Friday, May 31, 2013

Mary (a.k.a. "Hops Diva"): A Lady Who Loves Beer

With a real thirst for Imperial IPAs and 17 years of Atlanta craft beer drinking to her name, this New Jersey born, hop-loving Scorpio is also a fan of live music, comedy, and theatre. While the work week has her putting her considerable talents to good use planning and promoting events both on and offline, off the clock she lives life as the "Hops Diva" frequenting some of the best downtown Atlanta bars and brewpubs, all within "stumbling distance" of her Atlanta residence.

This is Mary, and she loves beer.
Mary and her husband Joe.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Heather Erickson: A Lady Who Loves Beer

An elementary school teacher for the past 14 years (the last nine of which she spent teaching 6th graders), her love of beer comes from the "obvious need to self medicate" (and I quote). Born in Seattle, WA but currently living in Tacoma, she finds herself up and down the I-5 corridor at least once a month for a "beerventure," (even more often during the summer months). She is also a self-described math nerd who says she is also "outdoorsy, sarcastic, and driven," you'll find her using her spare time to concoct medal winning home brews.

This is Heather Erickson, and she loves beer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Is Magic Hat really trying to sink West Sixth's battleship?

I was interviewed recently for Austin L. Ray's "First Draft" series and said something about big beer not really being malicious, just out of touch, overeager, and seemingly disingenuous. But the recent hubbub over the Magic Hat lawsuit of West Sixth Brewing made me wonder if I had it wrong. 

It's hard to know exactly where the truth lies between the story West Sixth Brewing has very publicly sold as a tale of bullying, and the one Magic Hat says is an exaggeration of the truth

Back in the day (say, about seven years back) I spent many a "magical" afternoon over a pitcher of #9. As my palate has evolved (or is it the beer that's changed?) I moved on. Drinkable, sure. But not my first pick (or my second, or my third). 

The similarities seemed pretty obvious. A simple inversion of the image suggests that the differences may not be so distinct.  OK, so the West Sixth logo is off centered, a different color, and more simply designed overall, but turning it on it's head doesn't really solve the problem of copycatting in my book (and neither do their alternate sketches). For a design company, even one as widely solicited as Cricket Press to not only ignore those similarities, but continue to perpetuate them in their suggested alternatives, smacks of laziness, and suggests a lack of creativity.

Don't get me wrong. I'm already annoyed with the bad habits of bigger companies pushing around the little startups. It makes me want to hurl. Or at least write ranting blog posts that no one really reads. I get that the whole David and Goliath dynamic riles people up too. It feeds this feeling of justified outrage like nothing else. From the looks of my Facebook feed lately, I'm not the only one.

What really interests me, though, is that this is an issue of design. I'm willing to concede that maybe it's just a case of "great minds" thinking alike. After all, it's a label with a number on it. How different do you expect it to be? Surely stranger things have happened, like say, allowing Monsanto to patent a soybean.

My own ideas for a barrel-aged beer label weren't too far off from any of the one's pictured above, come to think of it. Which is pretty embarrassing. There's nothing much worse than realizing your ideas are unoriginal. 

But where the differences lie are in the details. Although the underlying idea is the same (because who doesn't want a barrel on their barrel-aged beer?) the artistry is original enough to avoid looking like tinkered versions of someone's original. The font choices, placement of text, subtleties of toning, backgrounds, and overall uniqueness of other design elements, create an overall artistry and stylistic thumbprint that distinguish one from the other. 

Would it be so difficult to choose another from the surely thousands of fonts available for the West Sixth logo to avoid the obvious similarities to Magic Hat's #9? The answer is, yes, actually. Because sixes do look pretty much just like inverted nines when you start looking at them, and with it touching the edge on the left-hand side of the circle like it does, other styles just look strange, or misplaced. They don't look integral to the design. 

But if the compass is integral to the identity of the West Sixth brand, why not make it more of a main feature? Its placement, coloring, and design only emphasize the similarity to Magic Hat's label. And unless they're trying to evoke the six directions (including heaven and earth) by having a compass so near the numeral, does it really make sense? There are plenty of other inspirations out there for compass designs, some of which actually point west.

Ultimately, it seems like it would be easier to just rework the design than to give Magic Hat grounds for a lawsuit. You're welcome to disagree, but from where I stand, it seems like West Sixth Brewing ought to be worrying more about their beer than this beer label. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

How big is your beer cellar?

There are, in English, purportedly no two words more beautiful than "cellar door." As a recovering academic and former English teacher, I still never quite understood. Until I heard about beer cellars, that is.

Most beers, being perishable goods, aren't really designed to hang around for a someday pour. The hops start to fade and the quality degrades. "Born on" dates and such (remember 2009?).

While home brew and other freshly bottled beers peak in flavor 2-3 months, others (not unlike most people I know) mature with age, improving over time in character and complexity. Particularly barrel-aged versions, barleywines, lambics, Imperial Stouts (and so on).

Admittedly, I've not had the restraint foresight to cellar my beer. Although I suppose it's only a step away from waiting months on end for homebrew that'll be drinkable roundabout August (when a beet porter is unlikely going to be my top seasonal beer pick).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tara Tolliver Shortt: A Lady Who Loves Beer

A lady whose love of beer is matched by her unapologetic love of bourbon and baseball (Braves and Phillies, thank you very much), this daytime Dental Assistant has found a second home among her rounds of the Atlanta breweries, both inside and outside the perimeter.

This is Tara, and she loves beer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Caylee Betts: A Lady Who Loves Beer

With a love for good food, good design, and good drinking, this Seattle-based, small-business owner loves helping craft breweries, boutique wineries, and independently owned/operated restaurants grow their brands. When she's not hard at work doodling and designing, you can find her drinking with fellow members of her adult beer-league kickball team, and enthusiastically documenting the local food, wine, spirits and craft beer in Seattle.

This is Caylee Betts, and she loves beer.

Friday, May 3, 2013

{Ladies Who Love Beer} roundup

We're taking a break from our regular Friday feature for a collection of my favorite {LadiesWhoLoveBeer} quotables from March and April. Meet me back here next Friday for our regularly scheduled programming. Cheers!

Erin Lundmark -- Alpharetta, GA
"I like the camaraderie of the beer culture. I haven't personally experienced any camaraderie on the commercial side, but the homebrew community has been fabulous with their support of our start up. And I like seeing the larger craft breweries work together on beers."


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...