7 Examples of Can and Bottle Art I Love

I’ve been looking back through some of the beers I’ve had over the last few months, and there’s definitely some attractive cans and bottles in the mix. That got me thinking – which were my favourite designs?

Anspach & Hobday The Cream Ale

7: Anspach & Hobday, The Cream Ale

I love the outline, cartoony but sort of old fashioned design of the characters here, and for some reason the fact that they’re baseball players just appeals to me. The illustration is similar to the rest of their core range (Porter, IPA and Smoked Brown) which reflect English gentlemen and explorers.

As for the beer itself, click the image above.

71 Brewing Breakfast Toast Stout

6: 71 Brewing, Breakfast Toast Stout

71 Brewing has a lovely logo, and a really nice website. I think the branding of this beer has changed since I had it but I love the main purple colour with the contrast of the blue, just hints around the can reminiscent of a set of blueprints.

Big Smoke Brew Jagged Sky Pale Ale

5: Big Smoke Brew, Jagged Sky Pale Ale

Bright and blue, with really simple and clear panels making the wording stand out. I also love the font and the Harry Potter-like silver lightning bolt.

Mondo & Yeastie Boys Ask for James Kveik Session Fruit Ale

4: Mondo & Yeastie Boys, Ask for James Kveik Session Fruit Ale

An epic voyage through the beer itself – there’s the idea of icy mountains hinting towards the Norweigan Kveik yeast used in making it, combined with the citrus fruits it is conditioned on. The northern lights in green and pink round it all off and make this a colourful masterpiece to look at while you enjoy.

Vocation Love and Hate New England IPA

3: Vocation Brewery, Love & Hate New England IPA

The contrast between the bright orange and black background makes this striking, and is a preview of the fruity beer within. The outlines around the text are so simple but clear, tying that Love & Hate to heaven & hell including a cherub you’d expect to see in a medieval painting.

Wiper and True Plum Pudding Porter

2: Wiper and True, Plum Pudding Porter

This is such a clean and beautiful can, as is the whole Wiper and True range – pure white cans, simple black text and gold images. Just looking at this can takes me back to Christmas, and the beer inside is like a Christmas pudding.

Six Degrees North Velo Pale Ale

1: 6 Degrees North, Velo Pale Ale

I have to say that this is my favourite of the bunch. The combination of the red and blue, the way the red triangle cuts into the name of the beer, and the pattern in white on the background all comes together to make for a really visually pleasing label.

It’s an interesting question of whether the art on the outside matters, or whether it’s distracting from the beer on the inside. I think that it goes without saying that the beer has to be the priority – a bad beer can’t be saved by a nice label. However I would say that when a nice beer comes with a visually stunning exterior, it makes for a better beer experience all round. Beer52 have covered the topic in a recent issue of Ferment magazine.

What do you think? What’s your favourite beer art? Let me know in the comments below, or let’s chat on Twitter, @craftynumber.

Read on for some more beer reviews here.

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First post & Instagram beers

It was while I was watching the Super Bowl in February 2018, drinking from a box of American beers I had got in specially, that I posted my first Instagram pic through @craftynumber, but my interest in trying new beers had started a while before. It goes back to a trip to Edinburgh and in fact a slightly different alcoholic drink, whiskey! Going on a whiskey themed ride explaining how the drink is made, followed by a tasting flight of the four main types really opened my eyes to how different one drink could be. What followed was a number of different whiskeys bought for me or by me and after straying into the world of wine in the same way, I found my natural place in the world of beer.

In beer terms, I was always a typical lager drinker coming through the teenage years, as I’m sure many readers are familiar with. Into university, it was then about price more than anything, with Carlsberg the beer of choice in the student unions and their rather entertaining £1 pint evenings. It was never something I truly enjoyed the taste of, but as you do, drank away… other than a brief dabbling with cheap cider in my second year of university, basic lager was it for me. A few years later, I came to terms with Guinness and my horizons were broadened!

Looking at the craft beer world from the outside, it’s completely baffling. A load of words you don’t understand, hipster men with beards and tattoos but some very attractive looking cans and bottles. I think it’s easy to be put off, especially with some of the snobbery hanging around the beer world – people looking down their noses at lagers and everyone who drinks them, paying over the odds for the supposedly rare beers in smaller glasses. Some places seem to think that writing ‘craft beer’ on their windows, shop fronts and menus means they can bump up prices and cash in on that crowd. What it in fact seems to do is scare people into paying too much for beer they don’t necessarily like the taste of, or understand what they’re buying.

I’ve made a conscious choice to try as many different types of beer, from as many different breweries as possible. I want to understand the differences between them, and why one tastes more hoppy, malty, sour or sweet than another – so I know better what I like and where to find it. If you feel out of your depth looking at a menu of beers you’ve never seen before, at least knowing what you like can help you pick one out that won’t feel like a waste of money. However as anyone out there who’s had the same experience can attest to, you do get the occasional dud…

My way of documenting what I’m trying has been through Instagram, @craftynumber – give me a follow if you haven’t already! Take a look at what I’ve been drinking, if you’ve had them then let me know what you thought, and if there’s anything you’ve had that you loved then I would be very grateful for your recommendations! 

I’ve been meaning to start writing like this for a while, but never found the time. After an extra boost of willpower I find myself typing, finally! Plan is to be a bit retrospective at first, catching up with some of the beers I’ve been trying, and maybe talk a bit about my experiences buying and trying beers over the last few months. I hope you read and enjoy, and I’m always happy to see any comments. Thanks for reading, and cheers!