We’d be fucked without art. Not just in a “there’s nothing to put on our beer cans!” kind of way (still bad), but in a much deeper, painfully existential, “what’s the point of anything?” kind of way (much worse).
As a species, we’re a mixed bag but, hell, the existence of unbridled desire to craft and create truly beautiful things may be one of our single saving characteristics. That, and beer. Empathy, too. Okay, a few things.
Speaking of our favourite fermented beverage, there are some things that are vital for excellent beer: quality control, research, community engagement, decent equipment, an education. There is another thing, and that thing is art. You simply cannot successfully market a product in our industry without some element of artistic involvement.
In craft beer we have an incredible platform to engage with our community and peers, to promote causes, and to properly present the work of artists who have contributed to our products. It’s the act of collaboration, of recognising creativity in ourselves and those around us, that should drive the way we visually represent our brands and businesses.
Establishing a Beer Art Series is not a new concept, but Newstead Brewing Co know this. Inspired by the ethos of Ontario’s Collective Arts Brewing, and of the extensive work of Kasper Ledet, visual artist and graphic designer behind To Øl (plus a general, shared attraction to the Scandinavian beer aesthetic), Newstead have launched their version to showcase local artists in their pocket of the world. This is great news, and great news never happens anymore?! Amazing.
Even better, you can celebrate this good news, and soon, too! Tomorrow night (Nov 8) is the launch of the “The Art Series” and its first release upstairs at Newstead Brewing Co, Milton. To kick the series off, they’ve collaborated with Brisbane legend Soda Mouf, and the result is a 5.6 percent ABV Soda Ale with a damn fine can design to encase it.
Soda Mouf as a project has existed for years, influenced by the likes of David Choe, Mark Whalen (Kill Pixie), Shida, and a plethora of other studio/street based artists. They began their career in 2008 by bringing life to industrial bins and now their work alternates between showcasing quiet elements of the built environment, commandeering framed landscapes and vibrant commissions for local businesses. They’re an elusive character, like a rare bird, a rare bird who is excellent at painting (very rare).
A distinct vibe of transcendence operates within the characters that Soda Mouf brings into reality; there’s a seemingly natural blend of human and animal, of legs and levitation, of world building that renders every image both completely normal and totally fantastical. You accept these creatures are real and would probably be dope to hang out with. It borders on cosmic horror and this pleases me greatly.
Enough from me. Newstead Brewing Co, Milton. Friday night from 6pm, upstairs. It’s a beer launch. It’s a limited edition art show. Float over in the same relaxed fashion with which Soda Mouf’s creations would, and join us for a beer. First 32 in get a complimentary tallie to walk around with while enjoying the show.
Thanks to George Levi for this guest event post. Why have they written it? Because they're going to be kicking off a new series on The Crafty Pint soon – Art For Brews – featuring artists working in or around the local beer world. Watch this space (or at least other future parts of The Crafty Pint)...