BrewDog: Boilermaker Series Brand Creation

BrewDog Distilling Co.

Packaging, Design, Illustration, Spatial Design, Branding, Innovation

The Challenge

Some things in life are just meant to go together - Bert & Ernie, Rock & Roll and whisky & beer.

Originally from America, the ‘boilermaker’ refers to a dram of whisky sipped alongside a beer. This would be taken after a hard day’s graft making steam locomotive boilers, hence the name.

We were asked by BrewDog to design and launch a new collection of whiskies for their Boilermaker Series; each made by a partner distillery to pair perfectly with a signature BrewDog beer.

Our Response

With the mantra that whisky is for drinking and not sitting on the shelf collecting dust, we wanted to create a set of designs that you’d want to pick up and not put down.

Each had to be respectful of the distilleries they came from, but in true BrewDog style also command their share of the attention.

BrewDog: Boilermaker Series Brand Creation

Packaging Design

Each bottle was designed and illustrated in-house with a strong graphic style that complemented the beer packs.

The colour schemes between bottles and cans also matched for easy navigation of the pairings.


Skeleton Key was born from the roaring flames of Duncan Taylor’s Islay peat kilns, with the all-important key to unlock BrewDog’s Jet Black Heart. It features plumes of peated smoke, finished in a spot UV.

With Compass Box’s Transistor, we wanted to show how its flavours amplified BrewDog’s Punk IPA with a radio tower emitting lightning bolts and the name sitting in a transistor radio dial.

Finally, Dutch distillers Zuidam created Torpedoed Tulip, a whisky armed with explosive rye to complement Dead Pony Club. So naturally, our label featured a Torpedoed Tulip, rushing through the depths, locked and loaded.

Boiler Room Bar

The series launched with a bang to almost 15,000 people at BrewDog’s AGM. Taking cues from where this all began – with boiler-makers enjoying a drink after work – we created the Boiler Room Bar.

We kept things low-fi with a focal ‘boiler’ bar from raw unfinished materials. And for that punk BrewDog edge we sticker-bombed the bar area and fly-postered the back wall.


BrewDog: Boilermaker Series Brand Creation
BrewDog: Boilermaker Series Brand Creation
With Transistor selling out online twice over the AGM weekend, we’d call that a success. Cheers to that.
David Gates - BrewDog MD