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Kooky Labels, Alien-themed Branding + a Simply Gorgeous Wine Design

Mmm, beer.

It’s the last Friday in July, which means it’s time for your monthly installment of Happy Hour. This time, we’re going deep on beer branding, with a wine thrown in for good measure. Read on to check out the best in booze branding this month.

Manual: Fort Point Export

San Francisco brewery, Fort Point, was a pioneer in the elevated beer branding game. Back in 2016, it worked with local design studio Manual to design a packaging system that played off of geometric shapes, crisp line-work, and contrasting type. In the years since, its beers have followed a visual rulebook that’s created an attractive lineup of beer cans that would upgrade the interior of any refrigerator. Its newest beer, Export, is full of the brand’s DNA. The pale blue can features a shipyard that’s abstracted into geometric lines. The beer’s name is highlighted in oxblood, creating a perfectly unusual color palette. It’s nothing crazy, but sometimes you just want to know that you’ve got a handsome beer in the cooler waiting for you.

Cloudy Co: Castle Rock Estate wine

When designing the label for Australian wine brand Castle Rock Estate, Melbourne-based Cloudy Co. studio looked to the winery’s inimitable location for inspiration. The winemakers set up shop near Porongurup National Park, a gorgeous, rocky region by the sea. Cloudy Co. translated the landscape’s large granite formations into silver foil shapes vaguely reminiscent of rocks. Combined with overprinted abstract shapes, the labels become a simple yet beautiful collage.

Butter: Other Half beer

Consistency is great and all, but so is going totally, unexpectedly wild. Brooklyn’s Butter studio worked with Megan Penmann, creative director for New York brewery Other Half to design labels for its short-run beer collaborations, and they are as fun as they are varied. For a Florida retiree-themed beer, Butter designed a peachy label dotted with dolphins and dentures. A milk stout called Spiritual Nucleus is emblazoned with a trippy, screen saver pattern. Our personal favorite, a golden ale called Gold Bangles, features a glitzy print of glitter and gold rings. In other words, it’s what you would never expect from a beer company.

Anheuser Busch : Bud Light

The truth is out there. Just ask Bud Light. On the heels of a viral Facebook event that called for people to storm Area 51 in Nevada (a classified research base for the U.S Air Force where some extraterrestrial activity has allegedly happened), the mega beer brand decided to cash in on the fun with a new label inspired by aliens. As part of an (admittedly clever) marketing campaign, the brewer replaced its blue can with a black background, glowing green details, and an alien head logo. At the bottom, the cans read “We come in peace.” The cans are—for now—just a mockup. But Bud Light claims it will put them into production if its own viral tweet reaches 51,000 retweets.

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Happy Hour