In the Can
A Round Up of the Lone Star State’s Best Beer Designs
by Margaret Williams
Photographs by Kathleen Pieratt
Remember when beer cans were a thing of shame and relegated to the most causal Styrofoam-cooler-only gatherings? No longer. Look along any grocery, café or bodega shelf and you’ll be met with myriad options of saturated color and inspiring design. Retro fonts, check. Illustrated wraparounds, check. Abstract and cheeky prints, check. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite designs, all of which were created in the Lone Star State. Cheers!
Shiner, Day Quencher
“We wanted a flavorful and easy-drinking light beer with a refreshing can to match,” says Shiner’s Nick Weiland. Austin’s McGarrah Jessee led the can design, whose crisp tiles and vibrant colors are meant to evoke a sunny summer day in small-town Texas.
Circle Brewing Co.,
Lady Bird American IPA
Designed by Trina Bentley of Make & Matter, the Lady Bird (named for Lady Bird Johnson) is meant to evoke sunny Hill Country drives and fields of bluebonnets. “The simple and elegant can design reinforces the IPA’s inspiration while also reflecting Circle’s commitment to use as few ingredients as possible,” says the brand’s co-founder Ben Sabel.
Karbach Brewing Co., Crawford Bock
Austin-based creative agency Guerilla Suit joined forces with Karbach and the Houston Astros just in time for baseball season. “The can design is a blend of old and new, inspired by the Astros’ throwback rainbow uniforms and Minute Maid Park’s iconic ‘Crawford Boxes,’” explains Guerilla Suit’s Julie Warenoff.
Live Oak, HefeWeizen
Live Oak has been available on draft since 1997 but only in cans since 2016. Head brewer Dusan Kwiatkowski, along with David Kampa, led the HefeWeizen can design, “with the intention of creating something eye-catching, classic and consistent,” according to Live Oak’s Myk O’Connor. “We let the beer speak for itself.”
Barrow Brewing Company, Creek Don’t Rise Lager
Created by designers Keith Davis Young and Bryan Butler, the Creek Don’t Rise can debuted in 2017. “As the beer was first brewed during a 2016 Salado flood, Young chose to incorporate a lifesaver into the design,” explains Barrow Brewing’s KD Hill.
Austin Beerworks, Bloodwork Orange
Helms Workshop designed the Bloodwork Orange can, which was first released in 2015. Austin Beerworks’ Michael Graham says, “The wrapped pattern highlights components within the beer, while also giving a nod to the beer’s namesake film, ‘A Clockwork Orange.’”