Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mmmmm... Beer Maps

My favorite Pacific Northwest blogger, Michael5000, sent this photo to me the other day:

"Thought of you on a beer run yesterday -- this is a new (to me, at least) product of Deschutes brewery; the faux topo map on the six-pack carton is a version of the company logo (which you can see on the handle). Reasonably well done, I thought -- a good addition to your collection of carto-marketing?"

A good addition indeed! In fact Mr. 5000 inspired me to seek out further examples of maps on beer. I made a special trip to my favorite beer and wine shop that specializes in designer and craft brews from microbreweries around the country and picked up four six-packs of beer that I had never tried before, based solely on the fact that they included a map in their package design. Its a tough job, but I'm willing to go the extra mile, for you, my carto-friends.

Here are two from Colorado:

This India Pale Ale from Avery features a map of the trade route to India that made the British Empire.

In contrast, this Jackman American Pale Ale from the Left Hand Brewing Company shows what makes America great: Motorcycles! (With a background of a map of western states, including Colorado.)

And two from Bell's Brewery in Michigan.

Bell's Lager of the Lakes features an early explorer's map of the Great Lakes region, while their Third Coast Beer gives us a view of Michigan's upper peninsula and the Keeweenaw Peninsula on Lake Superior and Oceania County on Michigan's Lake Michigan coast. The Great Lakes are often referred to as America's "third coast".

While these beers provide excellent use of maps in their packaging design, they were only fair, if somewhat disappointing in flavor. I cannot recommend cartography as the best criteria for beer selection... but I'm willing to keep trying

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