Howatson+Company 6 Matilda Bay Rejected Ales

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Gavin Chimes
  • Pou Rautaki / Strategic Lead
    Sam Butcher
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Directors
    Caroline Gilroy, Ellena Mills
  • Kaituhi Matua / Copywriter Leads
    Tim Smith, Will Halstead
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Giles Watson, Tom Macphail, Holly Alexander
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Brogen Averill
Judge's comments:

“The journey of perfect” idea was outstanding and the naming convention of rejection and encouragement brought a unique storytelling to the range. The under-designed approach created a real contrast to an over-designed category.


How do you launch the perfect craft beer? You launch the almost perfect rejects that made it.

Introducing Matilda Bay Rejected Ales. The best beers you were never meant to taste.

It took the Matilda Bay brewers 27 batches to create a golden ale that met their master brewer's mouth's standards. They called it the Original Ale. So to give Australians an idea of how perfectly perfect the final brew is, we released the near perfect rejects, so they could discover the journey to perfection.

With names like 'Yeah...nah', 'Keep dreaming' and 'Ballpark', each of the 27 Rejected Ale cans told a story of its rejection. Anyone could try them, along with the award-winning Original Ale, at leading bottle stores around the country.

They were brought to life in fridge POS, outdoor, press, radio and film. Sample packs were sent out to journos and influencers along with a brewer's logbook that documented the entire delicious odyssey and to prove how good the rejects were, we entered them into international beer competitions, where they won silver. Rather fitting, given that our Original Ale won gold the year before.

Packaging was intentionally under-designed - as if it were developed by engineers with pure function in mind. From the can design to the boxes, everything was designed to look utilitarian, like it came directly brewery floor. Not normally for public consumption. And nothing at all like yet-another-over-the-top gimmicky craft-beer design to sit amongst the mass of craft beers on the shelf.