Beer Label Breakdown is a four-part series spotlighting Scott Bluedorn, an East Hampton-based artist commissioned by Greenport Harbor Brewing Company to create the label artwork for the brewery's recently launched bottles of Harbor Ale, Black Duck Porter, Otherside IPA, and Summer Ale.
Before the opening of "Message On A Bottle," an exhibition of Bluedorn's work at different stages of the project, we asked him to discuss the four labels. We'll release one part on each of the next four Fridays, with the final part posted on the day before "Message On A Bottle" opens at Greenport Harbor's Greenport location on May 16.
Part 2: Otherside IPA
Official Beer Description: A blend of North American pale, light Munich, light crystal, and carapils malts provide a light malty backbone to balance healthy kettle and dry-hops additions of Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus. Hoppy yet balanced, our latest Project Hoppiness offering is our nod to the beers we love from the other coast. “Winner of the Brooklyn Mystery IPA Challenge” (7.5% ABV) -available year round.
Scott Bluedorn: The idea behind the Otherside IPA is that it's the East Coast version of a West Coast-style IPA, the latter being where the craft-beer industry (and hop-forward beers) really took off. Being the ‘other side’, we wanted to have an image that communicated the idea of 'separate but equal.' John [Liegey, co-owner of Greenport Harbor] suggested the idea of a reversed map of America, backwards letters in the name, and I took this for a ride through a million variations with some East Coast references. This concept went through more drafts than any other of the final four illustrations.
My initial ideas included creating a hybrid pine cone-hop image, because there are some piney notes in the beer; then it got a little crazy, from The Dark Side of the Moon-inspired images to an appearance from the Walrus King, taking ‘other side’ to pure metaphor. I definitely had a lot of fun with this one, and eventually I introduced the submarine idea probing the surface and something stuck with that upside-down idea. The submarine morphed into a striped bass, Long Island's prize sport-fish, which continued the theme of the other pieces as locally important animal-machine hybrids.
The story behind this one is the concept of turning the world you know on its head and seeing it from another perspective. Here the ‘other side’ is the world above water, appearing as upside down and maybe a little foreign. I liked adding the touch of the fishermen in the boat staring back at the periscope, simultaneously perplexed. I think that's how fish see us when we visit their world, too.
Read: Beer Label Breakdown Part 1: Harbor Ale