New bottles and paper-free labelling have been designed by multi-award-winning agency Stranger & Stranger to visually represent ‘The Spirit of Norwich’ and the brand’s ties to the city. A unique shape is inspired by the iconic chimney stack that towered over Bullards’ Anchor Brewery in Westwick Street, creating a “re-engineered beer bottle”.
Bullards’ various expressions are differentiated by a colour palette of glass that reflects tones fashionable at different times in the brand’s 180-year history, with metallic copper accents included in the cap and body as a nod to the copper still, enhancing the premium look and feel. The familiar ‘tipsy anchor’ trademark takes centre stage on the bottle front, reinforced with smaller versions embossed within the base of the glass as well as the cap. Tactile embossing within the glass body and neck work together to create a modern classic in spirit bottle design.
Working closely with Bruni Erben on packaging design and production, the new bottles support the brand’s premium positioning with 750g weight and embossed brand details on the main body and base which clearly emphasise key elements of Bullards’ brand identity. With additional branding on the stopper cork and high-end bottle decoration, manufacture and production are based primarily in Italy with some finishing in Poland.
The release of the new bottle design coincides with the launch of Bullards’ latest product, Old Tom Gin.
The new flavour will join Bullards two other award-winning products, London Dry and Strawberry and Black Pepper, available from early November 2018 online at bullardsspirits.co.uk, and on shelves in bars and retail outlets. Prior to that, Old Tom Gin is exclusively available from The Ten Bells in Norwich where Bullards gins are currently distilled on site.
Chairman of Bullards, Russell Evans, says: “We’re really proud to be based in the same city that has been home to Bullards for over 180 years, and we want to share that Spirit of Norwich with people across the world. The new packaging and bottles are a great way of paying homage to the brand’s heritage, along with a contemporary twist that reflects our high-end product. It gives us a refreshed identity that’s as unique as the flavours of our gin.”
Bullards has a long history in Norwich. Established as a brewery in 1837 by Richard Bullard, operations grew quickly, controlling 441 pubs by 1895 when it also began to produce bottled beer, selling some 84,000 bottles of beer in its first year. The Anchor Brewery’s chimney stack, built in 1868, was a city landmark for some 115 years until its demolition in the early eighties, while evidence of the brewery’s fermentation block is still visible in the ‘tipsy anchor’ on Westwick Street and in the stonework at Anchor Quay.
Brewing came to an end in 1967 but in 2015, the brand was resurrected to produce a range of cask craft beers in a move to reignite the city’s brewing heritage. Since 2016, Bullards has focused on an alternative beverage market with the production of craft gin. It is the only gin company to distill and bottle in the city.
John Bullard, great-great-grandson of the original founder of Bullards who plays an active role in the brand’s ongoing development adds: “Great thought has gone into the design of the new bottle, building on the heritage of an iconic Norwich brand. We are keen for the new bottle and packaging to ensure ongoing links between the brand’s longstanding provenance, and the gin known and loved today. It is totally fitting that this outstanding design will live on in world-class contemporary gin-based products”
To meet ever-increasing demand from across the UK and beyond, Bullards has recently submitted a planning application for Crystal House on Cattle Market Street in Norwich, to house a new still. The 600 litre copper still has been hand-made in Stuttgart, Germany and, once installed, will enable the company to quadruple production. A second phase of planning is in the pipeline for 2019 that will see the site become a tourist attraction and destination, offering tours and tastings plus a bar and restaurant.