The Art of the Label

Local brewers reveal the inspiration behind their iconic designs

Furthermore: Proper, Knot Stock, 3 Feet Deep
Designer: Erin Fuller, Erin Fuller Graphics

“Furthermore wanted something fun, nostalgic and engaging—something well put together, but not too serious—like a perfectly messed coif. Arrows and birds were established early as running themes throughout most Furthermore media.”

Ale Asylum: Ambergeddon
Designer: Otto Dilba, co-owner, Ale Asylum Brewery

“Ambergeddon is meant to represent the full flavor assault on the taste buds that characterizes the beer. We want our beer label artwork to pass what we call the tattoo test—a design won’t go to press unless it’s something we could imagine a person wanting to get tattooed on their body.”

New Glarus: Spotted Cow
Designer: Deb Carey, president, New Glarus Brewing Co.

“The concept for Spotted Cow emerged during a trip to England. Everywhere we went the fields were crowded with frolicking sheep and lambs. I thought … about our spotted cows, and it struck me as a great name for a beer. I sat down and started drawing cows. I had in mind the Grateful Dead dancing bears and what I ended up with was a happy Holstein leaping over the state of Wisconsin.”

Tyranena Brewing Company: Bitter Woman IPA
Designer: Scott Roberts, Roberts Design

“Bitter Woman was one of the easier label designs to come up with because the portrait of the ‘bitter woman,’ Cal, was hanging around at the brewery (in the men’s bathroom above the urinal). It was the inspiration for the Bitter Woman label illustration and the story is local lore.”

Amy Seigel is a freelance writer for Madison Magazine.

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