Edinburgh microbrewery Bellfield has global ambitions after boosting operations

Edinburgh’s Bellfield Brewery has served up investment in production equipment and an all-weather beer garden at its brewery taproom in Abbeyhill as well as new branding – amid plans to become a “premium-positioned” beer brand.

The brewery is aiming to grow both its online sales and export listings. Picture: Steve Reid.
The brewery is aiming to grow both its online sales and export listings. Picture: Steve Reid.

The brewery, which says it is the only one in the UK that is exclusively gluten-free and vegan, said that when lockdown started in late March, it lost 95 per cent of its on trade sales overnight – but quickly pivoted to online sales, with a large increase across the UK. It also offered takeaway draught beer in three-pint jugs, served from a pop-up bar in the brewery’s yard.

Bellfield’s Taproom beer garden opened in July and features outdoor booths, each separated by acrylic panels, to facilitate physically distanced drinking.Meanwhile, Bellfield’s new branding launched yesterday, supported by a TV advertising campaign that goes to air for two weeks from 10 August as part of the STV Growth Fund.

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Bellfield Brewery targets further international growth
Bellfield says that since starting out in 2015, it has created ten jobs at its home in Abbeyhill. Picture: Steve Reid.

The TV ad was produced in collaboration with Edinburgh agency Gerry Farrell Ink, local animator and filmmaker Ross Hogg, and with music from Jacuzzi General of Paradise Palms Records.

Ahead of the launch, Bellfield has secured a listing with Lidl as part of its summer festival, which also debuted yesterday. This will see 330-millilitre cans of Bellfield’s Bohemian Pilsner appear on the shelves of 105 of the discount supermarket’s branches across Scotland.

Masterminded by Thirst Craft in Glasgow, the new branding is also intended to help Bellfield gain new listings, boost exports and extend its range with new products and seasonal specials.

The Resonance design represents the sound waves emanating from the clapper of the bell of Bellfield’s earlier brand mark. Bellfield also said the brand refresh references the brewery’s “free from” credentials, with a new strapline “For the Free”, to appeal to all craft beer drinkers.

Export targets

Additionally, a social media campaign featuring animations has been designed by Ben Whiting and Daniel Paylor. Bellfield chief executive Alistair Brown said the investment was being made, in part, to sustain the recent, “dramatic” growth in online sales as well as gaining new export listings. Bellfield already sells its products to Italy, Malta, Switzerland, UAE and Singapore.

Brown said: “We’re working hard to grow our business, in the UK and internationally, to become a premium-positioned beer brand. We plan to invest heavily in marketing to raise awareness of our award-winning beers and to win more listings and drive export sales.

“Our new brewhouse and further planned investment in production equipment will allow us to scale up production, to meet demand in the UK and overseas. The new branding and packaging builds on our heritage, while its vibrant and impactful design reflects our beers and the spirit of the business.”

Bellfield also said that since starting out in 2015, it has created ten jobs at its home in Abbeyhill. Looking to 2021, it hopes to get back to hosting brewery tours and tastings as well as other events at its brewery and taproom in Abbeyhill. Bellfield also aims to invest in additional production vessels and an on-site packaging facility to up production capacity.

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