New Label Art – One of My Fav DE Beers Comes to Cans

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I have made no apologies that Oyster Stout is one of my favorite styles, and that Fordham and Dominion’s Rosie Parks is not only a very fine representation of the style, but one of my favorite beers brewed in Delaware.

Back a bit in time, I was asked by local Newspaper guy Ryan Cormier to list my 15 favorite beers in Delaware, and Rosie Parks was at the top of that list.

Sadly at that time, I found out that the brewer had no plans to brew it in the near future. But, after divorcing themselves from ABInv and regaining total control over their brewery(s) (or maybe not having to do with any of that at all) apparently the brewery(s) has decided that it was time to bring this beer back under its new package branding (it was on this year’s release calendar, I just wasn’t paying attention when I posted it several months ago).

Of course, that means, new logo and – cans. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the old big bottle format and I thought its label really captured the essence of the beer. But F&D are going through a well deserved rebranding and to be honest, I’m just happy to learn that one of my favorite beers is returning to the shelves and as I have stated in the past, I love the convenience of cans.

If F&D hold to their calendar it looks like we can expect to see Rosie around the September time frame with proceeds benefiting the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Can’t wait.

And Next Year’s Artist for Dogfish Head’s Off-Centered Art Series is…..

Recently the label for this winter’s release of Dogfish Head’s 75 Minute IPA came through the system, and as I stated in an earlier post, it would probably be the first label for next year’s selected artist for the brewery’s popular Off-Centered Art Series.

Well, once I saw the label I had no doubt this was the case as gone was Michael Hacker‘s whimsical mad scientist art work, replaced by a more industrial style of art featuring what appears to be a stylistic man’s face wearing a hat and a monocle who is holding a hop and a maple leaf (a nod that 75 Minute is brewed with maple syrup). The label keeps its overall blue on gray color palette, with the label artwork continuing to echoing it as in previous years.

So who is responsible for this new and interesting label? Say hello to Dan Stiles, an artist currently working out of Portland, Oregon where he has lent his artistic style and talents to everything from indy bands to major corporations. From his Website:

Over the past twenty years, Dan has collaborated with everyone from indie bands to major corporations in creating posters, identities, advertising, custom packaging, and limited edition collectable art and merchandise. His clients range from Arctic Monkeys, Sonic Youth, and Wilco to the X Games, IBM, and Nickelodeon. He draws from a broad swath of influences including skateboard graphics, album covers, modern art, children’s books, comics, psychedelia, and vintage advertising. Dan has published several children’s books as well as a monograph of his work entitled One Thing Leads to Another. He lives with his wife and daughters in Portland, Oregon.

DanStiles.Com

Dan’s art has a rock poster silk screen feel to it, and while that is echoed in the label for 75 Minute, the label has a very industrial, textured styling to it that’s different from some of his other works. It will be interesting to see what Dan comes up for the other beers in next year’s Off-Centered series. What are those beers? Well, we’ll just have to wait for the release calendar to find out.

New Label Art – Fordham & Dominion’s Zombee Honey Ale and Release Calendar

New things are continuing to come from the newly restructured Fordham and Dominion brewery. A lot of the beers that used to be on the Fordham side of the catalog have recently gotten new package and label make overs that should be hitting the shelves soon, and now we get a look at the can label for a new seasonal offering from the brewery (breweries?, brewery? this new integration thing is going to take time for me to get used to).

Zombee Honey Ale is described as a brown ale with honey from the Pennsylvania Dutch region and brewed with roasted malts. The beer will be a seasonal offering being released from May to August in bottles, cans and kegs.


For those who have not seen Fordham&Dominion’s 2019 release calendar, I’ve included it below.

New Label Art – Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Brewery continues its association with Vienna, Austria’s Michael Hacker for the next addition to this year’s Off Centered Art Series, the brewery’s fall favorite Punkin Ale.

Michael has been cranking out some great labels for the Delaware brewery having contributed to previous Art Series beers Perfect Disguise and 75 Minute IPA and as always, the Punkin Ale label captures his unique style.

Sadly, I believe this will be the last label for the brewery from Michael as I believe they’ll be announcing a new artist sometime in the fall who will take over the honor in 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing who Dogfish Head decides to work with next, but there’s plenty of beer drinking time between now and then.

Below is Michael’s new label plus below that, the excellent label by 2018’s Off Centered Artist, Marq Spusta, simply because I love it.

Fordham and Dominion Step out from the Shadow of AB InBev and Some Changes are Coming.

To me, it always felt like Fordham and Dominion were a bit like the Rodney Dangerfield of Delaware brewing – some people just refused to give them any respect.

Which was sad, because in every way one could measure a vibrant, community active brewery, F&D seemed to either fit the bill or go above and beyond. But unfortunately there was one blemish on their otherwise fine looking resume which some people simply could not get past. No, try to say or write anything nice about the myriad of things F&D do that can be presented in a positive light, and some people would quickly pull the shades closed and declare, “they’re owned by AB InBev!”

I have to be honest, I’d heard it or read it so many times, that chorus of disdain that was presented with so much damnation that one could literally hear the dismissive “whatever” snap at the end of the statement.

So many times I’d heard it in fact that I finally broke down and asked the brewery about their official standing with AB InBev that resulted in me having a nice chat with F&D President Jim Lutz, in which I admit, though I might not have found it as satisfying as I was hoping for with the percentage of stake that AB InBev held in the breweries, I did find comfort that the corporate giant was not involved with the day-to-day operations and decisions at the brewery.

But still people would cast stones and I feared the brewery, to some people’s eyes, would never step out of the shadow of being owned to an extent by a company that unfortunately caused the Brewer’s Association to label them as “non-craft”. But that was until recently.

Last week I posted some new labels from the brewery for Copperhead Ale and Gypsy Lager, pointing out changes in the designs and the branding. There was one other change as well, but one I did not want to comment on without first reaching out to the brewery to see if I could get some more clarification. This is the change that got me excited:

That’s the Brewer’s Association Independent Craft Brewer Seal, that can only be placed on the label of a beer made by a brewery that meets the BA’s definition of independent – a definition that until quite recently F&D did not meet.

So I reached out to F&D for some information concerning the seal and what that meant for the brewery and Vice President of Sales, Giuseppe Desilvio was nice enough to pass on some good news, “Yes, just [a] few months ago we signed our “divorce papers” from Anheuser-Busch InBev, so Fordham & Dominion is now 100% independently owned.”

That’s great news for the brewery and a win in general for Delaware beer scene. But, Giuseppe informed me that there will be a few other changes due to this new found independence.

“We just started a full package re-fresh, and all of our products moving forward will have the Independent Craft Seal on it and will come out under the “Fordham & Dominion” logo. We are merging our two portfolios and will no longer release beers under just “Fordham” or “Dominion””.  

That was interesting as the two portfolios were kept quite separate and indeed were quite distinctive from each other – especially the Pin-up series. How will those labels change? We’ll just have to wait and see. As for now, I’m just glad that the old retort, “Yeah, but they’re partially owned by Budweiser” can be laid to rest once and for all.

As always, I’d like to thank Giuseppe Desilvio for taking some of his valuable time to talk to me.


New Label Art – Fordham and Dominion Gypsy and Copperhead

When I saw these new labels from FoDo, my initial reaction was, “it’s kind of soon for a rebranding isn’t it?” But as I looked over the new artwork, I began to believe that there was possibly more here than initially meets the eye.

The repeating pattern of these labels really strike me as beer can labels and at 7 x 5.25 in dimension, puts them at around the right size for can art. Still, they could be bottle labels, I guess we’ll see, but being able to soon pick up some FoDo beers in cans would be a nice thing.

And yes, FoDo beers, because for years Fordham and Dominion have kept the two brands independent of each other when it comes to their respective beers, each brewery having its own distinct style. But, notice that on these labels both brands are predominantly displayed together, not just in one place, but in two, with one of them echoing the branding that the breweries use on their merchandise and marketing.

Keep an eye out!

Dogfish Head 2019 Release Calendar – What’s New, What’s Gone.

Tuesday I was surfing the interwebs looking for something to distract me from doing what I should have been doing when something from Dogfish Head popped up and reminded me that I should (once again) check to see if they had posted up their 2019 beer release calendar yet. Sadly, they had not, which caused me to wonder why considering we’re starting to chip away at the month of December.

But, about a hour later I was on Facebook (still not doing what I was supposed to be doing) when I saw that Sam was live going through next year’s releases with the calendar being posted on the website soon after. This could have been one of those great cosmic coincidences that occasionally happens (like when you think of a song you haven’t heard of for a long time and then it happens to be the next song to play on the radio) or it could be (as I like to think of it) a case of great minds thinking a like. Anyway, let’s see how it shapes up this year.

As with last year, the releases are broken up into three categories: Year Round, Art Series, and Occasionals. And, don’t be surprised if a few beers that aren’t listed pop up throughout the year, DFH can be sneaky that way.

Year round is pretty much the same as last year with only one notable change, Liquid Truth Serum graduates from last year’s Art Series. The beer is currently available out there in 16oz cans, but you can also expect to see it in 12oz cans soon.

Sadly, something had to apparently go, so Indian Brown has been dropped this year, so if you’re a fan get it while you can.

The Art Series still sees Dragons & Yums Yums and Punkin Ale anchor down the middle of the year while last year’s Romantic Chemistry has been replaced with The Perfect Disguise (Feb-Apr). Liquid Truth Serum, due to its promotion to year round will be replaced by 75 Minute IPA (Nov-2020J) which you can pick up in stores now even though it wasn’t on last year’s calendar (see, sneaky).

Occasionals? Well let’s just say if you’re a huge fan of any of the beers on last year’s list, you might be disappointed this year. Festina Peche, Mixed Media, Fruit-Full Fort, Pennsylvania Tuxedo, and Siracusa Nera all disappear. The only beer that survives the culling is 120 Minute IPA (Aug-Dec).

Replacing that troop is American Beauty (which in a total contradiction is “ocssionally” available from Jan to Dec next year), Raison D’Extra (Jan-Apr), World Wide Stout (May-Aug), and SuperEIGHT (Apr-Dec).

Also on the calendar are the Summer Variety pack (May-August), and the IPA for the Holidays pack (Nov-Dec).

Below is my annual, no thrills version of the calendar. You can find DFH’s snazzy version here.

Now go drink some beer!