Hearthstone Brewery on Vancouver’s North Shore is one of those places that seems - quite literally – to have creativity on tap. Head Brewer George Woods, formerly of BrewDog, and Brewery manager Darren Hollet cook up the craft beers “you don’t know you love yet”. Whether it’s a sweet, comforting Graham Cracker Ale, a velvety smooth Chocolate Milk Stout or their refreshing cucumber sour, these beers are anything but ordinary. Unique beers such as these demand design work that sets them apart from the crowd. Naturally, they looked to Barnstorm Creative to design some craft beer cans that turn heads. Lets take a look at two of my favourite Canadian craft can designs to date: Cool Hand Cuke, the aforementioned cucumber sour and Mr Fungi, a chaga mushroom black lager.
Cool Hand Cuke
Originally brewed in collaboration with West Coast Canning (my can-design-addiction-enablers) for their Can City 2016 event, a celebration of canned craft beer, this refreshing, worryingly chuggable brew has to be one of my favourite cans in Canada. I caught up with Ron Fiedler of Barnstorm Creative, the mastermind behind this magnificent craft can, to find out more about the thinking behind this crushable summer refresher.
“Since it was a collab with WCC I felt it needed to be a bit separate from Hearthstone’s main brands, more elaborate, fun and celebratory. I wanted to showcase something that would stand out!
I guess when we landed on the name “Cool Hand Cuke” the design evolved from there. In true Hearthstone fashion, we went with the big blown out graphic, Big, Bold, Cool, essentially a Big Cuke with Cool hands, and Shades because… he’s cool! He was designed like a mascot: a bit “Justin Timberlake from SNL”, a bit “Peanut Butter Jelly Time”, a bit “60’s Drive-In movie Intermission” character. I’ve been told he has a California Raisin vibe, which really follows along the same design inspiration.”
I’d say he nailed the brief, wouldn’t you?
Mr Fungi - Chaga Black Lager
Taking cues from their environment, both natural and cultural, the brewers at Hearthstone recently created a black rice lager infused with a thick chaga mushroom tea and called it, rather appropriately, Mr Fungi. This crisp lager has earthy coffee notes and has a little fun with Vancouver’s well documented love of trendy ‘superfoods’.
After the success of Cool Hand Cuke Ron Fiedler jumped at the chance to add another member to the Hearthstone family:
“When we had the chance to create another character for Mr. Fungi, the “Peaced-Out” hippie mushroom was a natural fit! We may be adding more to the family in the future, it really depends what new creations the guys in the brewery come up with! I’m looking forward to the challenge of whatever brews they bring my way!”
Rest assured we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled, our ears to the ground and our tongue to the tap to keep you posted on any new arrivals!