You know how the old saying goes: beer today, gone tomorrow.
And that’s not usually a problem. But what happens when the bottle or can the beer comes in is an actual, honest-to-goodness piece of art?
We’re not telling you to turn your living room into a frat house bottle display. But at the very least, these vessels will make your fridge look good in between grocery runs, and your hand, table or Instagrams look good while you’re quaffing ‘em.
Grimm, a relatively new brewing outfit based out of Brooklyn, is already known among beer fans for the delicious liquid inside the bottle (each one a single-batch, limited edition). But considering the couple that brews the beer are both artists with an eye as keen as their palate, it’s no surprise the packaging on their one-off beer releases is going to is memorable. If you see one in the wild, jump on it, since they go pretty quickly.
BrewDog End of History
When a product is marketed as the “strongest, most expensive and most shocking beer in the world” (and with a whopping 55% ABV and a pricetag of $765, that hardly sounds like a stretch), your expectations should be high. So how do you wrap such a present? In taxidermied squirrels and stoats is probably a great way to start.
(Editor’s note: Don’t worry, there’s no cruelty involved in this gimmick: the animal skins used here were all roadkill.)
Mikkeller - Bedow
Danish brewery Mikkeller is already known for its inventive beers, but this packaging takes the experience to the next level. Once bottles are removed from the fridge, the heat-sensitive ink used in printing the label changes the artwork image from a snowflake to a sun, or from a bare tree to one full of leaves. Not surprisingly, it’s been nominated for design awards, which is something those ubiquitous “blue mountains” definitely can’t claim.
Forget about all the crazy techniques you learned for opening a beer bottle without an opener. The Portland-based Churchkey Pilsner is a throwback to the days before flip-top cans and longneck bottles: it requires an old school churchkey to be enjoyed. Don’t worry about MacGyvering this one: an opener comes with each six pack. (Bonus trivia: The brand was co-founded by Entourage actor Adrian Grenier.)
Lucky Buddha Beer
Even as a beer that’s more widely available than most people realize, the image of a playful, laughing Buddha should look at home in the hand of anyone enjoying a beer on the weekend. After all, the Budai is recognized as the patron saint of bartenders and restaurateurs.
Warsteiner Art Collection
There are plenty of drinkers out there who would argue that beer itself is art. But when you hire six world famous artists like Ron English and Kevin Lyons to design the bottles, the end result is something that even an unrefined eye can appreciate.
Creature Comforts Cans
It wasn’t so long ago that the term “beautifully designed beer can” was an oxymoron (at best). But thanks to breweries like the Athens, GA-based Creature Comforts, we have exactly that (starting May 7th).
Against the Grain Kentucky Rye’d Chiquen
You could dip your beer bottle’s neck in wax, which is nothing new. Or you could be like the guys at Against the Grain — already known for their over-the-top label art and design — and coat the neck of your delicious bourbon barrel-aged rye in feathers for that little bit of flare that makes it stand out in the cooler.
Ippon Matsu Beer
At first glance, the handwritten scroll label with a story written on the inside makes Ippon Matsu (which translates as “solitary pine”) a beautiful bottle. But it also has a beautiful cause: all profits are donated to the reconstruction efforts in Rikuzentakata, Japan, which is still rebuilding from the March 2011 tsunami. The front label is a solitary pine made of three triangles that are facing up, which symbolizes an optimistic outlook for Japan’s future.
Sometimes, representing where you come from can take a more inventive form than slapping a landmark on a bottle. Swing made the labels on their bottles from strips of different colored birch “that criss-cross to represent the blend of cultures that make up Quebec’s identity today.” This one should feel right at home on a camping trip.