In 2013 we started out in a parent’s cellar with £5,000 and a vision. Taking what we felt was the best of the global beer scene delivered with a Northern accent, we set out to create some of the best beer experiences in the world. An ambition that was probably fairly naïve for a couple of guys with £5,000, a cellar and a 10 year old Toyota we’d borrowed.
In the very early days of our business, we were completely reliant on friends and family to help us bring this vision to life. Four years into our journey, we knew that we needed to grow, so we decided to use an approach that fit our value of community. We launched a crowdfunding campaign and invited supporters of the brand to join us. We had no idea how successful the crowdfunding round would be, raising almost £1.5m in just 13 days we were blown away.
After seeing the huge amount of support given by all 2,161 investors, we knew that it was time to take Northern Monk to the next level. In every way. Those friends and family that helped us shape the business in the beginning are still with us, and with their support, we set out to find a team that could take the best of what we’d set out to do, but evolve it. We needed to simplify, but amplify, our message.
Robot Food are our neighbours, and regulars at our tap room. They’ve coordinated rebrands for some of the North’s most iconic brands. They understood our vision, and what was important to us. They were the ideal partners to join us on this milestone journey.
Robot Food have redesigned all of our core range cans, with the colour and illustration representative of the style and flavour of each beer. A brand-new beer has been added to our core range line-up in the form of Origin, a gluten-free IPA. We’ve been asked numerous times about adding a gluten-free offering to our core line-up, and we’re really excited about being able to provide a permanent gluten-free offering.
Striding Edge was the first beer in our Ricky Lightfoot Patrons Project series. This 3% light IPA became a firm favourite due to its big, hoppy flavour and low ABV. You might have noticed the availability of this beer increasing, the reason is because we’ve introduced it into our core range and lowered the ABV even further to 2.8%.
As you’ve seen, our website has also been given a big overhaul. We needed our website bringing up-to-date, and redesigning to be in-keeping with the evolution of the brand. The new website lists all our beers, and acts as a comprehensive online space where you can find all the information you need about Northern Monk. Huge thanks to Built by Mike for creating such an awesome site.
We’ve been slowly releasing elements of the rebrand through social media and merch since December, with Even More Death (our collab with Evil Twin) and the Monk dressing gowns featuring the refreshed logo. Skelatory was also the first Patrons Project release in the new branding, with the reverse of the peel and reveal label featuring the new logo and descriptions. Over the last three days we published a countdown on social media, with the numbers posted giving a preview of the new can designs. They also featured the new logo. The interesting thing is, despite the new logo circulating for around a month now, hardly anybody has noticed the fact it’s been redesigned. To us, this demonstrates the great execution of the design – we’ve kept the original monk icon, but the frame surrounding him has been updated to a much cleaner, simpler, compass design that’s fit seamlessly into everything we do.
New World was the first beer that we ever brewed. We were cuckoo brewing at Hambleton’s in Ripon at the time. The new cans were filled in our 12-fill head, 6000 can per hour Monoblock rotary machine. It’s been a big few years.
We’ve stayed true to our origins, but we’ve refreshed our image to be representative of the journey that we’ve been on, and we are incredibly proud of our new identity. Thank you to Robot Food, Built by Mike, and everybody else that’s been part of the project.
Here’s to the next phase of our journey.