A Barnsley brewery committed to tradition has adopted a new look for modern times and announced thousands of pounds worth of investment in growth.
Acorn Brewery has refreshed its branding and announced it will spend £60,000 on new brewing equipment and office space to mark its 12th anniversary.
Dave Hughes, owner of Acorn Brewery said: “We have been trading for 12 years now and have not changed our branding over that time, but feel the time is right for a refresh now.
“The brewing industry has changed a lot since we started in the summer of 2003 and, particularly in the last six years or so. There are now many more independent brewers out there and it is much more important to have a clear stand-out identity at the pumps and on the supermarket shelf.”
Acorn has worked with Barnsley-based design agency DMSQD to develop its new branding which draws on aspects of its former image, including colour scheme and the acorn logo, but develops a stronger connection and sense of identity across all its products.
Dave added: “It was very important to us that our new look reflects our ‘brewery spirit’ of tradition and innovation. The integrity of the business and our signature ales remain largely the same as we are committed to traditional brewing techniques, but we have extended our range and evolved our flavours a little over time, plus we regularly innovate with new IPAs and have introduced kegged beer products.
“It has been fantastic working with DMSQD who have understood what we are about completely and developed for us an updated image which uses a clear and attractive chalkboard effect.”
Acorn’s new branding has been translated on to pump clips, bar mats and bottle labels.
The rebrand marks a period of expansion at the brewery. This summer, they will invest in new conditioning tanks, an extended cold room store and new office space at their Aldham House industrial estate premises in Wombwell.
Dave said: “Our three new conditioning tanks will mean an extra 15,000 litres of real ale can undergo the week-long conditioning process at any one time. This is when we monitor the beer’s development before we judge it to be perfectly full-bodied, flavoursome and ready to cask.
“The extra capacity at this stage will loosen up the whole production process and mean we can brew more beer to meet growing demand.”
The company’s larger cold store will mean Acorn can keep more hops on the one hand and bottled beers ready for collection on the other – all at the optimum temperature of below 14º degrees centigrade.
And a new office area will be created to give the brewery’s expanding sales team its own dedicated space for the first time.
Acorn Brewery’s development has been supported through Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded programme delivered by Barnsley Council which supports local businesses to grow and create jobs.
The company has a turnover of £1.2 million and employs 12 people. After doubling production over the last seven years, it now produces around 30,000 pints of real ale a week.
Sales have increased 12 per cent in the past 12 months and Acorn delivers direct to more than 400 pubs and bars in the north and midlands and supplies hundreds of others via wholesalers. It sells into the UK’s top five supermarket chains and 50 independent retailers, plus exports its bottled beer to Italy via a whole sale customer.
Dave said: “With our latest investment and new image we are prepared to go on increasing production and sales. Our aim is to increase trade again by at least 20 per cent this year.”
Acorn Brewery produces six permanent ales; Barnsley Bitter, Barnsley Gold, Yorkshire Pride, Blonde, Gorlovka and Old Moor Porter. It also produces a range of seasonal IPAs and kegged beers.
The company also owns the Old Number 7 pub in Barnsley town centre, which it acquired in 2011, and between eight and 10 percent of all its beer is now sold there.