I was blessed with a magical gift over the holidays. The gift of beer. I’ve been wanting to take a stab at home brewing for a while, but it just always ended up lower on the list than every other project that sprung to mind. Since Santa was able to cram a seven gallon brew kit down the chimney this December, the time has come to brew!

I’m kicking off my first batch this weekend, but up until now, since high school really, I’ve been done an extensive amount of field research to help ‘refine’ my palette. Lately, I’ve been frequenting Sams Quick Shop in Durham, and Tasty Beverage in Raleigh for an assortment of brewery tastings.

Something I’ve come to realize during my time at these two fine establishments is that there is potentially a huge opportunity for designers in the form of craft beer labels. It seems small/craft brewers are producing seasonal & specialty beers more frequently than ever these days. I think breweries should treat the labels on these specialty beers like book covers, and let the label truly reflect the uniqueness of the beer itself. This could mean a complete divergence from the brand style of the brewery & their main beers, but that’s ok. I think the target audience involved would be particularly forgiving in this instance, and as long as there is some visual thread among the entire line of beers, I think unique (well designed) labels for specialty/seasonals are the way to go.