Trinity Brand Group (USA)
Project Title: Sullivan’s Brewery
Client or Class Name: Sullivan's Craft Brewery (1702) - www.sullivansbrewingcompany.com
When the last brewery in Kilkenny shut its doors and moved to Dublin in 2013, the most storied and 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 partnered with a descendant of the Smithwick brewing family to bring back real Irish brewing to its rightful home – Kilkenny – with the resurrection of Sullivan’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 Sullivan’s does, even becoming the tagline of the brand – shown on packaging and throughout all brand touchpoints. Often linked with “since 1702,” it 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.
With the launch of the taproom in the center of town, Sullivan’s engaged Trinity to design not only its identity and packaging, but the entire tasting room experience and environment. Trinity designed the look and feel and all elements, crafting the experience for everything from the initial street view, the entry archway, the courtyard, to the taproom itself.
To capture the essence of the Sullivan’s brand, Trinity designed the entire experience to celebrate the spirit of Kilkenny. The distinctive line drawing of the city’s skyline becomes the visual expression of the brand itself - capturing both the historical place and the sense of craftsmanship and artistry Kilkenny is known for today. A bold use of the brand’s color palette and confident typography throughout adorns custom posters, signage, graphics and interior walls to provide visitors a cohesive brand experience and easy wayfinding. The Sullivan’s brandmark can be seen from the main street running through town. Upon entry, a series of posters line the archway leading toward the courtyard. Additionally, Trinity developed limited edition screen printed posters celebrating the opening and the brand’s link with Kilkenny. Stunning photography from around the city weaves Kilkenny further into the Sullivan’s experience. And a flexible iconography system tells the many stories of the brand’s history, creating a visual language for the brand that extends well beyond the taproom, building a foundation for online, promotional and other communications to support and sustain this truly unique brand.
True to the “Kilkenny’s Brewery,” brand strategy, Trinity tapped local Kilkenny craftsmen and artists in the creation of the taproom experience. Local woodworkers and metalsmiths used locally sourced recycled and repurposed materials to build out Trinity’s interior design. And local illustrator Gavin Beattie was brought on to create a dramatic, textural wall mural.
The mural, covering a massive wall of the tasting room, brings to life the Sullivan’s family story, the history and process of brewing, and how each are intertwined with the very story of Kilkenny, itself. The wall takes visitors along on a literal and figurative journey, that ends with the brand’s mission of re-opening its doors to bring real Irish brewing back to its rightful home. As visitors then turn to the bar, they are offered a glass etched with the Sullivan’s cityscape brandmark and filled with a fresh draft beer to taste.
The environment delivers a cohesive and engaging experience that invites consumers to really engage with the brand and its beer.
Executive Creative Director:
Michael A Johnson