Greene King’s new craft range includes four beers, each named for a piece of English folklore or history. SubTerranea nods to the story of an enthusiastic fiddler, lost in the tunnels below Bury St Edmunds, while Level Head is a reference to the hapless St Edmund – who was beheaded by the Vikings.
Neolithic arrows found close to Greene King’s breweries prompted Flint Eye, and west country pilgrims sailing over the Atlantic inspired Western Zeph.
The 200-year-old brand, which is one of the oldest independent breweries in the UK, commissioned Design Bridge to interpret each of these stories of “Britain’s colourful folklore”, as brewing and brands marketing director Will Hemmings puts it.
The studio used a neon colour palette of contrasting shades including pink and purple and mint and magenta. And if that’s not enough to catch the eye of beer fans, Design Bridge paired the eye-popping cans with woodcut illustrations that reference details from the stories.
Level Head depicts a surprised-looking St Edmund, head detached from body, while Western Zeph shows an intrepid explorer bobbing across the sea in a barrel.
Brightly coloured, illustrated beer cans are no longer an unusual sight, however Design Bridge has avoided the craft beer packaging clichés to create something that’s genuinely eye-catching, and a world away from the more sedate graphic design Greene King has previously used. You’d never catch a bottle of Old Speckled Hen looking like this.