December 30, 2010

Some Quick Pennsylvania Brewery Label Art Updates

I'll get in a few quick PA brewery labels before tomorrow's "Best of 2011" post.

First, a while back Victory changed the name and art of their "Yakima Twilight" to "Yakima Glory":
From Beersage:  
Victory Brewing has changed the name of Yakima Twilight to Yakima Glory. From what we’ve seen over the past year, there’s normally a second brewery (and lots of contention) involved in these things. The brewery won’t say what’s behind the change though I believe (I’m speculating) that this case is no different from the others. A quick search through the TESS database shows that Deschutes Brewery has a trademark for Twilight Ale. Coincidence? Whatever led to the change, it looks like things were resolved behind quietly behind closed doors. More importantly, regardless of what the label says, the beer will be in stores in November.
What he said. Intellectual property is a bigger and bigger deal in craft beer, and it looks like this one was resolved amicably (if there was actually a dispute). I'm sure I'll have a lot more of this stuff to write about next year.

The label didn't change except for the name, but since we're looking at it: Typically excellent design by Victory. Radiating complementary waves around a hop, with smooth green outlines. Lots of movement, but everything's easy to read and the label suggests the soft, strong malty character of the beer.

More victory, this time with the barrel-aged version of their Storm King Stout, the Dark Intrigue:
Okay, less excellent. Look, I get that they want to show that it's the same beer, only with bourbon barrel aging, but this is a bit lazy design-wise. Not that Victory is the only brewery guilty of the "let's just add a barrel to the label art" school of thought. First off, putting a beer in a bourbon barrel changes the flavor enough that it is a different beer. Don't believe me? Try Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot and then try their Insanity. Same beer out of the fermenter, very different by the time you get it, and so very different artwork is justified. If you really think it's not that different, then go the route of breweries like Founders and just add "Kentucky" or "Bourbon" to the name and add a stamp or change the color of the label. But if the beer is different enough to change the name, then change its visual identity as well by doing more than adding a barrel outline.

Okay, last one is Troegs Perpetual IPA, via Jack Curtin:
And it's typically excellent design by Troegs. Bright colors, weird green tendrils, a pinch of Rube Goldberg to suggest all of the weird work going into the beer, and one gets a nice label. Although those gears remind me a little of the new Dogfish stuff:
Maybe next year will be the year Steampunk design takes over craft beer. I'm thirsty and geeking out just thinking about it.

Til tomorrow...

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