November 18, 2011

Best and Worst Beer Art of the Last Two Weeks, and Help Lew Bryson Get a Show

I was out in the woods (literally), and limited Internet access cost me a week of blogging and my chance in Jay Brooks' survival league.

But art!

First, check out this wonderful installation piece done by Red Stripe and a Japanese sound artist Yuri Suzuki:

According to PSFK,
Inspired by the resourcefulness of Reggae musicians, the Japanese artist set about creating a sound sculpture using thousands of collected Red Stripe cans. Working alongside Australian designer/illustrator and maker Mathew Kneebone, Suzuki turned 5,000 cans into a fully-functioning sound system. London DJ/mixer/masher Al Fingers and singer/songwriter Gappy Ranks then teamed up to create music on the sculpture.
You can also find a nice video of the process on PSFK's site.

More good beer art? Well, okay. From Smuttynose, we have the Satchmo:

As you can see, it's brewed with mushrooms (?) and aged on oak. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but I like the brown gradient with the label-maker text. It's ever-so-slightly off-center, with a little extra on the right side, and a fairly adorable little squirrel (?) on top. It conveys an earthiness without seeming dirty, which is what I'd want for an oaked mushroom beer.

On the negative side, we have, well, this:
Lew Bryson, to whom we shall return in a moment, has a lovely takedown on this new product, which is a high-abv version of Bud Light, and is marketed as "craft beer" and a "trendy blue-bottle line extension."

First: No, it's not.

Let's not even address the idea that craft drinkers will like this. Instead, let's focus on the idea that this is a marketing triumph.

Blue is not particularly trendy. It's a color, and this shade isn't terrible, I guess. The "Platinum" font is contemporary and could be the same as that on a lit sign of the coolest club in town five years ago. The halo around the platinum (aka gray) vertical bar is kind of exciting, in a strip joint sort of way (and I thought that before Lew wrote that the element itself resembles a stripper pole, an image which I can not now unsee). The use of the awful Bud Light logo at the top totally ruins any chance of this label looking anything like the sleek, modern appearance for which they are shooting. Instead, it looks trashy, and more designed to compete with malt liquor 40s than the craft segment.

Some notes:
As promised, we return to Mr. Bryson. Clearly, someone thought that what my life needed was one more project to champion on Kickstart. So he's trying to make a TV show, and the pilot/teaser appears to be the Stoudts. The aforementioned Jay Brooks even created an epic work of art to show what Lew's success would make him to the beer blogging world:
Speaking of images I can't unsee...

Now, I know what some of you are thinking: "Bryson? Isn't he that irresponsible, anti-government, big-beer-hating, alcohol bigamist with too many blogs?" 

And the answer is yes. But I think we can all come together and agree that Carol Stoudt needs to be more heralded, and this seems like a great way to do that. Also, he's wished me happy birthday on Facebook for two years straight! 

So go kick some money at Lew's project. There's a recession on, and people need to be told about good beer.

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