April 30, 2010

Three New Labels

A few new beer label approvals, all courtesy of  beernews.org.

First Up: The Karl Strauss Whistler Imperial Pils
That writing on the right says: “The piercing howl of the SD#1 Whistler Buoy echoes for miles, hailing ships of rocky shores ahead. Like its namesake, Whistler Imperial Pils warns and welcomes at the same time. The grassy and floral bitterness of Saaz hops warns this is no ordinary pilsner, while authentic Moravian malts provide a toasted malt balance that welcomes another sip.”

This image keeps with Karl Strauss' simple, American Realist style, using a beacon and one-color palate on the natural-toned label paper. Very much in keeping with the style of the brewery. The fade out of the red over the sea gives a nice, ominous feeling to the sea, accentuated by the rings representing the warning signal.

The 7.5% ABV Whistler will be the second beer in the Coastal Reserve Series, joining the Hokusai-influenced the Big Barrel Double IPA:
I know everyone likes the Hokusai image, and it's one of those prints that's on dorm room walls everywhere, but sometimes there's a reason we make a big deal out of artwork. In the case of Hokusai, he was really that good, so I'm all about homages.

Okay, onto Odell's St. Lupulin XPA:

From the beernews release: "Lupulin (loop-you-lin) is the yellow resin in a hop cone that contains extraordinary oils that create flavor and aroma. The name St. Lupulin was inspired by a mystical legend of the archetypal hophead who devoted endless summers tending to endless rows of hops and their flowers."

I love it when breweries come up with backstories for the figures on their beers. Some take this to an extreme (like Ska, who bases their entire art story on an unwritten comic book), but even small stories are awesome. In the case of this artwork, they've clearly delved into the traditional Irish legend and hagiographic work, like that found in illuminated manuscripts or fantasy paintings. Here's your fun fact of the day: One of the more respected fantasy artists of the 19th century was Charles Altamont Doyle, father of Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle:
See the resemblance in theme and composition? The Odell label updates the ideas nicely while keeping the simplicity and tone of the classic pieces.

Lastly, I wanted to link the Central Waters Illumination Double IPA:
I rant often about the (over)use of hops in beer labels, but for some reason I like this. I think it's a combination of the color scheme, with the green, brown and then yellow lettering, and the intense light on the hop from a specific origin. The way the artist used the intense light source to create bright washout in the front and a dark, shadowed part of the hop on the back works for me. Maybe it's also because it meshes with the name. Am I crazy on this one?


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