December 7, 2011

Best Beer Art of 2011: A Call For Nominations

Friends, sorry for the week off from best/worst, but things are happening fast. Lots of news and links below, but I wanted to make sure I put out a call for your nominations for the best and worst beer art of 2011. As you may remember, last year we had three winners, all very different.

Here are the criteria:

  1. The art must have been designed and released in 2011. 
  2. It must be by a USA craft brewery.
  3. 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.

A new one by 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.

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.

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