Mini Cornhole

In my day, I have made fun of the ubiquitous cornhole you see a brewery taprooms and a time festivals but I also love creativity, so Drakes gets a thumbs up for their imaginative use of their six-pack holder…

The Crushies

The first ever Craft Beer Marketing Awards will be held next year. The CBMA awards (aka The Crushies) will honor achivements in 30 categories starting with breweries and extending out to designers, marketing and Social media.

Here are some of the categories that will be judged:

Best Can, Best Tap Handle Design, Best Original Video, Best Merchandise Design, Best Use of Social Media and Best Website Design.

It will be interesting to see which L.A. breweries can garner awards.

Garage Art

One of the reliably long lined station at FWIBF is that of Garage Project and one reason is their creativity. That will be showcased in a new book coming mid-year called The Art of Beer. According to the brewery it has “Over 100 beers and their art are collected in this book. Here are original sketches and finished art for the beers you love to love, from Pils’n’Thrills to Aro Noir to BEER beer, with insights into the creative process and talented people who made them – and the stories and inspiration behind the brewery and the beers…”

Could be a great Christmas present for the beer fan on your list.

Extra El Segundo

Next month, the Equipped Brewer will be running a post I penned about labels. For that piece, I asked a couple people about label choices and art. One of which was the ever gracious Tom Kelly at El Segundo Brewing.

Even though I asked only a couple specific questions, I still had some leftover material that I think is cool to know. So instead of wasting it, here is some bonus content……

2. How do you incorporate a larger than life (literally) figure like Steve Austin into a beer label?

Well… our first thought was – Put his face on it! He quickly shot that down. Steve is really in the business of sort of re-branding himself with the Broken Skull image, which is also the name of his ranch outside of Austin. On the first iteration of the label we had a silouttte of Texas around the UPC but that was shot down by TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau) because it was confusing as to the origin of the product. We tried to stay true to his image, but keep it somewhere within our brand family. If you look at the label, you’ll see its our same die cut, and our logo is up top, but the colors are like a dusty Texas road.

3. How hard is it to come up with a new label?

Sometimes, their easy. For us at least. They are always a lot of work on the designer. Sometimes they take quite a bit of working out. We have a good working relationship with our designer Joe Natoli over at Boiling Point and he has a lot of patience for us, as we make changes etc. Citra – easy.. cool title font, and a hop. Hammerland and Grand Hill – bit more difficult, a lot of back and forth.

Beer Book Review – Oh Beautiful Beer!

Oh Beautiful Beer by Harvey Shepard is a fitting title for the excellent design on the pages inside. Each and every page has a very well executed design on a bottle label, on the bottle itself or on a can.

The main strength of the book is the hardest. Which labels to pick and which do not make the cut, surprisingly, there are many pages of beers that I either never drunk or have never heard of before. I appreciated that many of the examples were from outside of the US. Beer geeks get a little too U.S. centered at times and it is refreshing to see how design and packaging is done out of our little bubble.

This type of book lives and dies on the photography and layout. On this aspect, Shephard has fully delivered. The photos are crisp and clear and take in all the angles of this 3D art form.

I do wish that the book was bigger. That is probably an economic choice but even after lingering on the many details of certain pages, I was done with the book far too quickly. If more photos could not be included, I would have liked to see more opinion and discussion of each label. My biggest letdown in the book was that there would be a two page spread of a really interesting design and no words about it other than the design house.

I would like to also have seen a little bit of information on the governmental restrictions of labels and how design can be used to overcome regulatory handcuffs.

If you want to see if you like the book before purchasing, you should check out Shepard’s blog from whence this book sprang.

Craft Beer clothing

Do you need a cool beer t-shirt to go with the great craft beer in your hand?

Then check out the craft beer clothing website to see some imaginative designs.

Oh and here is what they say about themselves…
“This website was created to sell clothing just for craft beer enthusiasts. Craft beer is about flavor, color, complexity – it is an art to the thousands of brewers in the world. So, we decided to design a clothing line worthy of the craft beer industry’s passion for good beer. We will have new designs once these sell out, so tell your friends and help us spread the word!”