I know. You probably thought to yourself "What's this Beer Art malarkey?! I bet its pictures of some hideous monolithic monstrosity made from used beer cans, created by some looney tune wack job artist and on display in the Tate Modern with some astronomical price tag only affordable to rich art wankers like Lars Ulrich". However, you'd be wrong.
I know that ultimately the quality of the beer inside does the talking rather, than the packaging. But I have always been hugely interested in the overall aesthetic of the product. This doesn't just go for the beer I drink but other things, like music, also have some fantastic examples of LP/CD artwork out there.
It's such a dying breed as well, given we live in the time of convenience music where, everything is either streamed or downloaded. I'm still one of the minority who likes to have a physical copy of the album and look at the effort put into the artwork for the cover, booklet or deluxe release. Just think of some of the best albums of the last 30 or so years - their album artwork is just as remembered as the songs themselves. I always remember my Dad's vinyl collection which had some standout pieces - Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers which had a real zipper from jeans on the sleeve, Uriah Heap's Look at Yourself with the Mirror, Deep Purple Mark II Purple Singles with its see-through purple vinyl, David Bowie's The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust, The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (most over-rated band ever - there, I said it).
The artwork for these albums is equally as important and remembered as the music itself. I think the same can be said for beers and the design. Being Scottish, and a red-blooded male, my earliest beer art memory must be the lovely ladies adorning the Tennent's lager cans. The bikini and skimpy swimsuit models reigned supreme from the mid-60s to early 90s. They may have had little relevance to the product, but it made it stick in your mind; Advertising 1.01. I remember my first venture to the Motherwell Beer Festival where I saw another brewer using a similar idea. I cannot remember the brewer but I'm sure it was called Sexy Beer (of course) and the label had a coating like a lotto scratch card where with a penny you could scratch off the bikini of the model to reveal a whole lot more. Hat off to whoever came up with that idea.
So, I wanted us to have a showcase section for the brewers out there who are putting that something special into the design on the can or bottle containing their preciously crafted beer. There are a few current standouts that are really leading the way such as Beavertown Brewery, Drygate Brewing Co. & Crazy Mountain. That's not to say we think there is anything wrong with the Plain Jane's. We know that you are beautiful on the inside. I just want to take the time to appreciate some of the brilliant examples of eye candy in the beer world. And since neither Andy nor myself are going to pull on a mankini for your viewing pleasure, we shall choose instead to feast on these great designs we have been blessed with.