Today’s infographic is the James Squire Guide to Beer, created by the Malt Shovel Brewing Co. in Australia, though it appears to have “borrowed” rather liberally from the infographic created by Pete Slosberg for Pete’s Wicked Ales.
Here’s a hilarious video from Down Under. Sh!t Beer Geeks Say is a video produced by the folks putting on Good Beer Week, an Australian beer week centered around Melbourne and Victoria, and also the Bridge Road Brewers. I especially love that Vinnie’s “Lupulin Threshold Shift” made it into the list of phrases used in the video.
Monday’s ad is for the Australian beer Tooheys Oatmeal Stout. It looks to be an older ad, pre-WWII possibly, but I’m not sure. Since it refers to the Oatmeal Stout as building “radiant health,” I suspect that it’s from a time before the age of television. It seems to me that such health claims tend to be in ads from before the 1940s.
As far as I can tell, the Australian beer brand Hahn Brewing has some of the cleverest beer commercials around. I suspect there’s not much to the beer, even though it was founded by Chuck Hahn, who also started Malt Shovel Brewing (a.k.a. James Squire), and both are now owned by Lion Nathan. But the beers appear to variations on light lagers, running the gambit from Hahn Super Dry, Premium, Premium Light to Hahn Ice. I’ve had the pleasure of judging at GABF and the World Beer Cup with Chuck several times. At any rate, this ad is for Spill-Proof Beer. Enjoy.
Nauru Brewery Guides
Guild: None Known
National Regulatory Agency: None
Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements: Not Known
Drunk Driving Laws: Not Known
- Full Name: Republic of Nauru
- Location: Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands
- Government Type: Republic
- Currency: Australian dollar
- Language: Nauruan (official, a distinct Pacific Island language), English (widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes)
- Religion(s): Protestant 45.8% (Nauru Congregational 35.4%, Nauru Independent Church 10.4%), Roman Catholic 33.2%, other 14.1%, none 4.5%, unspecified 2.4%
- Capital: No official capital; government offices in Yaren District
- Population: 9,322; 225th
- Area: 21 sq km, 239th
- Comparative Area: About 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
- National Food: Noddy Tern
- National Symbol: Frigatebird
- Nickname: Pleasant Island
- Affiliations: UN, Commonwealth, Pacific Community
- Independence: From Australia, January 31, 1968
- Alcohol Legal: Yes
- Minimum Drinking Age: 18
- BAC: Unknown
- Label Requirements: N/A
- Number of Breweries: None known
- How to Say “Beer”: beer
- How to Order a Beer: N/A
- How to Say “Cheers”: cheers
- Toasting Etiquette: N/A
Alcohol Consumption By Type:
- Beer: 97%
- Wine: 3%
- Spirits: <1%
Alcohol Consumption Per Capita (in litres):
- Recorded: 2.33
- Unrecorded: 2.50
- Total: 4.83
- Beer: 2.24
WHO Alcohol Data:
- Per Capita Consumption: 2.3 litres
- Alcohol Consumption Trend: Decreasing
- Excise Taxes: N/A
- Minimum Age: 18
- Sales Restrictions: N/A
- Advertising Restrictions: N/A
- Sponsorship/Promotional Restrictions: N/A
Patterns of Drinking Score: N/A
We all know good labels, packaging and artwork can help a beer sell. I may not like that a mediocre beer might sell better than a great one if it has more eye-catching artwork, but it happens all the time. It was especially true in the early days of craft beer when many people who were passionate about the beer they were making believed that was enough. They thought all they had to do was make great beer, and people would buy it. And so a lot of good breweries failed for no better reason than they weren’t good businesspeople, as well as good brewers. These days, as we close in on the 2,000th American brewery, most brewers now understand they have to do something to get noticed on the shelf. Good beer in the bottle or can will undoubtedly keep people buying your beer, but you have to get them to try it first. And so most at least try to be clever, artistic or interesting with their packaging. If they have the means, they hire inventive, capable people and agencies to help them.
As an unabashed art lover, a great label or package will impress me. As I’ve said, the beer inside ultimately has to deliver, but great art is an all but necessary first step. That said, I recently came across some of the most impressive new art for a beer I’ve seen in a long time. It’s for an Australian beer I’d never heard of, which makes sense since it’s brand new. It’s a new, separate brewery launched by the Melbourne brewery Little Creatures. It’s located in Healesville in the Yarra Valley, in Victoria, which is in the southeast corner of the continent of Australia. Victoria is the smallest Australian state and Melbourne is its capital.
The name of the brewery is the White Rabbit Brewery. (Note: their website was up and running yeasterday, but today is not.) The Facebook page, however, is working. The design for the beer that a design agency, BrainCells, came up with is just brilliant. This was their mission:
Little Creatures Brewing in 2009 commissioned the White Rabbit Brewery in the Yarra Valley Victoria. The new initiative is focused on delivering a unique dark ale using traditional European open fermenters that bring mysterious wild yeast character into play. brainCELLS was asked to develop the brand look and feel representative of the product, the region, and the eccentricity of the process.
I may be biased, I love rabbits. Always have. I’ve owned a few as pets over my lifetime. And it also doesn’t hurt that I love the works of Lewis Carroll, have a daughter named “Alice,” and my son’s first stuffed animal was a white bunny named “bunny” I bought him his first week (and which is still his favorite). Truth be told, my first stuffed animal when I was a kid was also a rabbit, but it had a much more embarrassing name, one that no amount of beer will ever ply from my lips.
Still, it’s such a beautiful scene, with the white rabbit jumping through the hop forest. It looks great on the six-pack carrier and the bottle, as well. If you look closely, you can see the rabbit is in a different spot on the bottle than the side of the sixer.
And below is the packaging for the white ale, which is ironically a night setting, while the dark ale is a daytime scene.
Even the glassware is cool, using a clever, and simple, two-fingered rabbit hand as a logo. It’s one that’s immediately recognizable.
I sure hope they paid as much attention to the beer as the design for the packaging. If the beer is even half as good as the artwork, it should be terrific beer. If anyone in Australia wants to send me some of the beer, or can tell me how to get some, I would be a very happy camper. I am loving the White Rabbit.
While searching for more information about yesterday’s featured artist for my Beer In Art series, I discovered a second artist named Ben Sanders, this one working as an illustrator in Australia. Perhaps more importantly, he’s actually worked on a campaign to reduce drunk driving down under. The campaign, sponsored by the Motor Accident Commission, was designed to try and reduce drunk driving in the rural areas of southern Australia. Called Prevent Mate Morphosis, it employs a device you’d never see used by our own government and especially not by the neo-prohibitionists: irreverent humor.
Here’s how they describe the campaign:
Just like on the footy field, mateship is the glue that unites regional communities.
Mates look out for mates — it’s a big part of the Aussie culture. And they’d never intentionally do anything that would cause us harm. It’s just that sometimes, our mates can turn into blokes who, let’s just say, make bad decisions. Especially on the roads.
In this advertising campaign we’ve come up with a new name for this change in a mate’s behaviour. We’re calling it “Matemorphosis” — when your mate gets behind the wheel and morphs into a knob.
They continue by saying it’s “For Country People, By Country People:”
This is the first road safety campaign that’s specifically made for country South Australians, by country South Australians. The TV ads don’t use actors, but real people from different regions across SA and were filmed at Callington Football Club oval.
The campaign acknowledges that too many deaths occur on our roads because country roads are different to anywhere else. We all know we can’t change where we drive, but we can change how we drive. And the campaign makes the point that it’s up to all of us to make country roads safer.
But they sure seem like they’d get your attention far more effectively because they stop and make you think. Then they make you laugh, which in my mind would make them more memorable, as well.
Obviously, not all the idioms would translate to American English, but surely we could come up with equally effective and equally funny ones. Not that the folks in MADD and their ilk would, or even could, embrace any strategy that might involve humor. They’d undoubtedly complain that you can’t make light of so serious a problem. But if it furthers their supposed goal of reducing drunk driving, it really shouldn’t matter how the message is communicated, so long as it’s effective. Frankly, I’ve always believed you’d get a lot further being reasonable and human than constantly hammering the same serious propaganda.
And below is one of the billboards in action. I’d much rather see this on the road than a frying pan with an egg in it telling me that’s my brain or a needle sticking out of a bottle of beer equating it to heroin. Such heavy-handed imagery doesn’t work because it doesn’t ring true. It looks like propaganda because it is propaganda. Maybe a little humor would be better? It’s making me laugh … and pay attention.
Back in November, the call went out through the BA’s Export Development Program for brewers around the world to enter the Australian International Beer Awards for 2011. When my local brewpub Moylan’s Brewery & Restaurant decided to enter some of their beer, they couldn’t have known how well it would turn out for them.
Moylan’s ended up winning two gold medals, for Moylan’s Moylander Double IPA and Hopsickle Imperial Triple IPA, a silver medal for Chelsea Moylan’s Porter and two bronze medals for both Dragoon’s Dry Irish Stout and Ryan Sullivan’s Imperial Stout. Those wins resulted in them being awarded more points than any other brewery and garnered them two additional bigger prizes: the “Cleanevent Trophy for Champion Small Brewery” and the “Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Trophy for Champion Exhibitor” for the Highest Scoring Exhibitor, which is the biggest prize awarded throughout the entire competition. Congratulations to Denise and everybody at Moylan’s.
Yesterday, Dr. Peter Aldred from the AIBA — who’s at UC Davis for a few months — stopped by Moylan’s in Novato to present the Australian International Beer Awards Trophy to Brewmaster Denise Jones and Owner Brendan Moylan.
If you want to see the rest of the winners, they’re listed at Australian Brews News.
Here’s a fun video forwarded to me by Push Eject, who’s both the Production Director with The Brewing Network and also involved in Heretic Brewing. The commercial is for the Hahn Brewery, founded by legendary Australian brewer Chuck Hahn, who today runs the Malt Shovel Brewery. The Hahn brands were bought by brewing giant Lion Nathan in 1993. In 2005, Lion Nathan launched Hahn Super Dry. I confess that I’m skeptical of any beer that calls itself “super dry,” but I love the notion in the ad that you can imbue the beer with the soul of different ideas by the way you brew it. If you just expose the beer to cool things, it will become cool, too, by osmosis. It’s not quite Rube Goldberg, but it has similar elements. And most importantly, it makes me want to try the beer, even though I know I probably won’t like it very much because I’m not a fan of this type of beer.