The Art of Beer
From peanut butter milkshake stouts to lemon and thyme saison, splatter berry kettle sours to white coffee IPA’s, craft beer has revolutionised the beer industry. Innovative craft breweries are popping up across the UK and Europe. There are now over 1,700 craft breweries in the UK alone. Craft beer is leading the way in the surging popularity of artisan products. Demand for these beers has exploded.
This expansion has brought along with it an opportunity for brewers, designers and illustrators to push their branding and beer label design in a direction rarely seen before. The local bottle shop or taproom fridge has become an art gallery of its own.
With an ever-changing selection of small-batch beers, craft brewers visual identity needs to be agile and adaptable, evolving designs as flavours and styles change from one brew to another. From the quirky sometimes outlandish illustrations of Beavertown brewery or the minimalist Japanese design of Yeastie Boys latest creation Inari Biru. The lack of strict guidelines or marketing budgets has allowed for all kinds of creative direction to be explored in a bid to stand out from what is becoming a crowded market. These labels are almost as important as the beer itself.
These are just a few of our favourites from across Europe:
The colourful yet gritty comic strip style illustrations of north London brewery Beavertown. Packed with skulls, spaceships, laser beams and monsters, these labels are as good as the seriously good beer inside.
Partizan Brewing, London
The screen printing inspired designs created by Alec Doherty for Partizan Brewing with intricate detailing and subtle narratives.
TO ØL, Copenhagen
Despite no two labels ever looking the same, the bottles from TO ØL seem to be instantly recognisable with their unusual and intriguing designs.
The wonderful illustrations of Kieth Shore, incorporating crazy names, bright colours and the breweries cartoon mascots ‘Sally & Henry’, for Danish beer brand Mikkeller.
Image credits: Beavertown, Mikkeller.dk, Omnipollo, Shelton Brothers, To Øl‚ and Partizan Brewing