Robinsons’ Old Tom beer has been on the prowl for over a century. Recognised both nationally and internationally as one of the top cats of the craft beer world, and arguably one of the most famous strong ales in beer history, Old Tom has won almost every prestigious ale accolade you’d care to shake your tailfeather at; including World’s Best Ale, Supreme Champion Winter Beer of Britain (5 times) and CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain (6 times). Now, however, for the first time in Old Tom’s history, it has won an award for something entirely new: design.
Competing with the best beers in the world, 1,900 to be precise, Old Tom reigned victorious taking home the title ‘World’s Best Design’ at 2017’s all-famous World Beer Awards; which exists to select, award, and promote the world's best beers to consumers and trade globally. Old Tom also bagged gold in the ‘Dark Beer’ category, and Ginger Tom and Blonde Tom won ‘UK Country Winner’.
Gill Yates, Robinsons’ Brands Manager, comments: “Over the years Old Tom has, without question, positioned itself as a champion beer within the drinks industry, which, after more than 118 years, still delivers the expert taste, quality, and excitement to its drinkers internationally. But the truth is we have more breweries now than any time since the First World War and – more importantly – there’s more interest in beer than ever before. Stand out is an ongoing challenge in an increasingly crowded market. So, to win World’s Best Design at the World Beer Awards is something we’re all incredibly proud of.”
These awards follow an innovative rebrand of the Old Tom label that took place back in May 2017. The design fittingly focuses on the Tom Cat, that has long been part of Robinsons’ history, but now it embodies the spirit of Old Tom as well: a forward-facing character that is bold and striking, contemporary and rich, multifaceted; just like the beer. The arresting, unusual and artistically crafted label marks a new chapter in the Old Tom story.
Oliver Robinson, Robinsons’ Managing Director (Beer Division), explains why this strong ale is so special: “Old Tom is engrained into our heritage at Robinsons. Cherished worldwide, its fame and reputation has been built over more than a century and its proven taste and long history have made it a firm favourite for traditional drinkers and craft enthusiasts alike. It’s been in our family since 1899, ever since our Head Brewer sketched the old brewery cat whilst waiting for the ale to ferment and it is this greatly-treasured sketch which still survives today. The famous Old Tom cat logo has taken many forms over the years and it’s wonderful to see the new design recognised at an international level.”
Since Old Tom was first brewed back in 1899, it has gone from strength to strength (no, we’re not talking about the 8.5% abv). Still brewed to the original recipe, this illustrative brand has been shapeshifting and evolving for almost 120 years. According to Robinsons, some things get better with age, and so does Old Tom.
Gill continues: “With Old Tom, there's always something to look forward to… something new to discover. It’s versatile and complex. Like a fine wine, Old Tom matures beautifully in the bottle over time. Even over years. And, just like a wine, laying it down for a while can improve the experience. Yet, it’s revered for its flavour. Like a single malt whiskey, Old Tom has been brewed with the connoisseur in mind – it’s a drink that demands appreciation; to be sipped and savoured in quiet contemplation or broken out for those special occasions.”
Old Tom will have little time for a cat nap over the coming months as the beer’s busiest period – Christmas – fast approaches. Keep your eyes peeled for Old Tom, Ginger Tom, and Blonde Tom in a pub, and on a supermarket shelf, near you soon.
Watch ‘the evolution of Old Tom’ video here: