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Can-do spirit: the rise of beer-label art

What’s better than a home delivery beer? A home delivery beer in a beautifully designed can.

“People used to associate canned beer with cheap offy tins, but our customers now overwhelmingly choose cans over bottled equivalents,” says Jen Ferguson of craft-beer specialists Hop Burns & Black in East Dulwich. Cans are more eco-friendly than glass, and they’re better at protecting the beer from air and light. But it’s the eye-catching artwork – weird, beautiful, sometimes even political – that’s really transformed the can’s image, says Ferguson. “It feels like record-sleeve art. Designers are pushing the boundaries of what can go on a beer label.”

Many of these designs (and the beers they adorn) are limited editions and get snapped up very quickly. Some are only available to subscribers; others attract long waiting lists. But dozens of new designs hit the market every month. So if you miss the boat on a good one, fear not – there will be another fine tin along soon.

Shadow Universe Oatmeal Raisin Stout, by Mondo

The fractured, disorientating landscapes of the sci-fi world are the inspiration for the designs of Battersea’s Mondo Brewing Company. The man behind them is Luke Drozd, an illustrator with a taste for “art that is odd and joyous and things that are the right side of wrong”. This dark, slightly smoky stout is conditioned on raisins to give the roasted coffee notes a sticky, singed fruitiness.

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