, always used to tell the unique story of this historic brand.