Here are the criteria:
- The art must have been designed and released in 2011.
- It must be by a USA craft brewery.
- If I haven't posted it on this blog, let me know soon so I can post it.
Leave me a comment, tweet, Facebook message or some other communique with your nominations and suggestions.
Art:Boulevard and artist Payton Kelly is a nice text-based label that fits their other labels well as far as tone and theme. The winning elements here are the smooth, deep colors and the 60s Nouveau revival decorative elements. Note how the stars are clustered up at the top and then diffuse toward the bottom, giving the impression of falling.
Ale Industries, of Concord, CA, released this trippy label some time back. Obviously a play on Pied Piper, here the Rye'd Piper lures adorable little dancing hops to their death in a boiling kettle of wort. Color-wise, the bright green contrasts with the red and orange sky. At first, I didn't like the music notes getting tangled with the text, but on review, I think it's a nice way of tangling the image together.
- An absolute must-read piece by Adam Nason on the future of beer through the eyes of MillerCoors' Tenth and Blake. It's smart, sensitive to trends, and views alliances with craft brewers as an important part of their strategy. Contrast this with ABI, and it's easy to see why MillerCoors has been more successful in the craft segment.
- In a lovely present for the Eastern PA beer world, the Fegleys and Troegs have settled their dispute over the word "elf." No details are being disclosed, but it's usually some type of licensing agreement, where someone retains rights to the word but guarantees use to the other party for basically free forever. If someone is really interested into who kept what, they can launch a beer called Mad Rude Elf and see who sends them a C&D.
- A town in California wants you to start your brewery there.
- Go to CraftCans and vote for the best canned beers of the year. My vote for best design, since I know you were wondering, was 21st Amendment's Allies Win the War. See more of Joe Wilson and TBD's great design for 21A here.
- Check out the pictures from Eric Steen and company's Eat Art event at Performa in NYC.
- Beck's will be using the Andy Warhol "fright wig" on its labels.
- Nice stories on
- Asheville Brewing starting to can (Citizen-Times)
- The craft beer boom in Arizona (KTAR)
- New Belgium trying to stay indie while continuing to grow (BusinessWeek)
Including this quote:
Inevitably, Big Beer took notice of Jordan and her fellow microbrewers. In the mid-Nineties, Miller created Red Dog. Anheuser-Busch introduced its own faux craft beers, such as Elk Mountain Amber Ale. These brews failed, in large part because of internal resistance. “You have a lot of people who said, ‘Bud Light put my kids though college. I’m not selling this stuff,’ ” recalls Lew Bryson, a veteran beer writer. At the same time, many craft brewers succumbed to self-inflicted wounds. Between 1990 and 1995, the number of small breweries tripled. Beer sat on the shelves and spoiled. In 1996,Consumer Reports found that many craft beers were “sulfry” tasting, and plenty of beer drinkers agreed.First, a gentle reminder that you can help Lew Bryson avoid the humiliation of being referred to as a "veteran beer writer," and instead be referred to in the future as "television beer celebrity" or "international beer superstar" by supporting his tv show on Kickstarter.
Second, it's another reminder of how much harder the beer world has gotten. Clearly the big beer folk have changed their mind (see Tenth and Blake story above, and they are also quoted in the BW story), and those bad craft beers would lead to very quick failure today. It's a brave new world, beerfriends.