11th March 2024

Kirkstall Brewery is launching a rebrand of its core range, beginning with its flagship Virtuous Session IPA. The new branding also includes new glassware, bar runners, T-shirts and drip mats for retailers.

Since its initial release in 2017, Kirkstall’s 4.5% Session IPA Virtuous has become one of the most well-loved craft beer brands in the north of England, and the brewery expects that the brand’s new look for 2024 will help future growth on draught and in cans.

Chris Hall, Kirkstall Brewery’s Brand Manager, said “The time has come to update the Virtuous brand to match its status, unofficially, as Leeds’ favourite Session IPA. Virtuous is our flagship beer, and the natural choice to lead the rebranding of our core range this year.”

Jolt Design was enlisted to work with Kirkstall’s marketing team to create the new brand identity for Virtuous, which will extend to a new look for the rest of Kirkstall’s keg and can range, including Judicious and Flamango.

This is the first significant update to Kirkstall’s brand identity for several years. However, Kirkstall have been clear that this is the only thing about Virtuous that will be changing – the award-winning recipe and its vegan-friendly and gluten-free status will remain unaltered.

“Referencing our region’s monastic brewing past has been part of Kirkstall Brewery’s identity since 2011,” said Hall. “The name Virtuous has always spoken to the brand’s values of wholesomeness, quality and consistency. It has been a reliably delicious and dependable beer during times of great change – hence the steadfast loyalty the brand enjoys in Leeds and beyond.”

As well as on can labels and font badges, new materials like tap handles and bar runners will also carry the new branding. A new “full-wrap” design pint glass will also be making its debut.

The new branding’s interweaving hop pattern and textural depth has been designed to reflect the natural simplicity and complexity of a great pint of beer – acknowledging its agricultural origin and the importance of it being enjoyed fresh.

Hall adds: “With core range beers, it’s all too common to see a reduction of identity as it gains market share – in other words, they often become less interesting as they become more popular. With Virtuous, we wanted to take the opposite approach: bring something truly special to the our best-selling beer, and give the brand a well-earned facelift as thanks for helping get us where we are today!”

Drinkers can expect to see the new branding roll out over the coming weeks, starting from Friday 8th March.


About Kirkstall Brewery

Kirkstall Brewery continues a legacy of brewing left by the Cistercian monks of Kirkstall Abbey and the Kirkstall Brewery Company of 1833-1983. Kirkstall’s own beginnings as Vertical Drinks, importing the likes of Sierra Nevada, Odell and Stone since 2003, allowed them to learn from the masters before starting their own brewery in 2011.

Alongside its most famous beers, such as Virtuous Session IPA and Three Swords Extra Pale, Kirkstall also brews a series of Prize Ales exploring the brewery’s rich history, including some recipes that are over 130 years old.

Including the Taproom & Kitchen at the brewery itself, Kirkstall currently has seven award-winning pubs across Leeds and West Yorkshire, including the historic Kirkstall Bridge Inn, the Grade II-listed Cardigan Arms and The Three Swords in Horsforth.

In December 2022, Kirkstall acquired the Leeds Brewery brand. In January 2024, Kirkstall announced a new joint venture to take on the The Victoria Hotel with the team behind Whitelock’s Ale House. Later that month, owner and founder Steve Holt acquired North, along with its Springwell, Leeds and Manchester Taprooms.


About Virtuous

Virtuous is Kirkstall Brewery’s award-winning 4.5% Session IPA, which is vegan-friendly and certified gluten free. As Kirkstall’s best-selling beer, it features on the bars and shelves of great beer retailers across Leeds, the north of England and beyond.

Using Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops, Virtuous has notes of tropical fruit, pine and citrus.

Virtuous is available on draught in 30L and 50L kegs, as well as in 330ml and 440ml cans.