An exciting Adnams project has come to fruition, and we’re thrilled to announce we’ve rebranded our beer range. Having reached a big birthday in 2022, it felt like the right time for a refresh. A crack team was assembled to work on our core beers, alongside our trusted design agency CookChick, and talented local artist, Vanessa Sorboen.

Adnams was established on the Suffolk coast in 1872. We have been brewing in Southwold for 150 years, during which time, our branding developed in waves. Buoyed along by tradition and a real sense of place, it has helped us share our eclectic blend of heritage beers and emerging styles with a broad mix of beer fans. With our eyes firmly on the horizon and an acknowledging glance back to shore, we have channelled this into a unified range; one that embraces our beautiful home, acknowledges the stories that made us, and clearly expresses our designs on the future. 

We have refreshed the design of six core Adnams beers: Ghost Ship Pale Ale, Ghost Ship 0.5%, Southwold Bitter, Broadside, Dry Hopped Lager and Mosaic Pale Ale. They are some of our best-loved and best-selling beers, so they were key to delivering our vision. 

Jess, our Head of Creative explains: “If you looked at our beers on the shelf, it was starting to feel like a timeline of Adnams design. There was the need for some stronger brand recognition and a bit more cohesion, to help customers shop across the range and explore other Adnams beers.” 

 We wanted to unify our beers and bring them all closer together - so they felt part of a clear Adnams family. These are fabulous beers with strong stories and we’re all really proud of them. There was also that sense of customer ownership, so it was important that they maintained their individuality and heart.” 

 It had been a while since we’d worked on some of our brands, and it felt like the right time to bring them up to date and define how we wanted to look going forward. It wasn’t just about refreshing the beers we have now, it was also about developing a new creative direction. As well as unifying our range, we wanted our new packaging to reflect the over-arching Adnams brand, and we're all about our home and where we come from. But it’s more than just Southwold - it stretches out across Suffolk and Norfolk. Visually we’ve looked to anchor our beers in this region and support that with flavoursome storytelling. 

When we set out on this journey, our design agency, CookChick, stumbled across a painting by local artist, Vanessa Sorboen, in The Crown Hotel, Southwold and it instantly felt like a fit. We were already exploring the idea of using art on our labels, because we had a strong pedigree in the ‘Beers from the Coast’ advertising campaign and a history of supporting the local arts. We needed to make sure that the redesign appealed to our existing customers, and could also draw in new audiences, while continuing to represent our brand. It seemed a tall order, but paintings like Vanessa’s felt like the perfect device. Anyone can like a piece of art - from any age or demographic. 

Beers from the Coast was one of our most iconic and well-known pieces of marketing, but while it was a hugely effective marketing campaign, it was surprisingly never used on our actual products, said Jess. “Our beers were featured as icons in the campaign artwork, but the art lived and breathed in posters, on drip mats and in press and promotional advertising. 

We decided that it would be great to take things that one step further, and use the art we curated on our labels, on our packaging and on the bar. When our design agency saw Vanessa’s painting, they thought she really embodied the feeling of Southwold. When we looked at her portfolio, we saw she had the ability to flex, and create images that were both classic and exciting. That’s what’s so great about Vanessa’s work. 

Ghost Ship 0.5% Pale Ale: Otherworldly sunset colours set our ghost ships apart.

In this manifestation the sun glints on the sails, while the shore is still shrouded in darkness.

Ghost Ship Pale Ale: Our ethereal vessel is seen from Walberswick’s shore.

The ship’s enveloped in fog and lit by the moonlight - a sight that is true to the legend.

Broadside: The sky in this scene takes on a fiery glow, while formidable ships fire their cannons.

There’s an added sense of perspective and place, as you can now spy our town in the distance.

Dry Hopped Lager: It’s a hot, sunny day on the beach here in Southwold, when only a lager will do.

The beach huts and sandy Sole Bay scene reflects the brand’s colours in a view that feels fresh.

Mosaic Pale Ale: Dunwich Forest has a mosaic of habitats, as heathland meets forest then beach.

This setting sun moment shows the light through the trees casting geometric shapes on the floor.

Southwold Bitter: We take a step back to take in the view. Southwold Jack remains our guardian,

but he’s no longer far from home. You now find him in situ, standing proud on the brewery wall.

David Hucknell, Senior Designer at CookChick, our design agency concurs: CookChick has been working with Adnams for 18 years. Over the last year, we have been given the opportunity help refresh and unify their core beer portfolio. With the Suffolk coast at heart of the brand, we got to widen the lens to encompass a 360-degree view of the region, giving us a broader palette to draw from. Working with Vanessa has allowed us to capture the intrinsic qualities of Adnams’ hometown and the surrounding area of Suffolk and Norfolk, while also enhancing the individual brand stories and each beer’s characteristics.”

We have worked with Vanessa for over a year, producing paintings for our six selected core beers, as well as two imminent new releases. In the coming weeks, the new-look products will start to roll out and you will see her works represented in various formats, from bottle labels to cans and cask pump clips to keg badges. We wanted to retain brand recognition for our existing story-lead products, namely Ghost Ship Pale Ale, Ghost Ship 0.5% Pale Ale, Broadside and Southwold Bitter, but we also had to create new identities for beers like Dry Hopped Lager and Mosaic Pale Ale, so they could more closely align with the rest of the range.  

There was always going to be an element of repositioning to bring the Adnams brand forward, and on top of that, we needed to align all our individual beer brands. It was important that the first six beers remained familiar to our customers. We haven't tried to be anyone else. We’ve just progressed them and moved them forward. We do hope you like what we’ve done.

Vanessa is excited to see the products coming through: “It was a fascinating experience working on the Adnams range. Jess from Adnams and the team at CookChick were fantastic at guiding me through what they wanted me to paint and where the features needed to be placed, to work alongside all the other elements. As someone who paints freely, to have to think of the components within the compositions was an intriguing challenge. Their guidance was invaluable because they knew exactly what they wanted, and yet really wanted me to put my own twist on it. With each beer brief there was something to get my head around. Every time we'd have a meeting where they'd show me the concept, I’d want to leave straight away so I could get stuck in. Every painting I've stepped back from I’ve felt proud of, and I truly enjoyed the process.” 

Getting in touch

To find out more about Adnams and our great range, see below.

For Press enquiries and for more info on the beer redesign, please contact

If you are interested in stocking Adnams products, please contact

For general inquiries, please contact

We look forward to hearing from you.

This summer, gather your friends, grab a Ghost Ship, and get out there. Make stories that become The Stuff of Legend. We’re setting you up for the ultimate adventure, with the chance to win a Suffolk pub for a night to enjoy with your friends, along with other legendary prizes.*

Legends don’t have to always feature magic, strange beasts or far off lands, but they might call for the odd Ghost Ship. They can come from sharing adventures with friends or simply trying something new and recounting your endeavours. They spring from the tales you’ll tell around the campfire or on a visit to the pub.

So, share the moment, share a Ghost Ship, and make this summer The Stuff of Legend. See special competition packs and pints to enter.


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