Beer Label Breakdown with Greenport Harbor Brewing's Artist Scott Bluedorn, Part 5: Leaf Pile Ale

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Beer Label Breakdown with Greenport Harbor Brewing's Artist Scott Bluedorn, Part 5: Leaf Pile Ale
Beer Label Breakdown was originally a four-part series spotlighting Scott Bluedorn, an East Hampton-based artist commissioned by Greenport Harbor Brewing Company to create label artwork for the brewery's bottles of Harbor Ale, Black Duck Porter, Otherside IPA, and Summer Ale. It will now be an ongoing series, however, since a fifth bottle is forthcoming: Leaf Pile Ale, perhaps Greenport Harbor's most popular beer, on August 17. We asked Bluedorn to discuss its label: 

Part 5: Leaf Pile Ale

Official Beer Description: An autumn ale which brings you a slice of pumpkin pie in a glass. Fresh whole ginger, cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg gives this ale its distinct character. Fall in. (5.2% ABV) -seasonal availability.

Scott Bluedorn: Leaf Pile is one of Greenport Harbor's most cherished beers, and rightfully so: This spiced pumpkin ale is amazing, one of the best fall seasonals, or any seasonals, that I've ever tasted. Because the brewery sees Leaf Pile as "autumn in a bottle," it's no surprise that they wanted to depict an image that was immediately recognizable as such. They asked to include a pumpkin somewhere in the artwork, as that's an integral ingredient in the recipe, and a leaf pile to have some life in a peculiar way as most of the other bottle illustrations do.

The setting was originally going to be a forest clearing, though often my subjects exist in minimal spaces. Utilizing some symbols of autumn like the leaves and a rake, I came up with quite a few concepts that utilized a central character and its relationship to a pile of leaves. I initially thought of a grunge-rocker kid thrashing out of one with a guitar, full on rock-star explosion, but it was a little over the top in describing what the beer was. Then it became a cute, impossibly big-eyed raccoon with a rake guitar; then a leaf-pile monster reminiscent of The Blob; and then even a whole group of odd characters including astronauts, walruses, and robots in a big pile like a hot tub, ha! We finally settled on a diver in antique equipment standing stoically in the pile to reflect Greenport’s maritime and industrial heritage.

After settling on the antique diver as the character for this, I loved researching what the equipment could be: big helmet contraptions with intricate windows, diving weights, loose-flowing canvas suits. I adapted the pumpkin to the helmet design and loved how it ended up. The diver is holding his rake as though it were a trident among a sea of leaves. All in all its one of my favorite pieces I’ve done for the bottles yet!

Read Beer Label Breakdown Part 4: Summer Ale

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