I pay a lot of attention to label art for both beer and records. The album cover is one of the most revered pieces of accidental art/marketing ploys in modern history. However, I don’t know that I’ve ever really written about either all that much. Regardless, for this month’s session, we’re writing about label art. This month’s host is Hop Head Said… Basically, the goal is to choose one’s favorite artwork as depicted on bottles, cans, caps, and coasters.
This was a difficult choice to make. I love so many different craft beer labels. It’s hard just to choose one. I collect Stone bottles as I love the entire approach they have for marketing their beers. It used to be more difficult to accumulate these bottles before they came to Missouri. Now, it’s much, much easier.
I considered Mikkeller and Stillwater. I actually met the guy behind Stillwater’s artwork, tattoo artist Lee Verzosa, and he’s a nice guy. However, I write a lot about these breweries and figured it would be hard just to choose one label that rose above the rest.
Then, I considered the beer label that answered my prayers. It was a Friday after a long week of work. I wanted to sit back with a good beer. In fact, I had recently rediscovered my preference for really hoppy IPA’s. So, I went to the store in search of the hoppiest thing I could find. It so happens that Bell’s Hopslam had recently arrived. It’s label featuring a man being crushed by some giant hops was the sign for which I was looking. The rest is history.
Has there ever been a better image to represent the recent progression to bigger and hoppier beers? The image perfectly encapsulates this trend and matches the name perfectly. The beer itself is much more nuanced than the name Hopslam would suggest, but the image does the trick in warning consumers of the hop bomb within. Here are a couple images I’ve used of the infamous label and caps (which were a new touch this year).