Mac’s pulls off cap on new look

Reasserting Mac's role in the thriving craft beer scene.  

A lot has changed for Mac’s since it is credited with pioneering the craft beer revival back in 1981 when Terry McCashin opened his first brewery in Nelson at the former Rochdale cider factory.  

Despite its heritage and independent brewing reputation, Mac’s had lost momentum in a market jostling with brands. So it needed a new way to communicate both its history and award-winning reputation.

The first step was to reassert Mac’s role in the thriving craft beer scene.  

Lion’s Dave Pearce says: “When we talk to most consumers about craft beers, they’re really talking about well made, imaginative and interesting tasting beers.  

“That doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be tiny, independent beers made in someone’s back shed. 

“To put it into perspective, the leading craft beer brand in the US, Samuel Adams, is bigger than the entire New Zealand beer market, so it’s not about big versus small.”

The challenge was to tell drinkers more about its range of beers. But this also meant retaining the visual simplicity of the brand, bottle and unique pull cap.

Design consultants Dow’s task was to translate this on to the packs. “We reinforced the brand the on bottle by creating the shield-shaped label,” design director Tony Masterantonio says. “Then we provided clear navigation of the different beers by giving each of them an icon, with a little twist.”

Other tweaks included reinterpreting the logo and flavour scales on the labels and cartons. The ribbed neck bottle and rip cap still remain. A 568mL rib necked bottle was used for a new range of ciders. 

“The redesign process has been a balancing act,” Mr Pearce says. “So, it’s making the necessary changes to better reflect Mac’s true brewing credentials, while retaining the core brand elements.”