If only I’d written this when I planned it, the whole “March hare” pun thing would have worked brilliantly. But meh, I was busy.
I wrote a while back about Badger’s Hopping Hare beer and how it had undergone a bit of a marketing exercise to rebrand this beer, essentially to make it stand out on the shelves to fickle customers. And why not, the real ale market, though the sales figures look somewhat tricky nationwide (if my memory is correct) there are certainly more on supermarket shelves, including many from even the smallest local microbrewery.
What Dorset’s Badger and its design agency BrandOpus have done is visually reverse the aging process.
Gone is the old brown bottle and in comes a new clear bottle, which makes a lot of sense if you have a beer the colour of Hopping Hare. If you have a fine-looking beer, why hide it behind coloured glass?
First brewed in 2006, the label has this year undergone a rapid de-aging more akin to a regenerating Timelord. It makes it, in my opinion, far more friendly to the younger ale drinker, which might be more swayed by the look of the bottle than the seasoned red nose. Will the older drinker be put off by the new label? Well it is possible, but most older drinkers will probably be more guided by taste.
Budweiser could change their famous label and I’d still know that it tasted like piss.
Which leads me conveniently to the taste. Well, it is as it looks, now. It’s a fresh hoppy ale, at 4.5% per cent, an excellent thirst-quencher. I’d be hard-pressed to say it was truly memorable but then I could say that about a lot of beers. certainly worth trying at least.
Of course, the answer to whether it has worked for the brewery is its sales. If they do well I dare say a few more badger beers could undergo a facelift.