Welcome, CraftCans Fans, to a new feature called “Blowing My Own Trumpet”. If you drink my word smoothies on the regular, you already know that this is a place for me to wax lyrical over all the beautiful cans floating around liquor stores, tap rooms and the interwebs and bring you an insight into the creative minds behind the designs. Well, this week, that mind is mine. So, sorry about that.
Over the last couple of months I’ve had the pleasure of working with the wonderful folks at Moody Ales on a pair of cans for the first of West Coast Canning’s charity collaboration projects, a share of the profits from which are donated to a charity of the brewery’s choice, in this case KidSport Tri-Cities.
The guys at Moody Ales came up with the brilliant idea to do a mixed four-pack to celebrate the winter/spring transition, that ridiculous period of time where the weather in the Pacific North West just makes no sense. As Dan says, “We see it all the time at Moody Ales, it’s a beautiful day and our patio is packed, it starts raining and no one moves, they just put their jackets on and keep drinking - only on the west coast!”.
And lo, the Mixed Forecast mixer pack was born... and I hope you’re as stoked on it as I am.
For the sake of easy reading and to appease everyone who’s told me to interview myself, that’s exactly what I’m sort of going to do. Could be fun, could be lame, COULD BE SUPER INFORMATIVE AND REALLY INTERESTING. Or, also, yeah, super lame. You decide…
Hi JJ, wow, those are some super cool cans you’ve done there. I, for one, totally dig them and I’m sure everyone else with great taste will too. What’s all this Mixed Forecast business about, eh?
Thanks, I’m flattered, really, I’m super happy with how they turned out and how they’ve been received by all the people who are obliged to tell me they like them. The Mixed Forecast idea was Moody’s idea from the start, although it didn’t have a name to begin with. Dan, Adam & Robyn had the idea of a winter/spring transition pack which quickly turned into an ISA and a Dark Lager which made me unreasonably happy because I’m pretty tired of falling into the 7% IPA trap when I'm boozing.
Obviously I went straight for the low-hanging fruit on the whole “seasons” thing, kept it simple and decided weather was the way to go. Thankfully, in my research I stumbled across a blog post written by Adam about the process of naming their brewery which gave me some solid hints as to what to avoid and what might work. “Still Raining” was a nice fit as it’s both incredibly relevant to Port Moody at this time of the year, but also pretty ubiquitous because, well, weather. “Shorts Weather” is inspired by the shared British/Canadian tendency to slip into a pair of shorts at the first glint of spring sunshine, something that really makes me feel at home here. From there, we realised we needed a name for the Mix-Pack and “Mixed Forecast” seemed like the obvious choice. They say the low-hanging fruit is the tastiest, after all!
How ‘bout them sleeves, bud?
Oh, those little things? I mean, they’re not really high concept, but I think they’re pretty and they fit nicely with Moody’s brand. As fun as it would have been, it wouldn’t make sense to pitch some OTT illustrative, shiny monstrosity for this. I wanted them to fit in, but stand out. So... Shorts weather - Sun, Still Raining - rain. Yeah.
Being around sleeves every working day for the past year I’d say I have a pretty good idea of the limitations and advantages of sleeves. Some of my favourite cans exploit the shiny can metal to some extent and I wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to do so myself. Everyone likes shiny things right? And as for the colours… They’re just pretty colours that I liked and was lucky enough that the good folks at Moody liked them too.
Did you draw inspiration from anywhere in particular?
Well, pretty much every can that’s come through West Coast Canning's shrink sleeving service over the past year and is sitting on either my desk or the can wall. But there’s definitely some Justin Longoz influence in there, because he is BC’s pattern master and to-date the most featured on this blog. Not to mention every other artist I’ve featured on this website, because if I wasn’t inspired by their work, why would I bother to write about it, ya know?
This isn’t really a question, you just want to say a thing and don’t know how to shoehorn it in, correct?
Absolutely! It was awesome to be involved with this every step of the way and I’m really thankful to everyone involved. Moody Ales were incredible, the best clients you could ask for and they brewed some absolutely KILLER beers; IMS, our label suppliers pulled out all the stops and contributed the sleeves so more money could go to charity; everyone at WCC absolutely nailed it, from the sleever wizards to the canning line wranglers and everyone in between. It was pretty insane to take these beers from concept to can... I don't think many designers get to be there to put the labels on, fill the cans, mix the four packs and drink the beers.
Any other projects going on?
Sure, but I’ve already blown my trumpet enough today and my colleagues are complaining about the noise. And this whole self-interview schtick is getting a bit too much, even for me.
Still Raining Dark Lager is a 5.5% lager with roasted malts giving it rich aromas of chocolate and coffee, but don’t let those fool you... this dark lager is smooth, crisp, and extremely crushable. With these in hand you will forget that it’s still raining.
Shorts Weather ISA is a 4.8% easy drinking India Session Ale boasting a citrus and grapefruit punch. A hoppy beer rounded out with a sweet backbone that brings it all together. Shake off your rain jacket and slip into some swim shorts with this perfectly balanced session ale.
Both beers will be available at Moody Ales' tap lounge, launching this Friday 23rd (THAT'S TOMORROW), which is where I'll be, and at Darby's Kitsilano on the 30th, with both beers on tap in both Kits and Gastown, and Mixer packs available for purchase from the Darby's Liquor store next door. These fine four packs will also be available at private liquor stores across the province, so make sure to grab yours!