December 24, 2010

The Wide Range of Cantillon Labels.

Hope you all are enjoying Christmas Eve with good food and good beer. Just a quick post today:

Here's some not-particularly-new design by Belgian titan of craft beer, Cantillon:
There are two things I find very funny about this label: 1) What is that flower doing on the right there? 2) If we're standing on the moon, as we appear to be, then is the Apricot in place of Earth, or just a heretofore undiscovered satellite of the moon? Or is it just a deliciously juicy comet-like body passing by?
From the brewery:
Last season, we have made a Lambic in which elder flowers underwent a cold maceration. This Zwanze 2009 was really different from a Lambic made with fruits. This is why I have decided to make it again this year. As I couldn’t call it Zwanze again, however, I had to find an other name. It will be “Mamouche” in honour of our mother, Claude Cantillon. As a matter of fact, this is the name which is given to her by her grand-children. By the way, these grand-children call our father, Jean-Pierre Van Roy “Lou Pepe, after the beers of the same name.”
What did the Zwanze look like?
From the near-omniscient Beersage:
wrote the other day that the beer formerly known as Cantillon Zwanze would be re-packaged as CantillonMamouche and shipped over to the U.S. One problem. The name change does not apply to the U.S. No wonder Shelton Brothers’ rep, Christian Gregory made no reference to the name, “Mamouche!” Apparently, the name change only applies to the 2009 version according to a few folks. In any case, expect to find Zwanze 2010 on shelves in limited quantities at some point.
Just for our purposes: It must be some beer if it can be accurately depicted by fluffy white flowers and by a sign that was hanging in Fred Flintstone's mancave. The lesson: When you're Cantillon, you can get away with these things.

Lastly, the new De La Senne-Cantillon blend:
Uhm. I guess they were trying to cut costs? Or is this a cleverly minimalist design trying to convey the danger and complexity of flavor you are about to experience?

Look, I love Cantillon, and I generally love their design. But it's important to remember that rules are different for a sought-after imported brewery than they are for a new domestic startup looking to fight for shelf- and mind-space. Cantillon (or their importers, Shelton Brothers) can mess around sometimes because they've done such a good job building the brand to the point where they could shove anything on the label and it would sell.

Even then, I find the sense of humor and perspective these decisions display to be refreshing and charming. It's tough not to like Cantillon.

1 comment:

  1. No offense to Cantillon, their beers are amazing, but these labels look like the work of homebrewers.