Introducing John Hollows Superior Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Last year our good friends at Fentimans came to us with the idea of launching an alcoholic ginger beer. They are the masters of the genuine ginger beer, and were pretty unimpressed by the fake, wine-based or flavoured lager ginger beers that were on the market. They knew that they could make a proper alcoholic ginger beer, the traditional way, slow-brewed with ginger from scratch.

 An original Hollows & Fentimans Grey Hen

They asked us to help them bring it to life. We were all quite wary about calling it Fentimans, because they didn't want to cause any confusion between an alcoholic brand and non-alcoholic. So we set about making a new brand for this new drink.

 One of the famous blue stoppers as used in the Hollows Grey hens

Fentimans have a great history of making ginger beer, so us and the Fentimans gang delved deep into it. We found the story of John Hollows. John was a son-in-law of Thomas Fentiman, the company founder. He was given his own ginger beer factory to run, and produced the drink under the name Hollows and Fentimans. We also found out that they used to sell their ginger beers in the famous grey hens (stout stone jars) but with a signature blue stopper.

So, after a few months of researching, writing, and designing on our part - and brewing, tasting, more brewing, and quite a lot more tasting by Fentimans, we're proud to introduce John Hollows Superior Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Or Hollows for short.

We designed these blue caps for the Hollows bottles as a nod to the old blue stoppers used in the grey hens. We made Beware Of Imitations our Hollows call to arms, an old-school line warning drinkers of the fake gingers that pretend to be the real thing.

In our research, we came across all kinds of interesting old touches. Established in a perfect factory in the north of England was imprinted into one of the old jars, we thought it was worth resurrecting for the seal of quality on the Hollows bottle.

Our Hollows branding and bottle in all it's glory. We wanted to give the label a detailed quality like the original jars often had, they contained lots of information and description. At the same time, to compete in the modern world, the name on the bottle needs to stand out on the shelf, or in the pub fridge.

We wanted to do something interesting with the process on the label to reflect the superior quality of the drink. We devised this starburst device that is produced by leaving the metallic label to 'show through' the ink. We used an increasing dot-screen to fade it in.

To promote Hollows in pubs, we came up with the Genuine Ginger? beermat. An old-fashioned long beermat with a pen and ink illustration of a face with a moustache, by US illustrator Steve Noble. The card is notched so you can hold it up to your face and see what you'd look like with a ginger 'tache.

We wanted to make the launch advertising simple and challenging. For Hollows to go out into the world proclaiming its place as the genuine ginger, challenging the fakes. We used letter-pressed woodblock type, set in simple blocks, and bold headlines.

It's been an interesting project so far, building a brand from scratch. Hollows is now on sale, keep your eye out for it in a shop or pub near you.

To see more of our work for Fentimans click here
Click here to see more Sell! Sell! work


  1. Really great work guys. Love the beermats!

  2. This is really nice work, congratulations.

  3. Love it. Great product that's just landed in Australia but sans fanfare & marketing. We're still going to use it as a base for a couple of cocktails because it just tastes so damn good.


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