This is a good thing for the craft movement, and it helps that our beer industry is more focused on actual things, and less focused on busty lifeguards, referees, or whatever it is the macros have decided constitutes "marketing" this week.
But we are hardly blameless. Every now and then, I go on a bit of a tirade about how lazy designers at lazy breweries use sexily depicted ladies as some type of personification of their beer. I have said I think this plays to a frathouse element that is at best limiting one's appeal and at worst doing damage to craft beer as a whole.
And here are some examples of what I am talking about:
Every year, Bridgeport Brewing brews a beer called the Stumptown Tart, and puts on it some type of scantily clad pin-up woman in a color that implies the flavor of the beer.
What's that? You're unaware of more sexual innuendo?
Seriously, stop it. Your designer, Barret Thomson, is talented. Don't squander good work on a cheap joke.
Then there's the whole she-devil thing:
Trade Route Brewing Company because it displays less talent than normal, but there are lots of breweries that use the devil-chick motif. It's not even that it's always bad. Look at Rapscallion Brewery's:
But this is overdone, okay? We've had enough. Putting flames on your label, horns over boobs, and using the word "bitch" in red font is the epitome of lazy marketing. Do better.
Then, we have mermaids.
Now, of course, all things can be done well.
And the Smuttynose Star Island Single is a great example of how to use photography and fantastic themes together to create good art.
|Admit it, this is pretty cool.|
I call for a moratorium on all of these things, along with the freshman year Halloween parade of "sexy" angels, and the much-addressed blondes-as-blondes idea, which is so lazy it refuses to use a synonym. Before we can have any more of this rote, mindless marketing, I say we must see the following things on craft beer labels:
- A fat devil (male or female)
- A merman (photographed or drawn, but without a trident. Poseidon definitely doesn't count)
- A female figure with glasses and a book (no, I do not mean a "naughty librarian")
- Scantily clad men clearly designed to be manwhores, illustrating your beer's loose morals and willingness to bend the rules
- Any IPA or Imperial Stout marketed primarily with the color pink
- A lack of the word "sassy," "naughty," "playful," or "teasing" on any label for an entire year
When all that has happened, perhaps naked-she-devil-prostitute-mermaids will be new again. Or perhaps enough time will have passed that people will realize they can do better. Either way, some time off can't hurt any of us.