'We want to engage with the next generation,' explains Bob Trimm, sales and marketing manager for Harvey's, the iconic Lewes-based brewery. Standing by the Harvey's bar at the Great British Beer Festival, we'd just been watching the artist Malcolm Trollope-Davis, a fellow Lewes resident, as he worked on a concept sketch for one of Harvey's seasonal beers.
This, plus a major widening of distribution, illustrate how traditional breweries, even successful ones such as the oft-garlanded Harvey's, need to evolve to survive in today's more competitive environment. Along with a few wholesalers in Essex, its beers will now be available via the LWC group. That may not seem earth-shattering, but Harvey's has always made great play of only distributing to within 60 miles of the brewery.
Turning back to Trollope-Davis and his concept artwork, Trimm explains that he wants to emphasise the 'craft credentials' in use at the brewery, while also 'connecting with the more design-savvy' customer. So, as well as a bright, clean brand refresh throughout its beers and brewery logos, Trollope-Davis has been given free rein to illustrate the seasonal range of beers, many of which pick up on local places or customs.
And don’t forget Harvey’s new mantra: ‘We won’t be druv’. ‘That’s our spirit of independence,’ Trimm explains. The unofficial motto of Sussex, it means: ‘We’re not going to be driven’, he says. ‘We’ve been going for 200 years, and we don’t see why we won’t keep going for the next 200.’
Any other changes afoot? Yes, actually. Before the end of the year, Harvey’s will launch its own range of cans. One will be the Sussex Best Bitter, with the other three being new beers, all with new-look designs.
Definitely a case of watch this space.