If you like the finer things in life, like 'Utepils', which in Norway means to enjoy a beer outdoors, then a compelling new collab in Yorkshire will not only quench your thirst, it will please all of your senses.
Leeds finest Studio.Build has teamed up with furniture-maker Plaey Workshop, designer James Ockelford of Refold and award-winning brewery and taproom North Brewing Co for a new experiential beer launch.
Called Ute, the whole concept of the new beer is inspired by birch trees and West Yorkshire forests, with everything from the packaging, promotional materials and the beer itself taking cues from the Great Outdoors.
"The initial idea behind the new beer was to create something different – something that had a bit more personality than what was out there already," says Matt Kelly, founder of Plaey Workshop. "We decided to look at how colour and taste could link back to the birch plywood material we use here in the studio and went from there."
But this is where it gets interesting. The packaging, designed by Studio.Build, is based around the idea of sunlight peeking through leaves in the forests through a series of four can designs. Studio.Build also created a series of promotional posters using photographs captured by Joanne Crawford. Each image is based on a different location in West Yorkshire – with each individual place meaning something to each collaborator. Even better, each image has its own latitude and longitude unit – giving you, the customer, the ability to visit the exact spot that the beer and packaging was influenced by.
Michael C Place, creative director and founder of Studio.Build, says: "We all worked very closely together to create a project that championed creative collaboration between local designers – it’s something we don’t see a lot of, so it was important that this project showcased how good a true collaboration can be. It was also a celebration of the North – specifically Leeds and the immediate surrounding areas."
And it doesn't stop there. The photographs are also included on an accompanying 7" record – commissioned by James Ockelford at Refold – which will be released at a launch event. Created by sound recordist Ethan Montgomery and singer/songwriter Declining Winter (Richard Adams), the accompanying record features an A side of field recordings from the forests and the brewery, whilst the B side features a new song by Declining Winter, written specifically for the project.
James Ockelford, founder of Refold adds: "It was really important for us to create the full experience for the customer and sound is a big part of that. Ethan Montgomery’s beautiful field recordings from our trip around Yorkshire added the perfect sonic angle to this project. We sent each recording to artists from the local area – which included Richard Adams, Justin Wiggan and Chris Ruffoni - who each interpreted the recordings into an original piece of work. The end result is a fascinating collection of perspectives on nature, making beer and the North of England."
Alongside the 7” record, a 14-track compilation tape will be released which includes all tracks contributed to the project by different musicians.
Michael C Place continues: "This needed to be a true auditory, visual and taste experience for the customer. From the photography of the forests, the field recordings and the beer – altogether it needed to be an immersive experience. We like the idea that someone will sit down, put the record on, take a drink of the beer and instantly be transported to the forests of West Yorkshire."
Ute will launch in London at All Good Beer, Hackney Downs on Friday 30 August, before its launch in the North at Colours May Vary on Saturday 31 August. Alongside the beer, the records and a limited run of A3 posters will also be on sale at each event – which will also be followed by an online web shop.