Robinsons reveals new premium bottled beer range

To celebrate its 180th birthday, Stockport-based brewer Robinsons has today revealed a fresh new look and name for its 122-year-old Unicorn beer.

In addition, the company has welcomed three brand new premium bottled beers into the family. Designed to brew up a bolder retail presence, the new awesome foursome marks the start of a new age for this illustrious brewery and a tangible shift in design style.

As Robinsons’ oldest beer still in production, the legendary, award-winning Unicorn beer will remain true to the original recipe but will be known henceforth as Unicorn Copper ale. The three new beers will include ‘Mash Out’, a 4.5% abv Pale Ale, ‘Kettlehead’, a 4.5% abv Choc Stout, and ‘Hopnik’, a 4.7% abv Citra IPA, which will hit shelves March 2019.

Blurring the lines between traditional 500ml and craft beer, Robinsons premium range of new bottled beers are packed with flavours and ingredients more commonly found in craft beers; such as Citra in Hopnik IPA.

With the increasing proliferation of craft beer and ale brands – all of which are fighting for brand awareness in a crowded marketplace – the 180-year-old family brewer decided it was time to re-invigorate their bottled beer strategy to satisfy a more discerning modern drinker.

The Robinsons brand is synonymous with beer quality, so it was important that the new beers, which are available in 500ml, drew inspiration from the brewery itself. The new labels showcase the silhouette of the brew house, standing proud on the Stockport skyline, alongside iconic ingredients and brewing equipment; a nod to Robinsons’ roots and the magic of their award-winning, time-honoured brewing process.

Gill Yates, Brands Manager for Robinsons Brewery, explained the vision behind the new range, “Whilst Unicorn has been in production to the same recipe since 1896, the core range of Robinsons bottled beers available to supermarkets and pubs have remained unchanged since 2014/15. We wanted to modernise without losing track of our heritage. That’s why, we felt it was important to keep Unicorn in the range.”

Unicorn ale was first brewed back in 1896 – by Frederic Robinson, for his father [and company founder] William – at the Unicorn Inn, from where the beer eventually took its name, and where the brewery still stands. Rooted in history, the Unicorn recipe has been passed down from generation to generation for more than 120 years. Why is this copper ale still such a firm favourite with traditional real ale drinkers? Simple – because great tasting beer will always stand the test of time. Right?

Wrong. According to a study by Nielsen, 70% of shoppers decide what brand to purchase when at the supermarket shelf. Packaging design is the leading consideration, followed by provenance and where it was produced, then the brand itself.

Yates continued, “How a beer looks can be just as important as how it tastes; particularly on a supermarket shelf. Unless you are already familiar with a beer or brand, you won’t know how it tastes until after you buy it and get it home. Robinsons, as a brand, is a respected local family brewer that brews great beer. It’s been part of their DNA for 180 years. But all of this great beer, like Unicorn, was packaged in dated materials that were deeply in need of re-design.”

Both the beer names and the design of the bottle labels take inspiration from key elements of Robinsons’ brewing process. The use of a block colour pallet, tailored label shaping, bold fonts, contemporary print effects and beautiful, simple design all combine to create a new premium 500ml bottle range that aligns with the spirit of Robinsons and honours the brewery that this esteemed company was built from.

“We are paying homage to the beer and the brewery,” says Gill, “from humble beginnings in a small pub in Stockport back in 1838, to the incredible brew house and family business we own today. These beers are a great reminder of where we came from and where we are going and we’re so excited to share them with our customers.”

The launch of the new bottled range is supported by a 12-month neck label promotion and marketing plan to help drive sales. All customers who buy any 4 bottles from the new range can enjoy Buy One Get One Free Brewery Tours at Robinsons award-winning Visitors Centre in Stockport and have the opportunity to win beer for a year. *

Concluding Oliver Robinson, Managing Director (Beer Division), commented, “Brewing beer that consistently tastes good is always going to be our number one priority, but there's no denying that packaging influences people's buying decisions. We believe in constant evaluation and evolution.

'Our brand image has been outdated for too long and our products lost in a crowded market, or worse, recognised for the wrong reasons. We hope our new bottled beer range stands out for the right reasons and showcases what we do best – brewing quality premium British beer.

'We’re absolutely delighted with the new look and hope our existing customers, and beer drinkers who haven’t tried our beers yet, will enjoy discovering the new bottles as they start to appear in supermarkets and pubs.”

Robinsons new premium 500ml bottle range is available to buy via Robinsons’ online shop, Robinsons Visitors Centre, selected Robinsons’ pubs, selected North West Morrison’s and Asda stores, and Booths from November.