Every Spring, BYO magazine runs a homebrew label contest, and every year I forget to enter. They just announced the 2008 winners, and I once again kicked myself for missing the deadline. Then I remembered - hey, I have a blog now, and can share my labels with you, my faithful readers. I’m no graphic artist, but I do enjoy messing around with the fine arts – so, without further ado, here are a few labels I’ve made for my homebrew over the years (click any of the labels for a larger picture).
First, my flagship brew, Engine 97 Steam Beer. This beer got its name from an old steam engine running out of Essex, CT. We visited the train once and I took a cool picture of engine #97. It seemed a natural fit for a steam beer, so I put the photo to a Van Gogh backdrop and came up with this:
Another “production” label I made was for a batch of Joe’s Ancient Orange mead I made for a mother’s day present for a few moms in my life. The label was designed for a 375 mL dessert wine bottle, so it is in portrait orientation instead of the standard landscape. This was done very quickly, so it’s not very sophisticated, but I like to think it captures the fun and simple essence of the mead. Either way, the moms seemed to like it!
Now we get into the labels-in-progress. That’s right, folks, as a special present for frequenting my blog I’m giving you the behind-the-scenes tour of the art studio!
This one was created for my Client #9 Apricot Pale Ale. This beer was brewed as the Eliot Spitzer scandal broke, and I decided to pay homage to my ex-governor by naming the beer after him. I never finished it, since I haven’t bottled any of this recipe yet – I switched to kegging around the same time. I also don’t really like the fonts or the text, but it is ready to be finished as soon as I brew another batch.
Finally, here is something I came up with last year, when I had the idea to brew a boysenberry wheat beer but never got around to it. This beer became reality in a roundabout way when I brewed my Sunset Wheat clone recently and decided to sub in my boysenberry flavoring instead of blueberry like Leinenkugle’s uses. If you haven’t already, check out the June WoT post and drop a comment suggesting a name for this beer. Once I get that nailed down, I’ll put the finishing touches on this label.
You may have noticed the nautical flags in each label. My brewery is called Harbor Beer Company, and the nautical flags spell out HarborBeerCo. I’m still working on a logo for a bottlecap or neck wrap, probably something with a lighthouse or boat motif.
Well, that’s it! Let me know what you guys think, and if you have any labels of your own to submit, send them in! If we get enough, maybe we’ll do our own label contest!