Pomona Distilling Co.

Background

Pomona Distilling Co is a small-batch artisan distillery, bistro & bar located in the quiet town of Pomona, in the Noosa Hinterland, Sunshine Coast. Our clients, The Yates family, have lived in Pomona, for over 30 years.

The town is named after the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance – Pomona – and is also rich with memories; the passions and joys of a family growing together in a place they belong. They wanted to share what they loved about their home through their new venue. The site was originally the town’s bakery, built over 100 years ago. Their goal was to reinvigorate the space as a craft distillery, serving the public and also hosting weddings and events. This brand development has activated and breathed fresh energy into a sleepy-little town and become a destination brand that brings people together from all over South-East Queensland.

Working closely with the Yates family, with a limited budget of less than $20,000 for brand development, we helped them build one of Queenlsand’s most popular and successful craft distilleries. It’s become a destination brand for the Sunshine Coast and is popular amongst locals and tourists throughout the region, all of whom are looking to connect to the spirit of Pomona. In a year hamstrung by COVID-19 and 3 months of forced closures, they still managed to serve 100,000 drinks to approx 50,000 patrons. Their gin has been sold around Australia and they’ve been named as one of the best craft distilleries on the Sunshine Coast.

Challenge

To create a brand identity that celebrated the region and paid homage to it’s existing character, securing buy-in from the local community who would be proud to share it with visitors to the hinterland.

The brand needed to feel rich in heritage, established and at home in the environment, not an eye-sore or feel disconnected from the character of the town. It also needed to be able to scale beyond the location, onto merchandise for souvenirs and their small-batch range of boutique craft gin. The greatest challenge was to develop a genuine place brand that wasn’t just a craft distillery, but a destination brand as equally attractive to the town’s locals as it was people from all over Queensland and Australia.

 

Solution

We spent time in the town, learning about its history. We walked through the Yates’ family farm and saw where they were growing the botanicals for their gin. We conducted brand and design workshops in the 100 year old bakery that they were converting to the craft distillery.

Our process followed our usual Branding framework of Discovery & Research, Defining the challenge, Developing the Brand Strategy, Designing the identity, our final stage, Deployment. This final stage was about working closely with their production teams to roll out the most impactful brand touchpoints. These included hand-illustrated window decals, rustic signage and engraving. We worked alongside their builders, signwriters and interior designers to ensure the application of the brand was as authentic and exciting as how we’d planned for in mockups.

We wanted to balance the fruitful abundance of Pomona with the ordered, industrial aspects of the gin distillation process. We incorporated a berry and leaf motif in the logo and a number of the icons. It was also important for us to feature Mt Cooroora, a central icon of the Pomona township, as a landmark motif of the brand.

All these elements can be seen in the primary wordmark, where the letters rise up from the mountain. The berry of the A extends beyond the bounds of the rectangle in the theme of abundance, like an overflowing garden.

The icons, stamps and other brand elements draw inspiration from vintage stamps, badges and historical factory graphics. We also designed their signature bottle in line with the brand. The glass of the bottle magnifies the botanical designs printed on the inside of the label. The stopper represents the berry, and is surrounded below the neck by a wreath of leaves.

Results

Since launching, Pomona has become one of the most popular craft distilleries in South-East Queensland. They’re regularly named in “Must-do” lists by online listing sites like The Weekend Edition and The Urban List. In cleaving to their identity, and committing to distilling the experience of living in a beautiful town as well as gin,, they’ve become a genuine destination for people around Queensland.

In a year heavily impacted by COVID-19 where they were forced to shut their doors for 3 months, they still welcomed almost 50,000 guests, served the same amount of meals and poured close to 100,000 drinks. They’ve had their craft gin stocked as ‘first-pour’ at the exclusive Spicers Resorts Group, and have garnered over 4.6 stars on google from 199 reviews.

Further testament to the success of the brand is their ability to scale and launch new ventures sharing the spirit of Pomona outside of Noosa Hinterland. They’ve launched marquees at multiple Polo events across South East Queensland and opened a Christmas popup bar in Brisbane’s trendy suburb of Teneriffe. They’re in the process of opening a sister-venue in Brisbane’s heritage development of ‘Rivermakers’, called “The Stillhouse”, due to open in September 2021.

“The professionalism and attention to detail
in their work shows and it’s been an absolute
pleasure working with them.”

Testimonial

“We’ve lived in Pomona for 30 Years. The Distilling Co is a destination, and it was really important that whatever we launched honoured the community. The DSR team worked with us to develop the brand which has had an incredible amount of positive feedback from the locals. DSR helped us develop unexpected ideas and good strategies. And not only did they help bring our vision to life, they gave us the tools to elevate the brand even further.”

Scott Yates, Co-Founder - Pomona Distilling Co
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