D8 Winter Ale

D8 Beers is a ‘concept beer collective’. Co-founded by two creative directors working in all areas of design comms. This is our first foray into beer, not only designing the brand, but creating the product too. We spotted a worthy charity in dire need of support and with our experience in drinks branding, we thought - ‘a good beer made by good people will bring good to others’.

The entire project, beer and campaign was conceived, designed, brewed, packaged, delivered and (most importantly) sold-out in just 8 weeks. All this in the run up to Christmas with zero budget in the middle of global pandemic lock downs, no easy task!

Our chosen charity and sole beneficiary from the sale of our D8 Winter Ale was My Lovely Horse Rescue (mylovelyhorserescue.com) the animal rescue group established in 2011 by Irish musicians Cathy Davey and Neil Hannon (Hannon of Divine Comedy wrote the infamous song, from which the charity is named, for Father Ted).

Covid has had a significant impact on the charity with an estimated shortfall in funding of over €90,000 this year. We needed to help. For effective fundraising, our premium brew would carry quite a high price tag of €8 per 330ml can or €35 for 4 cans in a D8 tote bag. But in effect, this would be an €8 ‘donation’ with a free beer gift!

Why D8? Dublin 8 is one of the oldest parts of the city with a rich history of distilling and brewing, two industries traditionally heavily dependent on horse power for deliveries. The connection between our horse-loving charity and the creative, urban atmosphere of Dublin 8 was a perfect fit for our brew.

Design aesthetic was crucial for our D8 brand and product story. We needed stand-out, quick recognition and memorability - our campaign had no media spend and would be very short-lived. Colour would be key and pink sparked the right level of reaction from everyone! The design for our 330ml can centres around a solid D8 logotype in pink. Our copy style has attitude with a very Dublin slant - abrupt messaging with a smart edge.

We partnered with an independent Dublin brewery to develop the flavour profile and specific style we wanted to achieve. We then found the perfect fully-licenced bar venue in the heart of Dublin 8 for distribution. It had the right attitude for our brew and great location for our customers to pick up their beers. Online was the only way to buy our Winter Ale - customers received a unique code and were notified with details on where and when to pick up their beers.

Our D8 Beers campaign was picked-up by numerous national press and top radio shows, which helped us get the word out locally and across Ireland. Ultimately the campaign was a huge success for the charity both in funding raised and also in terms of awareness for the charity throughout the country - we reach new audiences that previously knew very little of their great work.