A new book by Pete Brown argues that the ‘art of beer’ is just as important as taste, as brewers work harder than ever before to get noticed in an increasingly competitive market.
With more than 2,500 breweries in the UK, the choice for consumers can be overwhelming, resulting in the beer aisle becoming “the most creative and diverse shelf in the supermarket”, according to Beer by Design, published by CAMRA books.
This lavishly illustrated volume traces the history of beer label design back to the UK’s first ever trademark, exploring the conventions of successful beer design. Pete looks at why global lager brands haven’t changed much over time (but do change more than you might think), why real ale offers up a world of mythology, history and nature, and why craft beer design is blurring into art in its own right.
Explaining the tricks and secrets of successful design in a compelling and highly readable narrative, with every point illustrated by beautifully presented visuals, this is a book that will be catnip to collectors of beer and beer paraphernalia.
Before becoming an internationally acclaimed beer writer, Pete Brown worked in marketing, helping scores of brands with their design and advertising. He said: “Beer design goes back at least as far as 1876, when Bass claimed the UK’s first-ever trademark.
“Inevitably, the explosion of craft brewing has shaken up a fairly traditional approach to design, leading to everyone raising their game. It’s no longer enough just to brew a great beer, you have to stand out. Using the can, bottle or pumpclip to say something about the beer itself, the people who made it or the place it came from has made beer one of the most interesting design categories around.”
• Beer by Design, now available for £15.99 from CAMRA Books, is accompanied by a website and blog where beer lovers can keep up to date with new designs and learn more about design, artwork and labels. To find out more, visit camra.org.uk/beer-by-