Get Buzzed On Good Art: Beer Can Appreciation Day

Better late than never! This beer can art appreciation post cropped up last year, but it’s a whirlwind of inspiration.

If you know anything about me and this blog, it’s that I love packaging design. It’s a deceptively simple creation we easily take for granted, blending appealing colors and psychology into one…well, package. It’s not enough to just look pretty. Packaging design needs to communicate intent. It needs to stand out from the others on the shelf. It needs to have some artistic flair to make you want to show it off or even keep it around. That’s a tall order, one many breweries have risen to.

This fun list from Just Beer App shows off fifteen unique can designs and what makes them special. They go into the details behind each brewery or pub, then cross-reference how they get across their identity visually. Some local designs use environmental shorthands to show their love for a particular city or state, while others craft original characters to represent the ‘character’ of a unique brew. I’m pleasantly blown away by Noble Rey Brewing Co.: their design creates a full illustration if you stack each beer can on top of the other.

This is a great time to mention I designed a seasonal beer can this year, which I’ll be showing off here soon. In the meantime, get buzzed on some good art.

Beer Doesn’t Have The Appeal It Used To

Left and right I see the shrinking appeal of alcohol. I’ve even felt it myself.

Once or twice a week I dip into my alcohol stores. I’ll crack open a hard cider over a baked potato for dinner. Pour myself an inch of wine during a lazy Sunday in front of a movie. As time goes on, however, I find myself getting more selective with what I put in the fridge. How many calories it has, how it lines up with my current diet and exercise regimen. This is a far cry from a few years ago, where I was less picky as long as it tasted good.

While the United States has been seeing a consistent dip in beer and wine sales (with the reasons usually lining up with health concerns), it’s far from an American phenomenon. This analysis from The Guardian goes into a similar trend in the U.K., exploring how younger drinkers are starting to skew toward lighter beer or no beer at all. Craft beer, beloved for its unique local varieties and limited-edition offers, is starting to dip after a strong past five years.

This is lining up with another prod to the beer-making bubble: a lack of CO2 connected to the ethanol industry’s current struggles. While recent spikes in beer purchases have been attributed to COVID-19, those numbers are not going to be easy to maintain when breweries don’t have the supplies they need. Combined with an overall shrinking interest in party culture and binge-drinking, this is a slope that will only get steeper. Drinks are going to have to continue getting creative (and healthy) to keep people’s attention.

What about you? Do you see your beer-drinking habits changing this year?

roasted coffee beans

What Makes Mexican Coffee So Special?

Stepping into the coffee world is a lesson in multiculturism.

Variety doesn’t end at whether you prefer lattes or cold brew, but rather, where the coffee comes from and how it’s made. Are we talking about hearty robusta from Vietnamese coffee farms or floral Arabica from Ethiopia? Are we doing wash processes or a honey method? If you need something to read while stuck at home, this in-depth piece from Daily Coffee Grind will catch you up on the magic of Mexican coffee. I was fascinated reading about the subtle flavors found in the region, with some coffee tasting like jasmine and bergamot.

As a long-time tea lover, that’s music to my ears. Mexican beer is also seeing some interesting developments for their unique approaches to craft brewing and flavor varieties. If you’re thinking of expanding your horizons a little, don’t miss this piece.

wine corkscrews

Wandering With Purpose: Visiting Wanderlust Delicato For A Taste Of Local Culture

Props to my roommate for inviting me to places. I’d probably never leave the apartment otherwise.

My city — and Washington state in general — is well-known for its wine and coffee production. I chose a good spot in my life to bolster my business writing focus, as my location is more than ready to meet me halfway. According to the Washington State Wine Commission, there are around nine hundred wineries in the state of Washington alone: that’s the second highest in the country and an impressive number right after California’s chokehold. As such, I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and giving some of these locations a try these past few months, all in favor of a (slightly) more adventurous 2020.

(slightly being the keyword here, I’m still a full-time introvert with a PhD in curmudgeonly isolation and now the coronavirus has given me even more ample reason not to step foot outside)

When we swung by Wanderlust Delicato back in February I was taken aback by its lovely decor, greeting me with shiny wooden floors, box crate walls and countless rows of wine varieties. A quintessential and classic choice for wine shops, sure, but with a homeliness that hearkens to the organized chaos of an attic or storage shed (if it were far cleaner). It’s a proverbial repurposed forest, inviting in a cozy atmosphere and rewarding the wandering eye.

And wander I did.

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