For example, Just Beer had a couple new labels. The Horseneck is, I believe, actually a tweak of an earlier label:
(ed. I originally forgot to add these two labels, which I just like for simple cleverness and use of text. The first is by Just Beer, the second by Austin Beerworks)
Also, the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert has released labels for their big bottles. First, here were their old ones:
Here are the new ones:
Now that is a beer I connect with. Just the simple pictures of the monks from the monastery in soft black and white, with one color for accent. Classy, intimate, resonant... all of the things that make sense from a trappist-esque brewery. Awesome work.
Then we have the other side.
City Steam Brewery, out of Stratford, CT, has a series of labels that might be best described as cutesy chauvinist.
The least offensive is the Innocence:
I mean, okay, fine. Not really annoying until it's "recommended by lady librarians everywhere." I've known some librarians, and they are tend more toward smart, data-driven information junkies than large-spectacled caricatures from some Bogart-wannabe's fantasy. But maybe they'd still recommend a stupid beer if it was really good.
It gets worse.
But wait, there's more.
"Good for what ales you!" HA, GET IT?! Jesus. I swear, it was like they were concerned they hadn't used enough demeaning cliches. Sexy librarians, blonde beers, naughty nurses... Ugh. Full disclosure: my girlfriend is a nurse-in-training, so I'm a bit more sensitive to the portrayal of nurses than the average bear, but this is not a new or interesting thing, and it has nothing to do with making or selling good beer. The art isn't special, the ideas aren't original, and it's just kinda douchey.
Thankfully for City Steam, though, they are not the worst beer art of the month. Not even close. For that, we must go to Chefs in Black Brewery, a nanobrewery specializing in "high-alcohol farmhouse ales) in Iowa.
|How many awful cliches can we get into one beer label?|
First, we have an always-classy morning wood joke. Then we have an enormous-breasted, enormous-assed caricature of a blond woman holding a chainsaw. GET IT? IT'S LIKE IT'S A PENIS! WHICH SHE DOESN'T HAVE! WOOD! We threw in the tired "not just for breakfast anymore" joke so common to breakfast stouts, just in case someone would confuse this label with something original. And, for the number of times I have begged breweries to put artists' names on labels, I can't believe this is the one where someone decided to give credit. Congrats, Paul Schulz, you're responsible for the art that became far and away the worst label design of November, 2012.