Trailblazing, organic and B-Corp, Stroud Brewery has just had a transformation into a striking new brand. Never an organisation that sits on its laurels, they moved to a new £1million brewery 18 months ago.
The brewery’s relentlessly optimistic founder, Greg Pilley. Greg is an adventurer and an environmentalist; he’s spent his career understanding how food and drink is fundamental to global community cultures and how farming methods can either benefit the environment or seriously degenerate it.
Greg’s love of beer is the reason he set up his brewery, but it is his moral compass that set the standard for decision making. “With everything we do we look for the opportunity to regenerate rather than degenerate,” says Greg, “we started with soil because if we continue to use non organic farming methods, our soils won’t be capable of feeding us in 60 years’ time; whereas by using organic methods, we work with nature to improve soils, sequester carbon, increase wildlife and produce ingredients as they should be i.e. without any harmful additions.”
His regenerative approach doesn’t stop there, “you can apply the idea of regenerating vs degenerating to everything,” claims Greg. “For example, you can value people rather than devalue them. We’re a B Corp, working to make business a force for good and we’re a living wage employer with a considerate working culture and as a result we have a very happy and dedicated team.”
In a marketplace full of ‘green’ messages, Stroud Brewery were acting a little shy. The team have created a thriving business without compromising their values; with their eye on the climate situation they felt they were best placed to promote the long-term benefits of ‘responsibly farmed beer.’ Ever about supporting community, they recruited local brand design studio, Level, to bring their messages to life.
“When Stroud Brewery came to us it was clear Greg’s vision was to open up a new ethical and sustainable beer category and encourage the rest of the beer brands into it. This wasn’t about leadership in a market share sense it was about leading from the front, flying the flag and leading by example.” Says Jenny Patton, Head of Innovation at Level Design Studio. “Through our research we began to understand that the organic message is polarising, people have already made up their mind. We needed to go further, create a deeper connection between the consumer and the natural ingredients. We changed the core message to ‘drink responsibly farmed beer’ and developed ‘change is brewing’ conversations to illustrate how a regenerative approach to people and planet equals better business and even better beer.”
But what about the beer? Stroud Brewery consider their beer ‘substance over style’, pairing their high regard for our remarkable UK beer heritage with their ‘and then some’ attitude.
“We always look to add a unique and complimentary Stroud Brewery flourish,” comments Head Brewer, Ben Jennison-Phillips, “we place an extremely high value on our locally grown, organic and hand malted barley as the backbone of our beer; and with our extensive knowledge and relationships with organic hop producers we’ve become known for the characterful flavours and aromas we are able to produce.”
“Redesigning the Stroud Brewery brand and packaging was a real honour,” says Adam Hinks, Creative Director at Level, “it is such a much-loved brand here in Stroud for its beer and its ethics. We knew we had to cut through an already saturated and noisy category, we needed to combat the greenwashing going on out there and develop an exciting, honest and credible visual identity that wasn’t your traditional ‘organic’ look and feel. Stroud is every bit as ethical as the brewery, being the birthplace of many social and environmental movements, it was only right that we took creative inspiration from our local environment and positive yet activist culture.”
So, what does the future hold? Greg is steadfast in his ambition to change the category; he has his sights on some of the bigger players already making ‘green’ noises. “What’s great to see is all the sustainability conversation going on in the category,” says Greg, “from planting trees, to carbon negativity, to overcoming food waste, it shows us there is a real appetite for change. Our job will be to convince our fellow beer brands that by investing in becoming organic we can take ‘sustainability’ in beer to a whole new level; in that we can sustain and regenerate the soils on which we depend for our ingredients, and guarantee to still be making great tasting beers in the decades to come.”
Find out more and buy beer, merchandise or to visit the bar, go to the Stroud Brewery website: