In 2010, Steve Hindy, president and cofounder of Brooklyn Brewery, had a special beer and label made to honor his friend Fred Tomaselli on the occasion of the artist’s solo show at the Brooklyn Museum. Because the bottles were such a hit with museumgoers, Hindy thought that doing a similar project this year would be a great way to mark the company’s 25th anniversary.
This time around, Hindy invited four Brooklyn-based artists—Joe Amrhein, Elizabeth Crawford, Roxy Paine, and, of course, Tomaselli—to create special editions of the brewery’s original Milton Glaser–designed label. Like the brewery itself, these artists humbly began their careers in Brooklyn and over the past 25 years have experienced success and notoriety. “I thought it would be a cool way to not only celebrate our silver anniversary but to also celebrate the renaissance of Brooklyn and its artists,” Hindy says.
The four labels are to be released quarterly on 750-mililiter bottles of the doppelbock-style Silver Anniversary Lager. The first one came out this month and bears an image of Tomaselli’s kaleidoscopic collage painting Breathing Head (2002). Amrhein’s design, a repetition of the phrase “A Fallibility of Perception” in various fonts and languages, will hit shelves in the summer—followed by Paine’s contribution, a study of his sculpture Vertical Sequence (2005), depicting stacked toadstools. Crawford’s label will be released last and will feature her hyperrealistic painting of a bottle of the brewery’s signature Brooklyn Lager with a globe stuck on top.
“Unless you’ve got a lot of money, you probably won’t be able to purchase works by these artists,” says Hindy. “Now you can at least have a beer bottle.”