CASTLE FREE: South Africa’s Official Guilt-free Beer

Castle Free - Guilt Free Beer - Shift Design Agency - Impact By DesignSA ranks in the WHO top six countries worldwide for alcohol consumption, per drinker. Binge drinking by night, turns to regret by day, turns to binge drinking by night. It’s a guilty cycle that our nation desperately needs to navigate its way out of.

But SAB’s Castle Free, in partnership with SHIFT and Joe Public, is proud to present a brand new innovation to help SA’s drinkers to pace themselves through marathon party weekends, responsibly.

Imagine walking into your favourite pub or tavern, only to be confronted with a dazzling set of church-style stained-glass windows next to the bar. Now imagine your surprise to see this age-old craft, traditionally used to teach moral lessons, exquisitely extolling the virtues of BEER.

But this in no ordinary brew. With 0.0% alcohol – and therefore 0,0% regret – Castle Free has proclaimed itself SA’s first official guilt-free beer: an equally exquisitely-crafted lager, delivering a premium beer alternative to help transform taverns from veritable dens of regret into phuza-faceless party spots.

Each stained-glass window presents a striking illustration of either a Castle Free bottle or glass of beer, featuring its claim to fame: ‘THE GUILT-FREE BEER’ emblazoned below.

‘The idea behind Castle Free is that people can use it to pace themselves between or after regular alcohol content beers, so they can keep having a good time without the regret that comes from overdoing it,’ says Wendy Bedforth, Castle Free Brand Manager, SAB. Vice President of Marketing, Vaughan Croeser, adds, ‘We always advocate for responsible drinking, and we see our latest project as a bold media innovation that pushes the boundaries of point of purchase advertising in a way that helps people see beer in a new light.’

‘To break through the clutter, we looked for a fresh approach to ambient media that disrupts people’s behaviour,’ says Simone Rossum, Executive Creative Director of SHIFT Design Agency. ‘The use of stained-glass windows as ‘posters’ aligns to our own purpose of driving a positive impact – by guiding people to better choices, right at the key decision-making moment. By engaging in talks with tavern owners, we hope to install the stained-glass windows either on a temporary or permanent basis, site dependent, in popular pubs across the country.’

The SHIFT/Joe Public team, spearheaded by Rossum and Creative Director Christo Krüger, conceptualised and designed the windows, in turn hand-crafted by a team of experts headed by renowned stained-glass artist, Elzabe Heine.

In this way, an innovative new communication medium was created to convey an unexpected and attention-grabbing message – ultimately lighting the way for people to enjoy a regret-free weekend with South Africa’s first official guilt-free beer.

Cheers to that, we say. As many times as you like.

Twitter: @SABreweries
Facebook: @SouthAfricanBreweries
YouTube: SA Breweries @SABLimited


Brand: AB InBev SAB: Castle Free
Vice President: Marketing: Vaughan Croeser
Brand Manager: Wendy Bedforth
Agency: SHIFT/Joe Public
Group Chief Creative Officer: Pepe Marais
Chief Creative Officer: Xolisa Dyeshana
Executive Creative Director: Simone Rossum
Creative Director: Christo Krüger
Design & Production: The Cutting Edge, Elzabe Heine, Rollset CC
Art Director/Designer: Mokoena Kobeli, Nicola Spurdle
Illustrator: Mokoena Kobeli
Creative Business Director: Amber Mackeurtan
Group Account Director: Jeanne Rosenberg
Consultant Director: Abigail Sizaliyo
Senior Consultant: Neela Bamberger
Agency Producer: Manuel Cardoso Lopes, Belinda Shea, Tammy Chetty
Copywriter: Claudette Browne Storrar, Michelle McKenna