Imagine coming home from work after a long and tiring day. What’s the first thing that pops into your mind? For me it’s watching sports highlights while treating myself to a cold beer. Nothing calms me down like that. I really do like beer but there’s a certain risk in drinking too much of it, which makes me limit myself. So on the rare occasion that I do drink, I’ll get something really special because I don’t have time for mediocre beer.
Ever since I went to Vancouver for vacation a couple of years ago, I fell in love with craft beer. Craft beer comes from micro-breweries aiming at producing beer that is better in terms of flavor and quality in contrast to classic industrially produced beer. But what really sets it apart from traditional breweries, though, is the design of craft beer cans and bottles. Many of them replicate the designs of early 20th century packaging to give it sort of a pre-industrial hand-made artisan look. Yup, it sounds as hipsterish as it is. But wait until you’ve heard some of the names these breweries give their product. Brew Free! Or Die IPA, Lawyers, Guns & Money, Hoppy Ending Pale Ale or Citra Ass Down are just a few examples of funny names for craft beers. The reason for these, let’s say exotic, names is pretty simple: Just like their label designs, these names make them stand out. In craft beer bars, much like in any bar, the menus usually don’t come with images of the products, just with their names. The bolder the name the more likely you are to order it. Just like me when buying wine. I don’t know a single thing about the product itself, so I always end up buying the coolest looking bottle.
In Germany, sadly we rarely get the experience of canned beer because it’s mostly being sold in bottles. America on the other hand has beer cans all over the place. And I’m going to show you my favourite can designs:
Everybody who has ever had so called “Oktoberfest beer” in America knows that it’s nothing like the one being sold in Germany. But that doesn’t really matter since we’re focusing on looks here. And these cans look freaking fantastic. A Bavarian tortoise? Every hipster’s dream!
This is a more simplistic approach. Big bright colours, hard contrasts and large letters. But it works. The combination of flat surface areas fits perfectly into the flat design trend.
This one looks funny, the idea behind it is smart though. You’re obviously not buying this can for the beer but for the imagery on the can. And when buying it to show it off to whomever you want to show it off to, you need to buy two cans at least. Fun design, great marketing.
This one puts an emphasis on hop, one of the main beer ingredients. The comic style design with the fist holding the hop makes it seem as if it hits you in the face from the shelf. Nugget Nectar has sort of a grungy, mid-90s look to it as if it originated from some 90s cartoon.
What do you guys think of craft beer? And canned beer?