Following our previous blogs introducing the designers behind BRÚ’s new look, we thought it was time to conduct a deep-dive into the beautiful illustrations behind our labels, explaining the story and symbolism behind each one.
To celebrate Irish culture, we’ve linked each of our BRÚ Core beers with a specific Celtic god as a nod to the past, a celebration of traditional beer styles and to integrate our proud Irish identity into our products.
Our core BRÚ IPA celebrates the Celtic primordial goddess of nature, Ana (also known as Danu), who is associated with agriculture, prosperity, wind, wisdom, fertility, death and regeneration. She is an earth-goddess who represents the spirituality of nature and is mother of the Irish gods.
Ana is connected to the colours green of earth, white silver for wisdom and blue for water. She is often depicted in a body of water (a river), so we chose blue for our IPA label to signify the importance of water in the brewing process and for sustaining life.
hanna/ danu myth
Her names include Danu, Annan, Anand, Morrígu, and Anu. She is the most ancient Celtic goddess, first mentioned in the Irish Lebor Gabala (the “Book of Invasions”), dated about 1,000 CE. Referred to as “queen of the fertile land”, she was an influential figure in Ireland, Britain and Europe during the Celtic era, but little is known about her today. Because of this, there is some uncertainty whether she is a goddess in her own right (Ana), or is an alternative to Danu, but it is implied by a number of sources that they are the same deity.
It’s believed that she was a beautiful woman, creator of the Tuatha Dé Danann, which was the first tribe to invade Ireland (with the Dagda as its leader). When the Christians arrived, she became Saint Anne.
The river Danube is named after Danu, referring to her relationship to the seas, springs and nature, her magic of transformation, abundance and wisdom. The twin hills Paps of Anu (the breast of Anu) in County Kerry are also named after the goddess; they were believed to be a beautiful expression of the goddess’ fertility by the ancient people there who worshipped her. It’s very likely that the name of the river Liffey (meaning ‘“life”), was also derived from the goddess.
The myth says that Danu was also one of the three War Goddesses. This trinity of goddesses was a powerful combination, making the number three highly significant in Celtic religion. The three goddesses could shift into ravens, who are a common symbol of death, prophecy and messengers in mythology. Danu could also shift into numerous animals to ensure that animals were being treated with respect.
Danu provides the wisdom of living in balance with the Earth, endorsing the important connection between us and nature and valuing the richness of life. Always trying to protect her children, she rules over chaos and transformation to restore balance to the Earth. She is the power over the lands and a strong feminine and maternal symbol.
Because of her association with nature and agriculture, Anna Danu was the perfect muse for our BRÚ Core IPA. Agriculture is crucial to brewing, where we rely upon the abundance of nature to grow the barley and hops, help proliferate the yeast and keep the waters flowing that go into our beers.
We’re excited to spread her mythology to our drinkers in Ireland and further overseas.
Celebrate nature and its abundance with a delicious BRÚ IPA!