If a picture is worth a thousand words, then we say a good homebrew label is worth a million bucks. Each year we collect the hundreds of entries for our annual homebrew label contest, waiting patiently to open the boxes and envelopes to see what homebrewers have been up to all year besides mashing, boiling, hopping and fermenting. Just as in years past, 2009 did not disappoint. This year we fell in love on a Dubbel Date, got geeky for an certain cephalopod, cooked up a mighty thirst for an old whaling ship and developed a major crush for a crazy cider. Winners — you wowed. Congratulations! And to everyone who entered the contest, thank you for sharing all your hard work and imaginative entries with us. A big thanks also goes out to all of the companies who generously donated prizes. Cheers!
Kasey Loman • Fayetteville, Arkansas
When Kasey and her wife Jenifer Royer wanted something special for their big day, they decided to go Dubbel (instead of Dutch). “We thought it would be a good beer snob thing to toast our wedding with a Belgian-style dubbel instead of champagne,” Kasey said. To create an image that not only evoked the spirit of the Belgian brew in the bottle, but also the unusual addition of dates in the mash, Kasey crafted a couple of monk-and-nun couples. “Which two are paired together on the date is subject to the imagination.”
Prizes: Basic Brewing “Trippel” DVD combo from Active Voicing/Basic Brewing Radio; Weldless stainless steel spigot from Do Your Brew; Gift certificate from Grape and Granary; Brew kettle and spoons from Polar Ware Company; Gift certificate from Homebrewers Outpost & Mail Order Co.; Gift certificate from Quality Wine and Ale Supply; Gift certificate from Above the Rest Homebrewing Supplies
Brian Walbridge and Graham Kelman, Takoma Park, Maryland
When Brian brewed a foreign extra stout, he asked his friend Graham to help him imagine a design to describe the strange, inky concoction. “We made the connection to a deep sea octopus. It best captured the stout’s duality and odd nature,” said Graham.
Prizes: Ten sheets of custom labels from Bottle Your Brand; Gift certificate from The Flying Barrel; Gift certificate from High Gravity Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies; Gift certificate from Maryland Homebrew; Gift certificate from Homebrewers Outpost & Mail Order Co.; Wine bottle opener from Rubino’s Homemade Wine & Beer Supply; Gift certificate from Quality Wine and Ale Supply
Damian Fagan • San Francisco, California
After reading In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, Damian was moved to make a Belgian-style dubbel. “I was so inspired by the story I decided to brew a beer in honor of the ship’s crew,” he said.
Prizes: Gift certificate from Bader Beer & Wine Supply, Inc.; Gift certificate from The Beverage People; Gift certificate from High Gravity Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies; Gift certificate from Homebrewers Outpost & Mail Order Co.; Gift certificate from Quality Wine and Ale Supply
Sean Savaria, M.C. Mortikai, DJ Stokes, Greg Henry, Zane DeFazio • Troy, New York
Five cider-loving friends agreed that commercial hard cider just didn’t make the mark — so they made their own. To describe that extra homemade oomph, they needed a, “drawing of a bad ass apple,” said Sean. “We believe our label accurately depicts the flavor and style of our hard cider.”
Prizes: 50 lb. pail of Straight-A cleanser from Logic, Inc.; Gift certificate from Grains Bean & Things; The Homebrewer’s Answer Book from Rubino’s Homemade Wine & Beer Supply; Gift certificate from Homebrewers Outpost & Mail Order Co.; Gift certificate from Quality Wine and Ale Supply
Will Wilson • Jamestown, Rhode Island
Prize: Gift certificate from Beer and Wine Hobby
Luis Concha • Montreal, Quebec
Prize: The Homebrewer’s Answer Book from Brew Your Own magazine
Rob Hoover • Franklin, Pennsylvania
Prize: Hat & T-shirt from How Do You Brew?
Ryan Lynd • Snoqualmie, Washington
Prize: Gift certificate from The Beer Essentials
Jonathan Sharp • Cincinnati, Ohio
Prize: Homebrew shirts and The Adapter from Adventures in Homebrewing
Tarey Potter • Boise, Idaho
Prize: Beach Blonde ingredient kit from
O’Shea Brewing Company
Stephen Singleton Indianapolis, Indiana
Prize: Gift certificate from Quality Wine and Ale Supply
Steve Schalekamp • Seattle, Washington
Prize: Gift certificate from Bader Beer & Wine Supply
Joseph Myers • Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
Prize: Gift certificate from Point Brew Supply &
O’so Brewing Co.
Byron Ives • Pueblo, Colorado
Prize: Party Pig set-up package from
Prize: Gift certificate from Quality Wine and Ale Supply
Prize: Gift certificate from WindRiver Brewing Co., Inc.
John Greer • Newark, Delaware
Prize: Gift certificate from How Do You Brew?
Heather Gelinas • Vernon, Connecticut
Prize: Gift certificate from Strange Brew Beer & Winemaking Supplies
Brian Law • Campbell, California
Prize: Gift certificate from Original Home Brew Outlet
Katie Kregal • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Prize: Extract plus grains homebrew kit from Briess Malt and Ingredients Co.
Liana Zamora • New York, New York
Prize: Polo shirt from Yardwear.com
Tyler Waterhouse • Stamford, Connecticut
Prize: Gift certificate from Maltose Express
Adam Halon • Crown Point, Indiana
Brian Parda • Concord, New Hampshire
Joseph J. Van Leeuwen • Bartlett, Illinois
Travis Savchenko • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Robert Sherrill • Springfield, Virginia
Charlie Fonville • Los Angeles, California
Matt Franck • Fredonia, Wisconsin
Neal Steward • Springville, New York
Maura Houston • Pleasant Hill, California
Leah Dienes • Louisville, Kentucky
Matthew J. Horney • Atlanta, Georgia
Alex Kanovich • Kfar Saba, Israel