Friday, September 2, 2011

The Session #55- Label, Coaster and Cap art

This month's issue of The Session was hosted by HopHeadSaid. He asked the group of bloggers participating to:
"1. Choose your favorite label, coaster or cap art.

2. Write a paragraph that explains your affinity to your entry. Your explanation can be as shallow as or as deep as you want."
I don't know if I have a favorite label, coaster or cap.  What I do know is that I like some more than others. As much as people don't want to admit it (and some are proud to admit it), the label art plays a big part of which beers are bought and which stay on the shelf.  I think that the art can form your mind on what the beer should taste like. I'll give a few examples of labels that can predetermine (for the good), what the beer's experience is going to be like.

1. Flying Dog Raging Bitch- this beer is a Belgian IPA.  With its 8.3% abv, the beer's strength can get you through the colder days and nights and the bitterness can break through the warm summer days.  Neither is hidden well, and can smack you on the face like a B****.  The label gives the same idea.  Crazy, ravaging dog is as wild as the beer.  Expect to get the huge hops followed by the Belgian yeast characteristics.  It is as Raging as it gets. (Artwork on all Flying Dog beers are done by Ralph Steadman-who was the illustrator for Hunter S. Thompson.)

2. Goose Island Matilda- One inspection of either the Matilda labels, and the first thought that comes to your head is elegance.  You expect a nice delicate beer.  A beer to pour into a tulip or stemmed glass.  Something that is to be sipped, savored and examined.  You may just want to start with it cold, and let it warm to let out all the flavors.  The script text on the bottle screams upper class.  Makes me think of Hancock signing the Declaration of Independence. Enjoy this one like a bottle of wine.

3. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a classic, basic beer.  It begs to be drank with friends on the deck, in the backyard or any other time.  The label has the same classic characteristics. It gives the vital information, shows a laid back river landscape, the perfect place to drink one (especially now that they can it).  If you look at the label, you are not expecting the beer to blast you with hops or be infused with any unique ingredients.  You are just looking a good beer.

4. The Bruery Autumn Maple- This beer is seasonal in more than just the name.  It screams fall time.  From the sweetness to the yams, it is a perfect beer to have with Thanksgiving.  One look at the label is all that it takes to see fall time.  The colors of brown and orange, the leaves in the background and the simple text give the drinker a predetermined idea of what they are getting, and they are rewarded.

Overall, I feel those are great labels. I love seeing them at a bar or beer store, as I have no hesitation to drink any of them.  The label sets the tone on the beer, and the drinker get make an easier decision on a purchase.


  1. Excellent post. I am one of those people, for sure, that can not separate my expectations from the label.

  2. Great post! I now want to try a few of the beers you chose to focus on for taste & for their label! I love the Magic Hat Spring Vinyl Lager label; it's the first one that comes to mind :) Cheers!

  3. Love the design raging b***h has on all there labels, shows a level of artistic outlandish nature that should be seen more often in designs.