Partnerships for the win! Brixton Brewery scoops awards gold for creative community collaborations
September 23, 2022
Brixton Brewery is celebrating gold medal wins at the 2022 Beer and Cider Marketing Awards for two innovative community partnerships: the Brixton x Harlem Festival Beer Exchange, and their architectural tap handle redesigns
Brixton Brewery scooped two gold medals at the 2022 Beer and Cider Marketing Awards – for Best Community Engagement, and Best Use of Merchandise/Point of Sale material. These initiatives saw them collaborate locally and internationally with diverse partners on innovative and creative campaigns to exchange goodwill between Brixton and Harlem, and to bring a taste of Brixton’s colour and energy to pub tap line-ups everywhere.
The Common Threads Beer Exchange for the inaugural Brixton x Harlem Festival, (a ground-breaking urban twinning project co-founded by the Brixton BID and the Harlem BID, held in August 2022) facilitated a genuine connection between the people of Brixton and Harlem, celebrating what brings these two great communities together, especially in music, art and design, culture and heritage and community activism. Brixton Brewery partnered with Celeste Beatty of the Harlem Brewing Company, a pioneering Black woman brewery founder, who came to Brixton for the collaboration and the festival. People from Brixton both bought and received beers from Harlem and sent postcards across the pond with messages of friendship, such as: Greetings from Brixton, SW9! Enjoy your beer! We have lived in Brixton for almost 4 years and LOVE it here – you can travel the world here in a single day. Love Bethan & Seb x
The Exchange captured the imagination of those attending the festival, contributed to bringing the Brixton and Harlem communities closer together, and raised money for the Brixton & Norwood Foodbank through sales of the specially brewed Common Threads beer. Brixton and Harlem breweries together came up with the idea of the Common Threads brew making use of ingredients available in local markets (pineapple and hibiscus) with the name being a nod to the things that bring these historic communities together. Brixton Brewery is an active member of the Brixton BID, volunteering on the Board and supporting its other members.
Celeste said, “We’re really excited to be partnering with Brixton Brewery on this unique idea. What greater way to celebrate two iconic communities coming together than with a beer that represents what we have in common. The Common Threads beer collaboration and The Beer Exchange both tap into our shared love for community and culture!”
It was Brixton Brewery’s involvement with the Brixton BID that led to a close friendship and partnership with near-neighbours, architecture firm Squire & Partners, and led to a bold re-imagining of our tap handles. Working with Squire, we designed three unique tap handles – one for each of Coldharbour Lager and Reliance Pale Ale, and one for all other beers, with more designs in the pipeline. Working with a local architecture firm was especially appropriate given that the handles made use of a number of architectural features inspired by the beer’s namesakes. The Coldharbour Lager tap handle uses the famous zig zag decorative motif of Brixton’s Southwyck House – a.k.a the Barrier Block, a ground-breaking brutalist style council estate on Coldharbour Lane, the road for which the beer is named. The Reliance Pale Ale tap handle uses the distinctive art deco curves of Reliance Arcade, which lent its name to the brew. Each of the designs takes elements of the existing design as featured on our cans and other branding, and re-envisions them as sculptural tributes to the bits of Brixton that inspired them – while never compromising their purpose as tap handles for expertly assisting in the serving of a cold pint. They are featured on bars where Brixton Brewery is served and represent all the buzz and electricity of Brixton itself allowing pub-goers to truly Get a Taste of Brixton wherever they are.
Tim Gledstone, Partner at Squire & Partners, said, “Our designs for the handles extract the shapes and forms that are used to depict different Brixton landmarks on each of the original can designs. The resulting dynamic and tactile objects tap into the Brewery’s values and set their brews apart at the bar. We hope that they will assist in amplifying the experience, encouraging the consumer to discover more about Brixton – its past and present – and pull even happier pints.”
About the award wins, Jez Galaun, Co-founder and Managing Director of Brixton Brewery said, “Winning these awards is such an honour, especially given the stiff competition and caps off an amazing year of hard-work and partnerships for Brixton. We’re always looking for collaborations with community-based groups that reflect our very Brixton energy and love of community, experiences and bringing people together.”