Let’s face it, this is a specific season to be very fucking jolly. No-one is having Christmas as usual but it doesn’t mean we can’t have a thoroughly enjoyable one, albeit with Zoom providing more of the festivities than Aunty Gladys after she’s been at the sherry.
We’ll be featuring some Christmas specials – beers, deals and more – in the next couple of weeks but the Panto in a Box by Brewgooder caught our attention not just with superb design but the story behind it.
It features 4 beers: Bawrus was brewed by Brewgooder and Pact Coffee, Mother Gose is from Wild Beer Co, Jack is from Mondo Brewing and Daisy the Coo from Gipsy Hill, plus some chocolate, popcorn and a specially-commissioned panto story by renowned panto writer and star Johnny McKnight.
We caught up with Abby, who’s in charge of special projects & campaign research at Brewgooder, to ask her about the project:
Is this the first charity project you’ve done?
“As a purpose driven brand, our mission has always been to use beer to positively impact the lives of others and lend our platform to people that need support. The core way we do this is with clean water, which we believe is the most people-empowering resource on the planet, so our drinkers have already helped to unlock millions of litres of water for communities around the world. But this mission has also translated to other forms of people positive impact be it across areas such as inclusion and compassion – for instance, during lockdown we ran a national campaign to gift over 28,000 beers with messages of support to NHS staff, which we were really proud of.”
How and why did you choose this issue to focus on?
“We’d been thinking for a while of what to do for Christmas when James, our co-founder and Head of Brand came across a newspaper article highlighting the impact of Covid-19 on Panto Season, alongside the thousands of freelance creatives and performers who have been out of work and struggling to receive any form of support from the Government.
As soon as he pitched the idea to the rest of us, we were sold.”
How did the design concept come together?
“We knew we wanted a traditional panto feel and worked with illustrator Jamie Macdonald (aka Airship23) to bring the characters to life. Wild Beer felt very strongly about their dame having a pineapple hat, so we made sure to incorporate that!
Once we had our characters, we worked with our regular illustrator Jez Dunn (Happy Place Studio) to finalise the can labels. We were torn between having either the characters in black and white, or the backgrounds black and white with the characters in colour. We opted for the former, as we felt the black and white characters helped to convey the traditional feel.
For the box, we had been inspired by Tiny’s Rebel’s birthday box design and reached out to Boxmart to see what they could do for us. They came up with the brilliant “stage” design for the box, that allows the “curtain” to rise and reveal the beers. The box also has a clever insert on top that both keeps the beers more secure and also allows for the popcorn and chocolate to be secure. Jez also did the artwork for the box, doing a brilliant job capturing a traditional theatre vibe.
ALSO, we are recording a very special performance of our Jack and the Beer Hops pantomime, via Zoom, which will be live on our website at brewgooder.com/panto from December 12th-31st.”
How long did it take from having the idea to arriving in your webshop?
“I believe the first conversation between James and I was around the 24th August, and we launched on November 24th, so exactly 3 months!”
Any other considerations from a design point of view?
“From a personal point of view, I believe it’s the box that truly makes this product what it is. We knew we wanted the cans to be positioned as if on the stage, and Boxmart really made that happen for us while ensuring they were super safe in transit. The curtain opening really enhances the unboxing experience.”
What’s the Brewgooder design ethos, this project aside?
“Our design ethos up to this point on our core range and branding has been very reflective of our clean water roots, and particularly the country of Malawi where the majority of our projects are based. So from traditional patterning to the names of our beers being based on districts and phrases that have originated there. We also frequently collaborate with different designers and like to offer the white space to not just the other brewer involved but also the cause or issue we are trying to raise awareness of, which is epitomised with this project!”
Character illustrations – Jamie Macdonald AirShip23 https://airship23.com/
Labels and box illustration – Jez Dunn – Studio Happy Place https://www.studiohappyplace.com/
Box design – Boxmart
Photography – Ground Level Up https://www.groundlevelup.com/
Where is it available?
Online from our webshop! https://shop.brewgooder.com/product/jack-and-the-beer-hops/