Brewery: Marston’s

Origin: Wolverhampton, England
Style: IPA
ABV: 5%

British supermarket Sainsburys, once King of the 90s suburban shop, now gasping for air against the rising Teutonic tide of twin giants Aldi and Lidl, finds itself jumping unashamedly on the craft beer wagon here with this ‘American Style’ IPA. Brewed in partnership with Marston’s, one of England’s big regional players, this beer is unremarkably ok. It won’t offend, but it won’t be remembered (aside from here sadsack readers).

I’m more interested in the label though. If you can for a moment divorce yourself from the sanitised shopping experience beloved of Burton-wearing, Vauxhall-driving, little-Englander middle class families across the UK, you’ll find something trying it’s best to not be Sainsburys PLC. Although the illustration bears all the hallmarks of corporate marketeers sticking their oars in ( “can we have ‘IPA’ written on the glass?”, “can we add a cowboy?” etc...) and the pointless ego-stroke of a footer (#brandpolice) the illustration is interesting enough. There’s lurching bearded bikers, bandana-decked skulls, wobbly cacti and a sun-baked desert floor in lurid magenta and blue. Perhaps these are just calculated ‘hipster’ visual tropes rolled out by a trendwatching corporate marcomms team, but I liked it nevertheless.

A project by Richard Heap
A graphic designer from Stockport, England