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Appliance of science boosts Tring's beers

Added: Saturday, July 27th 2013

Tring Brewery has launched a new look for its beers, using applied colour psychology to appeal to beer drinkers. It's believed Tring is the first brewery in Britain to use applied colour psychology, and to recognise the importance of colour in influencing emotion, mood and behaviour.

The Hertfordshire brewery has rebranded, starting with its pump clips, unifying its look and increasing its appeal to new and existing customers. The beer names are derived from local characters, literature or legends with new illustrations produced to represent these stories and reinforce the brewery’s connection with its locality.

Marketing manager Ben Marston says: “Since our inception more than 20 years ago, we have constantly worked to offer a comprehensive range of styles to appeal to a wide audience. The results of years of dedication, the use of highest quality ingredients and evolving audience required that we refined all product branding, giving each beer the presence it deserves. We now have a cohesive design formula rather than a mish-mash of designs all taking cues from different stages in the brewery’s past.”

Kate Marston, founder of KM Design, uses applied colour psychology, a practise whereby colours are used to influence viewers or consumers behavioural patterns. "The initial task," she explains, "was to identify one of four main personality groups that best represented the brewery and its products. From this starting point, a link to a specific colour palette can be established and from this we begin to extract a final range of colours. Firelight -- also known as the autumn group -- was chosen as it uses warm, comforting tones and avoids harsh black and white. These colours all reflect the importance of heritage for Tring Brewery, their core values, use of natural ingredients and interest in its environment. This is all part of the message which the brewer of Side Pocket for A Toad and many other beers is keen to convey.

“These warm, natural colours are appetising and attractive. They have been selected to sit alongside each product, as well as saying something important about the brewery and its values. This, along with maintaining recognisable elements of past pump clips is key to the success of this rebrand for Tring Brewery,” Kate adds.

“You cannot underestimate the importance of colour and that if you get this wrong your customers feel uneasy even if they can’t put their finger on why this is.”

While Tring Brewery’s role has been as client, Ben Marston has contributed to the project not only through direction but also in creating all the new illustrations that stylistically are a bold departure from the past water colour based images. He is quite adamant however that it was the skills of wife, Kate, that have resulted in the successful assembly of all the typographic, pattern and compositional elements of the clips.

Tring’s pump clips have moved away from its distinctive triangle and now use a shield shape. However this is a subtle change in shape and one that will hopefully avoid consumer confusion. Kate has included triangles within the design as this reflects the heritage of the brewery which was originally located in the historic area of Tring known as the Tring Triangle.

tea kettle stout

Tring Brewery was founded by Richard Shardlow, an ex-Whitbread brewer, who produced eight barrels at a time in the centre of Tring. In 2010, he moved the brewery to Dunsley Farm, London Road, just off the A41 but still close to the town centre.

The farm is part of the sprawling Rothschild Estate, now administered by the National Trust. The new 30-barrel kit is in a former cow shed and silage barn and last year it produced 1.7 million pints of beer and has the capacity to expand to 2.2 million.

Beer sales have been expanded by Andrew Jackson, another former Whitbread man from the sales side. He also worked for Costa Coffee – owned by Whitbread. With marketing man Ben Marston and a staff of 10, Andrew has launched a new beer, Tea Kettle Stout (4.7%), so-called because the map of old Hertfordshire – before it absorbed parts of north London and Middlesex – resembled the shape of an old-fashioned tea kettle.

The beer is brewed with Maris Otter pale malt, roasted and colour malts and is hopped with English Fuggles. The ruby/black beer has rich roasted grain, chocolate, figs and spicy hops on the nose, while dry chocolate builds in the mouth along with roasted grain, burnt fruit and spicy hops. The finish is bittersweet but ends dry with continuing notes of chocolate, figs and gentle hop resins.

*Tring Brewery has a shop and visitor centre and beer can be bought in cask or bottle. 01442 890721;