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Our year in beer

Our year in beer

Well, what a year! I think it’s fair to say that 2017 has been one of the best yet for us here at Abbeydale. Here’s just a few of our biggest achievements and proudest moments…

We’ve undergone the first rebrand of our core beers in the brewery’s 21 year history and launched our magnificent Brewers Emporium range.

We’ve gone international for the first time, hosting a Meet the Brewer event and Tap Takeover at the wonderful Abirradero in Barcelona as part of our collaborative work with Instituto de la Cerveza Artesana, and attending our first European beer festival in Zagreb for their Craft Beer Week. Through our distribution networks, some of our beer has also made its way to Berlin and Hong Kong!

Alongside this we’ve taken part in some brilliant events here in the UK, including Thornbridge’s Peakender festival, the Independent Salford Beer Festival and two events at Eebria’s Bermondsey tap room, where they named us "ones to watch" for their Future of British Brewing tap takeover.

We’ve upped our collaboration game yet again, having worked with some incredible brewers from all around the world to create oodles of delicious collaboration brews. A highlight of the year for us was definitely welcoming back some old faces to the Abbeydale team for the day, creating “4 Degrees of Separation” with Siren, Magic Rock and Northern Monk. And hunks of meat featured in our beer for (perhaps not unsurprisingly!) the first time ever as we rustled up “Don’t Go Bacon My Heart” with Ass Clown Brewery all the way from North Carolina.

The BEST DAY was had by us all hosting our first ever event in the brewery itself. It was so rewarding and really quite humbling to see how you all embraced our ethos and became part of the Abbeydale family. A huge thank you to everyone who joined us and we hope that we will see many more of you next year… watch this space for more details!

Finally, we’ve upped production yet again with the installation of new tanks and a shiny new cask washer (more exciting than it sounds, honest!), embarked upon the beginnings of our Funk Dungeon project, an exciting barrel ageing and souring programme, and have made the move into packaging into cans as well as minikegs of our beloved Moonshine, meaning that more of you than ever have been able to get your hands on some of the beers we’re most proud of. This is definitely an area we’re looking to expand next year too, so look out for more of our bright and distinctive cans on shelves around Sheffield and beyond!

There’s not much more to say apart from to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Safe to say, 2018 has a lot to live up, but we have plenty of ideas up our sleeves!


Laura, on behalf of us all at Team Abbeydale

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Moonshine Minikegs

Moonshine Minikegs

For the first time, you can drink our most popular beer at home, as we’ve released a limited run of 5L minikegs full of Moonshine just in time for Christmas!

This first batch has gone almost exclusively to Sheffield suppliers whilst we gauge demand. Brewery stock is all spoken for and we will not be filling more before Christmas, so once they’re gone from the retailers listed below, they really are all gone!

Archer Road Beer Stop


Beeches of Walkley

Beer Central

Devonshire Cat

Dram Shop

Hop Hideout

Mitchells Wines

Mr Pickles

Rising Sun, Nether Green

Starmore Boss


Outside of Sheffield, the Draughtsman Alehouse in Doncaster is due to take delivery of some on Friday this week (15th December).

This is a project that we hope to expand upon next year though, so watch this space!

Merry Christmas!

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Meet the Artist – James D Murphy

Meet the Artist - James D Murphy

Here at Abbeydale, one of the things we’re well known for is our bold branding. We launched our Brewers Emporium range early in 2017, and knew we needed a look that was eye-catching, distinctive and unique, which would really help us to shout about these beers we’re so proud of… and so we turned to James Murphy, who having designed the Heathen badge the year before knew us well already! You’ll be familiar with the look of these beers by now, so we thought it was high time for you to get to know James himself a bit better too!

Hi James! Tell us a little bit about yourself! How did you first get into illustration?
I’m a Leeds born illustrator currently living in a green and leafy part of London. I studied at Art School back in Leeds and have been doodling and drawing for as long as I can remember. 

I have an eclectic portfolio of work built up over 15+ years of long nights and reams of paper. I’ve worked on skateboards, longboard decks and large shop and brewery murals amongst other fantastic jobs. I’ve also been fortunate enough to work with various bands, both up-and-coming and well-known – producing merchandise like t-shirts, hoodies and gig posters as well as album art.

How would you describe your own artistic style?
This is always a tough question to answer.  When I set out to create something, my aim is to make it strikingly bold but equally detailed. I want the viewer to want to delve further into the image and spend some time looking at it, particularly when it’s a commercial piece of work. I definitely don’t want it to be glanced over. 

A lot of my work is mainly black and white, so I like to use a number of different pen sizes to get nice thick, crisp, clean lines. 

I’ve been told I have a distinctive style and I ain’t going to argue – that’s great to hear. No one wants to be the same as someone else. I guess that’s up to others to say though.


What is your inspiration behind the Brewers Emporium range?
Abbeydale Brewery has been great in allowing me the freedom to do what I do best – and we’ve also worked a lot together creating representative colors and creating complimentary colour pallets. There’s no denying the brewery’s ecclesiastic links. This has played a relevant but not overpowering influence in the designs and compositions we have come up with.

In trying to stand out in a busy craft beer market, we’ve looked to give Abbeydale a unique look, which can be difficult due to the limited size of pump-clips and cans etc. I hope we’ve succeeded. I feel we have. It has been great fun producing images as diverse and as challenging as tall ships (Voyager), a UFO (Unbeliever), a zombie hand (Lost Souls) and some nasty looking snakes (coming soon!).

When Abbeydale give me a beer name, I try not to take it too literally – that can make the image a bit too predictable.

Which other artists (both within and outside the beer community) do you most admire?
There’s a lot of great artists currently plying their trade with breweries at the moment. I’m a big fan of Kev Grey‘s work with Black Iris Brewery – the clips and cans are so clean and clear and I love the images. It’s also good to see Drew Millward‘s distinctive work appearing on Northern Monk’s patron’s project cans. I’m a big fan of Brooklyn Brewery’s classic design, created by the acclaimed Milton Glaser – he designed the I ‘heart’ NY iconic logo too!

As for outside of the brewery world, I have to say I am fortunate to be friends with two amazing illustrators. The first is Matt Hodson (Matthew the Horse) whose character illustrations are always so pleasing and full of mirth. John J Pearson is another whose work just gets better and better. He is currently producing graphic novel wonders, movie posters and live art murals in Leeds. I’d love to see them work on a can or pumpclip design. Do find out more about them both.

Do you have a favourite piece that you’ve created for us at Abbeydale?
I have a few. It’s been fun. When it’s fun, I work better.

If I had to choose one, it would have to be Lost Souls. Close second would be Wanderer. Both designs are borne out of conversations with friends a long time ago so it’s good to see them come to be.

Other faves are Salvation (Lighthouse) and Pilgrim (Church).

And finally – when you go for a beer yourself, what sort of style are you most likely to choose?
I’m a creature of habit and IPAs are what I first started drinking properly. Voyager #1 is my favourite so far from the Brewers Emporium range. I like Pale Ales just as much and outside of Abbeydale, Little Creatures is ace, as is Vocation’s Pride and Joy American Pale Ale.

Check out James’s website for more!


  • About Us

    A true Sheffield institution founded in 1996, Abbeydale Brewery blends heritage and tradition with creativity and innovation, showcasing these values across an unparalleled range of beers.

    Abbeydale Brewery brochure

  • Contact Us

    Abbeydale Brewery Ltd
    Unit 8, Aizlewood Road
    S8 0YX
    Telephone: 0114 281 2712
    Email: [email protected]


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