Farnham Ale & Lager adds a twist

The Quebec craft brewer expands its portfolio with the Ska line of fruit-flavoured malted beverages.


Picking up on trends in the broader beer market, Farnham Ale & Lager is hoping the flavours and simple package design of its Ska product line will help it stand out in a crowded market.

Ska, a 6% ABV malted beverage, launched in the summer with a citrus flavour that has now been made available year-round. Green apple and watermelon flavours will be released soon, and the new additions to the line will use the same visual identity and packaging developed for the citrus Ska by Lg2Boutique.

classiqueWhile markedly different from Farnham’s beer packaging (pictured, left), the thinking behind the design is similar. Whereas Farnham’s beers all prominently feature a number (representing its international bittering units, a major part of its brand identity), Ska’s packaging displays the fruit that makes up its flavour.

“For the Farnham beer packaging, our beer design was centered on the bitterness level, so for Ska, the flavour is up front,” says Anthony Verge, graphic designer at Lg2 who worked on the project. “We wanted to do something that reflects the freshness of the fruit, so we used bright colours, clean shapes and the simplicity of the aluminium can. Keeping everything on the Ska can simple really puts the flavour front and centre.”

The double-K in the brand logo is meant to evoke a fruit juicer. Verge adds that Farnham asked for design that would be equally appealing to men and women as a way to further differentiate the line, as coolers and other fruit-based alcoholic beverages have traditionally been targeted to women.

“The approach of designing for a malt beverage or a beer is the same,” he says. “In a saturated market like this, the goal is to stand out from other brands. Using simple graphic language makes it easy to understand for everybody as soon as you see it.”

From a market perspective, many brewers (both big and small) have looked towards diversifying their product portfolios with different flavours as a way to tap into increasingly diverse tastes. Outside of flavour, Budweiser debuted the non-alcoholic “Prohibition Brew” in Canada earlier this year as part of AB InBev’s goal to make 20% of its sales come from low- and non-alcohol products by 2025.