Beer labels as art
Beer labels have become what album cover used to be, works of art. If you don’t know what an album is, Google it. Growing up, one of the most memorable albums covers was the cover of Molly Hatchet’s self-titled album. In the awesome looking cover you’ve got a dark Viking-looking dude atop a black stead. The man is carrying a large shield and an even larger bloody axe. You can’t see his face but he has red eyes. In the background is smoke and fire and what appears to be a vulture or eagle I’m not really sure. Either way, this image captivated me as a kid. Molly Hatchet continued to have great art on their other album covers. Beer labels today are starting to compete with a much smaller space to play with. Below is my top five beer labels.
5. Delirium Tremens
This may sound strange, but I still remember the first time I saw Delirium Tremens in a beer store. It was unlike anything else I’d seen to that point. Most beer I saw had boring labels on traditional brown glass bottles. This beer was different. For one, it had a bright blue label with a pink elephant. This really stands out above the rest. Also, if you hadn’t noticed, the bottle itself is not a traditional brown glass bottle. It is this light-colored, cream-looking bottle. It worked, I bought it.
4. Dead Guy Ale
One of my all-time favorite beers and favorite beer labels. Dead Guy Ale by Rogue has an excellently simple label with a black background and a white skeleton. The skeleton is sitting with his arms crossed carrying a pint of beer in his left hand. He (or she, you can’t really tell, it’s a skeleton) is also wearing some sort of hat. I have no idea what sort of hat it is but it looks cool. Spending a lot of time in pirate territory in Coastal Carolina, I have an affinity for skulls and skeletons. I like this label so much this might end up being one of my next tattoos. It wouldn’t be the first beer label I got as a tattoo. If anyone can guess what beer I had tattooed first you get a free case of beer on me.
3. Raging Bitch
Like Rogue above, I wanted to cheat and say all Flying Dog logos but I decided to choose Raging Bitch. If you recognize the art you are not alone. It is none other than Ralph Steadman best known for his collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson. If you don’t know either one of them maybe you’ve heard of the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. If not you have a lot of research to do, perhaps after buying some Flying Dog!
Magic Hat is yet another brewery with amazing beer labels across the lineup. If I had to choose one it would be Pistil. The Pistil beer label has a very groovy look to it and makes you feel like you were transported back to the ‘70’s. It’s almost like Dr. Seus did the artwork for Superfly.
1. AK Genesis Warrior
This choice was hard. Some of the above labels have been my favorite beer labels for years. Adroit Theory has an excellent artist they use and their beer labels come closest to matching the feel of those Molly Hatchet albums. The beer label I chose is AK Genesis Warrior Edition because it combines some of my favorite things, beer and Egypt. The art is incredible and it looks comic-book quality in the best possible way. So there you have it, those are my top-five beer labels. I encourage you to comment on your own and then very least try the above beers. If you want to see more beer labels check out our beer sections.