The mystical Welsh brewery pays homage to their Celtic roots, in the beers that they brew as well as in their branding and design. Taking inspiration from ancient folklore, each of their designs reflects Celtic mythology. Their logo for example is derived from a local legend about three eagles guarding treasure. Each eagle was chained at Castell Coch and as such flew in perfect circles. These circles consequently formed a triangle where the three crossed. This triangle represents the brewery’s three brands; Core, Ogham and Shapeshifter.
The Shapeshifting series, featuring dark imagery, is created by Chicago based artist, Sarah Ogren, and signifies the breweries dynamic and innovative nature as well as the importance of shapeshifting to ancient Celts.
“Tom Newman, the owner of Celt Experience, sends me the titles of the beer he wants the label for and sometimes a little background on the idea or the history of the beer,” Sarah said about the process, “I then develop my ideas within those guidelines,” she continued.
Sarah, who admits her ‘usual’ style is very whimsical, says that whenever she is asked to create another label, she has “to try and get in a more dark and creepy place.”
“I’ll spend some time looking at horror movie themed art and photography, fantasy art and surrealistic art,” she said, “I also find a lot of inspiration in antique photography which can be quite creepy and surreal; no one smiles, often the dead are photographed, and my favourite is when time corrodes the image,” she explained, as it gives the impression the photograph is diseased.
This weathered antique photography forms the basis for the majority of her work for the Shapeshifter series and she has also been commissioned to paint a mural down the length of the ten pin bowling alley at the brewery.
What’s your favourite beer label? Tweet the blog @thegrillbarrel and I’ll investigate! Stay tuned for more soon.