Thursday, May 2, 2013

Making Labels for Beer

While I've been coming into my own as a home cook, my husband Brendan has been exploring his passion for making beer. It's been about a year since he started home brewing, and (matrimonial bias aside) he's getting very good at it, both in the technical sense, and developing his palate to know which malts and hops work together harmoniously.

Yes, that's a wine glass. We don't own beer snifters... deal with it.

Today, we tasted his latest beer, an eisbock called Cletus the Defenestrator, and I've decided that this should be Beer Week on Fork and Brush. Although I've learned a lot about the process by watching Brendan, I'm not concerned with the technical stuff here. There are plenty of other blogs for that, including one recently launched by my good friend Joe.

I'm more interested in how beer and brewing relate to cooking, and occasionally art, so that's what I'll be focusing on here. Today, I want to tell you about our label.

Brendan gets full credit for its design, and we executed it together. The label features the name under which he brews, Dead River, the silhouette of a mischievous goat (Cletus), and the feet of someone falling from a window. Home brewers often have a lot of fun making their own labels, and there are ways to do it on the cheap. For example, these were printed using my ink jet printer and affixed to the bottles with whole milk. Milk works unbelievably well as a label adhesive, and when you want to re-use the bottles they peel right off with warm water.

Surgeon General's Warning: Do not consume alcoholic beverages near goats or open windows.

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