In today’s ever growing craft beer market it’s becoming increasingly more challenging for a brewery to differentiate one self. Beyond beer quality and staying contemporary to the tastes of today one other way to set your brewery and brand apart from the others is in the brewery’s packaging and its label artwork.
Craft beer and the beauty of art have been intertwined since the inception of the microbrew movement of the early 1990’s. As this turned into what is now better known as craft beer the artistic side of beer became even more prominent. Now there’s a new book that showcases some of the world’s best brewery design work with Oh Beautiful Beer: The Evolution of Craft Beer & Design by Harvey Shepard.
Shepard, a Seattle resident, is the writer and graphic designer that is behind the beer and design blog with the same name as the book, ohbeautifulbeer.com. In early October The Countryman Press released his first book, Oh Beautiful Beer, in an attractively packaged hardcover book that is perfect for any fan that appreciates both craft beer and its artistic connection.
Prior to even opening the cover of Oh Beautiful Beer the raised lettering of the book’s title is noticed just as the nice Instagram ready square design of the book is also noticed. The feel, appearance and design of the book is one that is well thought out and makes it that much more worthy of joining one’s beer book collection.
Upon opening the book its what’s inside is what truly matters and what Shepard delivers is a 200 page book divided up in eight chapters that chronicles the history of beer and its relationship to its packaging. Oh Beautiful Beer focuses on the label design work whether it is on a glass bottle or aluminum can and the stories that go along with each one.
Many various breweries are featured in Oh Beautiful Beer including well-known US craft breweries such as Sierra Nevada Brewing, the Ralph Stedman artwork that adorns Flying Dog Brewery labels, and the innovative artwork and packaging from Oregon’s own Rogue Ales. There’s even a few pages devoted to the artwork that adorns the single serving size paper bags from Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar located in Chicago’s Southside near the ballpark that is home to the Chicago White Sox.
One thing is sure from reading and taking in the artwork that adorns Oh Beautiful Beer, the future will even be more creative when it comes to the packaging of craft beer. As the amount of breweries across the globe continues to grow each brewery will have to do a better job at differentiating itself against the competing breweries in each market and one way to accomplish this is through compelling packaging.
Want to win a copy of Oh Beautiful Beer: The Evolution of Craft Beer & Design? Comment below to enter to win. Drawing will be held on Saturday, November 7, 2015. Good Luck!
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.