April 16, 2019
A beer label is a lot like a book cover; you can’t prejudge what’s inside, but a great front can definitely entice you to pick something up off the shelf and take a closer look.
A lot of breweries spend significant time and money on labels, and that’s for a good reason. But at Collective Arts Brewing, the label creation process is about much more than focus groups and computer assisted design.
Collective Arts has a constant call-out for independent artists to submit their work, in hopes their creations might appear on one of the company’s cans.
“We are constantly looking to find ways to work with artists in an alliance that works for both parties’ benefit,” explains Collective Arts’ Ryan Thibault. “Our founders wanted to figure out a way to build a company based on both creativity and art. There's a lot of creativity that goes into making beer of course, because in a sense you’re one part chemist, one part artist, and it ties in nicely with both art and music."
Artists submit their designs to Collective Arts and the chosen ones are paid for their work. One of the newest can designs is from a Calgarian. Kelsey Van Raay says she has a passion for the outdoors and the arts. Perhaps it’s not surprising then that her submission reflects the landscape she lives in.
“My design is called Hipster Bear,” explains Van Raay. “I was sketching and playing around with some designs and it just came together—really quickly, actually. I know how many art submissions they get so I was so excited to be chosen. I love cider too, so I was thrilled to find out it’s going to be on a can of cider.”
Local Press is Collective Arts' small batch craft cider made with Canadian apples and it will be adorned with Van Raay's creation. Collective Arts has a set of core beers, but releases limited editions each season too. You can also find Ransack the Universe IPS, Life in the Clouds NEIPA, Prophets & Nomads Gose, Jam Up the Mash Dry Hopped Sour, Stranger Than Fiction Porter and Saint of Circumstance Citrus Blonde Ale at Calgary-area Co-op Wine Spirits Beer stores.
The brand's beer is adorned with vibrant and colourful art work of all kinds.
"I’ve been told we've used can art from over 40 countries globally,” shares Thibault, "Choosing Kelsey's work means we get to work with another great Canadian artist."
For her part, Van Raay is pumped to see her design on a product that she also enjoys. "I think I was probably sipping on a beer as I sketched out Hipster Bear," laughs Van Raay. "I can't wait to be able to go into Co-op and see my work sitting on the shelf. I'll probably buy up the whole lot!"
Find Collective Arts Local Press Cider, and the full lineup of their other beers at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
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