Crafting Beer Labels
The bare shoulder and neck of what we assume is a human woman is sketched in pencil. The lines vary in shade and weight like they’re drawn from shadows. Where the neck meets the face, a skeletal jaw emerges, the teeth all wrong like they were ripped from something that hunts the dark forest. The upper teeth are human, and above them, the hollow eye sockets of a skull that nonetheless seem to stare straight into us.
And it’s here the nightmare really begins. Massive branches of a great tree split from the top of the skull like an antler rack, too heavy for the neck but held up by a hidden, infernal strength, stretching their limbs and fingers into the fog. Looking closer, the creature’s own arms bear a faint pattern of bark, the entire thing some alchemy of primeval nature and inchoate humanity stalking the landscape of our dreams.
As the first anniversary of COVID-19 hijacking everything as we knew it laps us, City Built Brewing Company, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reflect back on their risky, yet well-executed homage to Hip-Hop duo, Run the Jewels, which otherwise could’ve easily tanked them in legal hot water.
Okay, so what had happened was…
For old-school craft beer drinkers, Pyramid Brewing, with its iconic label featuring a double pyramid and evoking the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, is one of the tried and true originals. For many, their Hefeweizen, Wheaten, Apricot Ale or Outburst Imperial IPA was the gateway to quality craft beer. The times have changed, but the quality of Pyramid’s beer hasn’t.
It’s no secret on this site that I’m a fan of Fair State Brewing Cooperative. Whether classic styles like their Pils or Hefeweizen, their famous Roselle kettle sour or their beautiful hazy creations like Spirit Foul and Mirror Universe, the Minneapolis cooperative cranks out some of the best in the area.
But as much as I appreciate the beer coming out of Fair State, I always admire what’s outside the can. To celebrate Beer Can Appreciation Day, let’s take a deeper dive into Fair State’s label art.
You’re probably the fanatic that clicked refresh 1977 times in order to be the first to purchase tickets for Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker. You’ve concocted the wildest theories ranging from R2D2 actually being a Sith Lord, to the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda being Rey’s parents.
As one of the most iconic movies of all time, it’s clear to see how Star Wars has inspired countless numbers of brewers to pay homage to this epic saga that took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….
The Force is strong with these Star Wars Themed Beers. In honor of tomorrow’s epic conclusion with the release of Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker, we’ve updated our roundup of Star Wars beers… just don’t try to drink them all at once. I have a bad feeling about this…
After an incredibly successful release on Black Friday eve of their latest barrel-aged beer, Du Hast Cake (and other delicious beers), Wiley Roots Brewing Co. is following it up with yet another fun, creative release. The Greeley local will not only be releasing nine new beers on Friday, December 13, but one of the beers will include a special mixed six-pack that creates a board game from the labels of each individual beer can.
We all know the cliché, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” In theory, that advice can be applied to beer as well but yet, we all ignore that saying. In reality, the cover (or in the beer industry, the label) is what sells the first can or bottle, while the contents sell the following case and create loyalty. It would be foolish to think the package doesn’t matter. The design wrapped around the liquid tells the story of the product and the company.
Stories are the foundation of human experience and connection and Portland, ME based artist Heidi Geist has quite the story. She is in the midst of a cross-country endeavor to explore and experience the American craft beer culture through label art. I had a great conversation with her about the 48 Beer Project, how it got started, what she is experiencing and the works she creates.
The saddest day of my entire beer-loving life arrived last spring when I opened the door of my old college dorm room beer fridge, and out came my only remaining bottle of 4 Hands Brewing Absence Of Light ’17. In slow motion, the bottle teetered out of the fridge, falling to its death just six inches below. I moved as fast as possible, but I could not catch the neck from slamming into the concrete floor, causing the glass to shatter, ejecting the brown, frothy goodness directly into laundry drain. The scent of Peanut Butter Stout wafted into the air as I stared down at the brown liquid disappearing into the abyss. It was a sad day. Needless to say, I replaced that fridge. But, I was afraid I could never replace that beer — until now.
In just over four years of operation, Broomfield’s 4 Noses Brewing has grown to become one of Colorado’s fastest rising young breweries, and last year announced full distribution throughout the state through distributor Elite Brands. The family-run brewery has already undergone a series of more subtle branding updates, but are now embarking on their most significant brand refresh to-date. We caught up with Marketing Manager Stacey McMahan to discuss what went into the updated can label designs.
When it came time for Yellow Springs Brewery in western Ohio to redesign their logo and cans, they wanted designs that would express both the experimental freedom of the brewery and the intricate, complex precision with which master brewer Jeffrey McElfresh crafts their excellent range of beers.
It’s the age old question – “which came first the beer or the label?”
The mystery that is this question takes a turn when it comes to Schlafly’s newest twist on its popular Hefeweizen. This week I got a first taste …