Intermittently serving design work to the beer industry. Below are samples of works I have contributed to the entire lineup for both Ramsay’s Dram WhiskyBack™, Portland, Oregon and GoodLife Brewing Company in Bend, Oregon. Both companies utilize Laramie Studio’s full service of capabilities, well, sans medical illustration. From branding to 3D modeling and rendering, these beer portfolios give all stakeholders an accurate look at the product which lends to better decision making in the design and a helpful tool if seeking to align with investors or communicating complexities with print shops.
WhiskyBack™, conceived & created by whisky and craft beer expert, Stuart MacLean Ramsay, is a family of beers designed to pair with and enhance straight whiskies. Although taking their inspiration from the world of whisky, WhiskyBacks are also intended to be enjoyed as stand-alone session and culinary beers.
WhiskyBack Red, a hybrid marriage of Scottish malt and Pacific Northwest hops, is a malty, fruity companion for whiskies built around barley, the king of grains: single malt & premium blended Scotch, Irish, Japanese and American barley inspired craft whiskies.
WhiskyBack Red’s target pairing is Scotch so we went with a classic tartan design. The can’s will come in the little 8 oz size.
Fresh, crisp and clean, WhiskyBack Gold is a German & American-inspired Pilsner imbued with Pilsner barley, rye malt and maize, with a noble hop character intended to balance the vanilla caramel sweetness of classic Bourbon and Rye whiskey.
For the can design we landed on a background texture of Oak grain and some accents of stars to best match the culture of American whiskeys.
Bittersweet, creamy and briny, WhiskyBack Black is an Irish-inspired cream porter created as a feisty, mildly smoky companion for heavily peated single malt Scotch, pure pot still Irish, Scottish coastal and Campbeltown drams.
Best paired with Irish and Scottish drams, the can design work pulled from Celtic pictish symbolism.
GoodLife Brewing Company
Up, down, up, down. That’s life here in Bend, Oregon. Up one mountain, or stream, or trail, or rock wall, and down another. Makes ya parched! So, we’re always up for a cool, fresh brew when we get down. Like this one. Descender is dedicated to our hometown of Bend – an adventurer’s paradise where people are up to all kinds of outdoor fun and have a thirst for the GoodLife.
Descender IPA is a blend of a big, true NW IPA mixed with some West Coast style. We balance the bitterness with the aromatics of the hops to make this a downright enjoyable IPA. Bottoms up!
Sometimes, pursuing the GoodLife here in Bend, Oregon takes you to the edge. And over it. Our Mountain Rescue Session Ale is named for those gutsy men and women who put their own good lives on the line to save ours. Who rescue us when bad things happen and we go over the edge. We toast them and say, “Here’s to a long, happy, GoodLife – for all of us!”
This life-enhancing brew is a balance of NW hops and light alcohol. Clean and crisp with hints of citrus and pine. It’s a savior to savor anytime. Enjoy the GoodLife and be safe out there!
The Mountain Rescue Northwest Session Ale art was inspired by my dear old mom’s Nursing pin.
You may wonder, why the heck did we name it “Sweet As!”? Good question! “Sweet As” is a slang expression (mostly if you’re an Aussie or Kiwi!) that means awesome, bodacious, cool, radical… as in, “How were the waves today, Kev?” “Oh man, sweet as, bro!” Sweet As is what this beer is. A chill concoction brewed exclusively with hops from New Zealand and Australia. More Pacific and tropical in their flavor and aroma – just right for a light beer.
We wanted a craft beer for our blistering hot summer days here in our hometown of Bend. So we made one. And now everyone gets to enjoy the refreshing goodness of Sweet As year round!
When Sweet As! was first concepted, the imaging invited some gray area as to the pronunciation. In the beginning of naming the beer, some people mispronunced it and said “Sweet Ass!” so the first design concept played to that with subliminal intentions. See it? The whole Sweet As wordmark was designed to contour to a woman’s derriere. The beer was originally brewed with hops from New Zealand hence the Maori-like tattoo designs. So now the graphic identity is the same tattoo look but on a hop cone instead, keeping it safe and P.C. Do you find the ass art offensive? Feel free to post a comment.
All beer style stories for each beer were written by Tom Vandel of Les Overhead. I’m glad Tom is a part of the team. His word craft is very illustrative. Les Overhead and Laramie Studio are located in the same building #208 on SW 2nd Ave and SW Stark St in Portland and he’s a great Happy Hour mate!