"It seemed like every time I went into a local shop, people were talking about Bishy Brew."

Little Brew


The brief

A community collaboration to create, brand, market and sell ‘Bishy Brew’, a one-off real ale for the Bishopthorpe Road community.

The Partners Group came up with the concept and approached Little Brew, a local brewery who had recently moved to York and were keen to raise their profile in the city. Together with United By Design, who agreed to design the branding, the three businesses had just 16 days from concept to deliver the campaign. The unique ‘Bishy Brew’ ale would initially be sold at the Bishopthorpe Road Christmas lights switch on event, with money from sales donated to a charity chosen by the traders.
Bishy Brew

The campaign

With such a short timeframe, it was important to have a good hook. Little Brew decided to cater for all palates with three ales, all infused with ingredients sourced from Bishopthorpe Road. We ran a high profile teaser campaign on social media; firstly revealing the raw ingredients and then announcing the name of each ale over successive days, with local media coverage at the end of the week. We then ran a success story and found we needed to soften the PR activity towards Christmas due to demand, as the product was in short supply.

The results

At the Christmas lights event, all three casks of Bishy Brew sold out in just over an hour raising more than £500 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Subsequent demand for Bishy Brew saw Little Brew do a second batch of the ales in bottles, after the first run of 450 bottles sold out in just 15 minutes.

Little Brew said: “Partners not only came up with the idea for Bishy Brew but got pretty much the whole of York talking about it. Within a week we were on BBC Radio York, in local press as well as some national beer publications. The week before the event, we made the headline on newsagents’ bill boards, which was a personal favourite. It seemed like every time I went into a local shop, people were talking about Bishy Brew.

“Partners let us get on with doing what we do best – brewing – while they got on with making Bishy Brew a huge success. Having only set up in York a few months previously, this was the best thing that could have happened to Little Brew. We met lots of customers and clients through Bishy Brew but most of all we felt part of the community.”