Project Description

Cassels & Sons Brewing Co.


The Cassels family had always brewed beer for themselves. In 2009, they took their passion public and started commercial brewing with a custom-built 200-litre wood fired brewery, housed within a former tannery in Christchurch, New Zealand.

In 2016, they decided to expand from being a tap-only brand into packaged beer. To aid expansion into the Chinese market, unusual bottle sizes were selected that all feature the lucky number 8 (888 ml, 518 ml and 328 ml). Impressed by braincells’ packaging design work, they asked us to refine their logo and develop labels and packaging for their new bottled beer.


Their original brand identity had a folk-art feel with illustrations by a local artist and hand drawn type. Our brief was to make Cassels feel more contemporary, while retaining artisan cues; more handmade, less homemade.


Independence, Innovation & Ingenuity


As with any brand evolution, the skill is in knowing what to keep and what to change. In Cassel & Sons case, the original illustrations were retained while the type was updated with a more sophisticated font.

The label hierarchy was rearranged, with the brand being given prominence over brew style by placing it on the outer ring of the label design. This creates a strong brand identity while allowing for line extension unity, with the central illustration able to reflect different brew styles.

When it came to the online advertising, the inspiration came directly from the Cassels. Head of the family Alasdair has a distinctive messianic look; craft beers are renowned for developing cult followings.. the ads almost wrote themselves.


After an initial trip over to New Zealand to meet the Cassels family, braincells developed the brand identity. This was applied to label designs, pack cartons and tap badges for their core range, seasonal range, limited release and real ale.

The new look was then rolled out to the website, trade presenters and online advertising.