August 25, 2016
Inspiration is Everywhere: Art Surrounds Beer, Part 2
By Lance Lemen
Welcome back for part two! I hope you’ve found some inspiration since my first post, whether it came while pouring a refreshing beverage or not. Quick recap – beer is delicious and its packaging can be beautiful. The 360 degrees of space containing the beer is a chance for the brewery to leave an impression whether it’s telling a story, having some clever fun or just showing off some stunning artwork.
So, with that, here are four more of my favorite labels. I’ll let you think about the category each falls into.
Beer Hates Astronauts IPA
by Half Acre Beer Company, Illinois
My last post had some great illustrations; we’ll add another one with Beer Hates Astronauts. In fact, this beer was created in partnership with comic book artist Ryan Browne. Inspired (beer does it again!) by Browne’s God Hates Astronauts comic, Half Acre reached out to him for label artwork. The result is a literal explosion of very unique characters and an immediate desire to read the funky comic. Everyone wins–especially the drinker!
Hell or High Watermelon Wheat
By 21st Amendment Brewery, California
How about another illustrated great can entry, along with some ironic humor? Here we have the Statue of Liberty taking a little break on the Golden Gate Bridge, next to a watermelon-filled barge. I’ll let 21st Amendment’s description of the beer take it from here. “Like Lady Liberty, we stand for independence and perseverance. In the pursuit of innovative beer, there is no obstacle too great. No journey too long. No fruit too gigantic.”
If you’d like to read more about 21st Amendment’s unique label designs and see an early sketch of this can, check out an interview with one of the founders.
Sriracha Hot Stout
By Rogue Ales, Oregon
This might not be the most creative entry, or maybe it is. This label will look very familiar to most of you. I like the simplicity of the design, but since this beer is made with (you guessed it) Huy Fong’s Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, it’s simply brilliant. The 22 oz. bottle follows every detail of the Sriracha sauce label, from the red painted glass to the green bottle cap. Even the brewery’s contact information is located at the bottom of the bottle. However, be sure to note that the sauce’s “Shake Well” instruction has been changed to “Don’t Shake!” I don’t think I need to explain why.
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)
By Pabst Brewing Company, California
Saving a classic label for last. PBR gives reverence to their beer can style with the bold red stripe, large blue ribbon and script font for the description. This iconic label alone is enough to get it on my list, however PBR didn’t stop there. Recognizing the brand’s popularity with the millennial and hipster communities, artists are invited to create their own take on the PBR label. Last year’s winner (not pictured) was featured on limited run of 6 million 16-ounce tall boys.
If these PBR cans are inspiring you, be sure to check out PBRArt–the annual competition where someone’s design will be featured on actual cans. (It’s open for entries now, by the way!) I recommend at least checking PBRArt out for the amazing variety of design styles and all of the creativity this beer has inspired.
Now that you’re feeling inspired (and thirsty!) which of these beer labels are your favorite? Which did I completely miss? As it goes in the beer community, sharing is caring so don’t hesitate to include other inspirational labels.
And, if you’d like to know if the beer tastes are equally as great as the designs, you’ll have to ask... preferably over a beer. Cheers!