1 Star

I cannot imagine this is the first label that takes reviews and adds them to the can….

Three Magnets has dropped the mic on those who don’t understand Kolsch with 1 Cap. I imagine that those with the bad reviews probably don’t even understand that they are being burned. But then they did order a Kolsch and wonder about the hops.

Brut Magic, Brut Science


The Brouwerij West label design team gets another five-star rating from me. Pairing up with artist BEGZ and the designers at Varnish, the Science Magic Brut IPA is sure to make Jim Gaffigan’s head spin. I bet there is someone out in beer land that has collected all the cans so far from BW. That would be quite the art exhibit.

200 Years in the US


Has it been that long? Not that I was here for all of it but if Guinness says they have been sending us their fine Irish stout for 200 years, then I will believe them. It would have been cool to see the Toucans flying above other American landmarks like the Grand Canyon or the Space Needle, or even the Hollywood Sign, dare I say.

Cheers to the next 200!

Label Review – Fun Light from Noble Ale Works

Not much Noble Ale Works beer makes its way north to Glendale, more canning resources shifted over to the 16oz IPA’s. Though, I must admit that the names are as funny as every.

Speaking of fun, the new can design for their new cream ale is quite good, ditching the hop face creepiness of their hop bombs and instead going for a 1/2 regal and 1/2 Industrial lager look to them. I would have added a little royal purple to the shadow of the word fun to break up the gold but I like the flow of the lines from back to front of the can.

Baja Rebrand


The Donkey is taking center stage as Baja Brewing (friends of the blog) have done the ten year refresh of their label design. Now the donkey will be walking after a beer on all the labels and not just the Cabotella.

Looks good, and I do hope to see more of their beers (with reservations about the raspberry) around L.A.

Hawaiian Re-Brand

Looks like the re-brand bug is more infectious than Zika. Maui Brewing is now unveiling a new look to their cans and while they are cleaner and easier to read, they seem much more generic now. Less Island and more about color coordination.
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I like the band across the neck of the can and the easy to find ounces and ABV area near the bottom but instead of a generic whirly pattern, I would have kept the logos and designs of the beers already there so that people could see what they have bought before and not have to stop and think about it.

Thumbs down from this blogger.

Design Weisse

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Mikkeller designs for labels and cans are distinctive. I’m not a big fan of the be-hatted person who graces many of the labels but that is a stylistic difference.

But I am onboard with the new Warhol-ian influenced look of the fruite Berliner Weisse series that they have started up. Almost has a jackpot-casino vibe as well that is cool. The made famous by non-German, very much Irish Kennedy phrasing of “I am a Berliner” is unneeded but the name tag Hallo is quite cool and fits the can well.

The next step being how the beer tastes.

Draw the Label

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I have never been a huge fan of the painted on bottle look from AleSmith (I would describe it as plain and utilitarian) and now if I had any (I mean any) art skills I could do something about it. But maybe someone out in craft beer land will and enter the Evil Dead Red Ale Bottle Art Contest.

Evil Dead Red Ale is an iconic beer on shelves and conjures up all sorts of Halloween imagery and I will be hoping to see not only the winning choice but also the runners-up too to see if I agree with which art makes it on the label.

Artists may submit as many entries as they like to creative@alesmith.com from April 8 to May 9. Check out the AleSmith website for all the rules and regulations.

Submission Period: April 8-May 9, 2016
Winner Announcement: During American Craft Beer Week, May 16-22, 2016

Tip of the Design hat…

It is one thing to design a cool label. But to use three different elements to tie one entire bottle together is a great design and one that get me to look at it on a crowded shelf. The individual beer labels have bold colors that play well against the orange logo and then the protective seal makes the whole shebang look classy and the addition of the risque names really ties it all together.

Kudos to Sound Brewery (where I snagged this photo from) for a great bottle look.