Mourne Mountains Brewery
MMB is a craft beer micro-brewery that takes its name from the nearby Mourne Mountains. Every beer range is produced using fresh water from the Spelga Dam located in the heart of the mountains. In just a few short years MMB has become a major part in the local beer sector and continues to sit alongside established global brands.
Mourne Mountains Brewery required an agency to launch their new micro-brewery brand into an already crowded and competitive craft beer market. With their company name already established, they needed strategic advice on brand development, name generation and packaging for their three core introductory beers along with promotional and point-of-sale items.
As with all new projects, we first sat down with the Mourne Mountains Brewery team to understand their needs, points of pain and business goals. We carried out basic sector research and competitor analysis to identify any gaps or opportunities for brand positioning within the market. This was reviewed with MMB to find and establish our ‘True North’ for the project. We wanted to reflect the 'Mysterious Misty Mournes' in the brand and appeal to the large Irish American beverage market for future export but without being too stereotypically Irish.
Creating A Clan
We took a deep dive into the history of the Mourne Mountains, fortuitously uncovering an old Irish myth about the great warrior Slanghá and the Partholons. Legend has it that Slanghá and his clan arrived from Greece to settle on Irish shores and were the first introduce beer, farming, and marriage to Ireland. Upon his untimely death during a battle with the Fomorians, it is said that his body was led to rest deep within the Mourne Mountains. Equipped with this knowledge and direction, we began to build the new brand upon this back story, designing, developing and rapidly refining visuals using Byers+Co. agile methodologies until we reached an agreed concept that was aligned with the previously identified brand pillars. This phase mainly consisted of brand identity, logo and character design.
Pulling A Crowd
With the newly established brand in place, we moved to name generation and label design for the three-core range - Mourne Gold (Pale Ale), Mourne Mist (Pilsner) and Red Trail (Red IPA). East Coast (IPA) and Big Rock (Wheat Beer) followed 6 months later with limited special editions released throughout the year. Eye tracking software and customer surveys were used to validate our creative direction and optimise shelf visibility. The project was completed and brought to market with the development of a hashtag campaign #JoinOurClan and #JustGoodBeer, vehicle livery, website and an extensive range of promotional literature and point-of-sale items.
Since launching in 2015, MMB continues to grow from strength to strength. It’s one of only five Northern Ireland-based breweries to achieve Safe and Local Supplier Approval (Salsa) accreditation award and is currently stocked in over 60 locations including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Belfast City Airport. It has picked up numerous accolades and awards including the Great Taste Awards and the Alltech Dublin Craft Beer Cup. MMB now produces the equivalent of 250,000 bottles per year but expected to grow significantly.
Awards & accolades
Bottles per year