Inspired by an article in Edible South Florida on beer label art, I thought I’d blog some of the best beer art I’ve seen. As with wine, a fancy label does not guarantee the quality of the libation, but oddly enough, it just so happens that most of the following beers are artful within the bottle as well!
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Dogfish Head puts a lot of consideration into its label art, to the point where its labels are among the most iconic in the business. Chateau Jiahu is a great one, known for its sexy yet classy rendering of a topless Asian woman holding a Champagne flute of the beer:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales – All Jolly Pumpkin labels are glossy, colorful, and awesome, but I just love Oro De Calabaza’s idealized, paradisical tropical island setting with the treasure chest full of Oro:
Three Floyds Brewing – This Munster, Indiana brewery is known for its skull-crushing, beer-geek-salivating-over strong ales, but it also goes all-out with its trippy, cartoonish label art. Check out the label for Arctic Panzer Wolf, a Double IPA:
Of course, Saint Somewhere Brewing out of Tarpon Springs, Florida was already mentioned in the Edible South Florida article. Here’s my favorite Saint Somewhere label, which just so happens to be my favorite Saint Somewhere beer, Saison Athene:
Southern California’s The Lost Abbey is another one of those breweries that slaps spectacular label art on pretty much all of its beers. The Witches Wit label, depicting a witch burning at the stake, was particularly controversial:
Caldera Brewing out of Ashland, Oregon made waves for this somewhat painful-looking label for its “Vas Deferens” Belgian-style ale, the reference to male reproductive plumbing certainly intended:
Not all Great American Beer Label Art is absurd and cartoonish. The “Sisters” of venerable Goose Island in Chicago opt for a far more refined, wine-like presentation. Here’s the eldest Sister, Matilda:
You just have to love the vintage Blaxploitation motif of Sexual Chocolate, a highly sought-after Imperial Stout from Foothills Brewing Co in North Carolina:
While much of the best beer label art comes from American craft brewers, the Belgians occasionally get in on the act as well. Notable is the racy label of Rose De Gambrinus, an uncompromising raspberry lambic from the revered Cantillon:
Readers – what are some of your favorites?