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JDO launches own Kentish ale, Beau Nash

Beau Nash, a Kentish ale from micro-brewery Moodley's, has been launched through a partnership with Tunbridge Wells based design agency JDO. The move is the first of a number of own brand ventures the design agency is planning.

Self-taught brewer, Yudhistra Moodley owns Moodley's, in Penshurst, Kent and has brewed Moodley's using local elderflower and honey. 

JDO’s aim was to develop its own bespoke ale brand with a bottle showcasing the team’s knowledge of the beer sector through an interest in design. The agency was also keen to bring traditional design skills back to life and to give some of the younger designers a chance to develop their expertise in this area.  The team enjoyed the journey from the construction of the beer’s taste profile through to the development of the liquid and the craftsmanship, qualities and finish of the pack design.

The muse and inspiration for this venture came in the form of eighteenth century character, Beau Nash, a celebrated dandy and fashion icon who appointed himself master of ceremonies in Tunbridge Wells in 1735. After delving deeper into his history, JDO discovered that he was not only a ‘trend setter’ but also an infamous gambler, all of which provided ground for creative exploration.

The resulting brand design has, at its heart, three playing cards, encouraging the design to be viewed in two orientations. From this idea JDO created an ambigram for the Beau Nash identity which reads the same viewed right way up and upside down. The Beau Nash ‘lock up’ has been crafted in black type with surrounding filigree drawn in the same style. The near continuous illustration on side of pack acts as a visual metaphor for the rich tapestry of Nash’s life with a little bit of JDO’s own unique characteristics mixed in.

Ray Smith, JDO creative director says: “Beau Nash, dandy, the leader of fashion and the master of ceremonies at the Wells. When we read this on his plaque outside our studio on The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells, we knew we had our inspiration!”

Ben Oates, JDO executive director comments: “This is a fantastic opportunity to put our money where our mouth is creating an exquisite brand idea and beer with an equally exquisite design.”

Dan Bowstead, designer at JDO adds: “The aim was to create something that was completely unique. The idea, the beer taste profile and the bottle design all reflect the agency with the other influences drawn from our locale. It’s been great to develop a brand through brew to design and production.”

12 December 2016 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editorial assistant