The Romans knew the city of Cirencester as Corinium Dobunnorum - the second most important and largest city to their occupation and was the provincial frontier leading up to the conquest of Wales. So when two local brewers, Lucy Cordrey and Colin Knight, inspired by American craft ales and with a love affair with British real ales, set about establishing their new business, the entrenched history of their home town was the fitting influence. Corinium Ales, the only brewery in Cirencester in 2012, was born.
But they had to stand out. Popularity of independent UK breweries had reached a 70 year high by 2013 totalling 1,147 breweries and was predicted by Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) to accelerate as the market grew to support craft beer makers.
Smudge first set about establishing the identity and looked to the Roman Gods for influence. The owl of the Goddess Minerva was a fitting personality - both as a character of wisdom and because of the parallels determination of Corinium Ales' chief brewer and managing director, Lucy Cordrey, in her pursuits in a very male dominated industry.
Our ambition for the packaging was to create something that little bit special that stood apart from the language of conventional ale branding or stereotypes - drawing on the visual language of a luxury product instead; and that wouldn't be out of place in a wine bar or restaurant - where the branding was beautiful and sharp and instantly recognisable. We feel we conquered what we set out to do.