Recently, the (unsanctioned) CBS Boston Craft Beer Panel got to chatting about some of the awesome beer labels that Massachusetts breweries have been cranking out.
While we often find time to appreciate the actual products, our (unsanctioned) crew has not done due justice in its appreciation of the fantastic artwork that goes hand-in-hand with the craft. So, we pulled a bunch of labels and took a vote.
In no particular order, here
is an excuse for us to buy more local craft beer are eighteen labels that are among the greatest in Massachusetts craft beer.
1. Battle Road Brewing Company “1775”
Battle Road Brewing Company contracts out of Ipswich. Their signature beer, 1775 Tavern Ale is a tribute to the legend that much of the U.S. Revolution was planned over beers.
2. Slumbrew “Lobstah Killah”
Putting the name “Lobster” on a beer has been done. But, with a deranged lobster fleeing the scene of an inferno, Slumbrew’s label offers a not-so-subtle hint that at 8.0 % ABV, the Lobstah Killah Imperial Red Ale packs a pretty potent punch.
3. Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project “Lovely Saint Winefride”
The story goes that Saint Winefride had her head lopped off when she decided to become a nun. It was reattached and she made a miraculous full recovery. Just the same, Pretty Things was hoping that its German “Brown” pre-war style lager that is Lovely Saint Winefride, makes a miraculous comeback in popularity.
4. Nightshift Brewing Company “Jojo”
The Nightshift Brewing Company’s night owl logo is pretty simple, but pretty cool. And it makes perfect sense.
5. Clown Shoes Beer “Miracle Mike”
Sadly, Miracle Mike is no longer in production. But, out of all Clownshoes’ spectacular and sometimes controversial labels, this one was probably the coolest. We actually met Miracle Mike at a beer festival. He’s a real guy, and he was in full costume. He drives forklift in the Clownshoes warehouse. How many people do you know who can say their face is on a beer label? Also cool – a portion of the proceeds from this brew went to charity.
6. Berkshire Brewing Company “Lost Sailor IPA”
What do you do with a drunken sailor? Put him on the label of Berkshire Brewing Company’s Lost Sailor IPA, that’s what.
7. Enlightenment Ales “Rite of Spring”
The artwork for Enlightenment Ales’ Rite of Spring was met with mixed reviews. At first, it was far too abstract for our simple minds. But then we stared at it… and kept staring. And after a few pints, we were just blown away.
8. Cambridge Brewing Company “Spring Training”
If you’re going to shamelessly combine craft beer and baseball, we’re going to shamelessly list it among our favorite labels. Way to go, Cambridge Brewing Company. Your “Spring Training” is a hit.
9. Buzzards Bay Brewing Company “Lizzy’s Famous “81 Whacks” Red India Pale Ale”
Wow. Just… Wow.
(Editor’s Note: If you’re not understanding this reference, read up on Lizzy Borden. )
10. Blue Hills Brewery “Red Baron Ale”
“I like the Red Baron. I just remember him from Snoopy,” is how one of our (unsanctioned) beer panel members described the label. Red Baron seems like an appropriate mascot for a red ale, especially if you weigh the fact that a baron is of noble rank.
11. Backlash Beer
From the brass knuckles to the eerie detailed sketches, we couldn’t decide on an individual beer from Backlash, so we went with the Backlash collection. Looking sharp.
12. Cody Brewing Company “SOS: Farmhouse Ale”
We sat and pondered for a very long time during work hours about how best to describe this label. After many hours, we finally reached a consensus: cool.
13. Mystic Brewery “Day of Doom”
The great-great-great (and so-on) grandfather of Mystic’s founder, Michael Wigglesworth wrote a long ranting Puritan poem called “The Day of Doom,” in which he ranted about just about everything — except beer. This mystical dark and heavy beer also bills itself as perfect for the end of days.
14. Cape Ann Brewing “Fisherman’s Brew”
Based in Gloucester, this label hits at the heart of the community – a fishing community for many generations.
15. Wormtown Brewing “Be Hoppy”
Seriously, how can you not smile at a beer label with a big yellow smiley face on it? Insider tip: the brew itself is amazing, too.
16. Lefty’s Brewing Company “English Style Porter”
This one features an adorable puppy and a purple king’s crown. What more can you ask for in a beer label?
17. Offshore Ale Company “Beach Road Nut Brown Ale
Buoy is a fun word to say… especially after a few drinks. Studying this label is sure to lead to some ridiculous conversations.
18. Jack’s Abby “Kiwi Rising”
The label on this award-winning brew looks as good as it tastes, featuring a bird in a hot air balloon.
Honorable Mention: Tree House “That’s What She Said Milk Stout”
Tree House comes in as the honorable mention here with it’s “That’s What She Said Milk Stout.” The beer itself doesn’t have an official label (that we know of), but We’re anticipating and hoping that some day it will. And if that happens, we’re certain it will be amazing.