They say write about what you know, so we’re keeping it local again with Vancouver based gypsy brewers Superflux Beer Company. Superflux are something of a local legend around these parts. Founded at Callister Brewing’s incubator as Machine Ales, Superflux are one of those breweries whose beer has historically sold out as soon as it has hit the shop floors. Ironic, given the name. To stumble upon a four pack of their bright, bold and beautiful cans of magic is to strike liquor store liquid gold.
Superflux Beer Company are walking proof of the concept of creative limitation. Despite being of no fixed brew space and, presumably, working to pretty tight margins Superflux have consistently pushed out a range of complex, delicious beers that have had lucky lips a smackin’ tongues a talkin’ across the city and their success is starting to show through in their branding.
Their early 355ml can designs had a definite brewed-in-my-backyard romance to them with their thin stick-on labels, each one of which was painstakingly applied one by one post-canning run, something that almost certainly played to their favour in a community primed and ready to root for the underdog.
Now brewing out of Strathcona Beer Company's brewhouse, Superflux have both more room to brew and, having moved to tall cans, more surface area to play with. The designs have finally been given room to breathe and are all the more eye-catching and exciting for it. There’s no skipping over these on the shelf.
We reached out to Matt Kohlen, one half of the Superflux duo and the man responsible for the can design as well as, alongside his brewing partner Adam Henderson, virtually everything else to do with the bootstraps operation that is Superflux Beer Company to find out a bit more about the process behind the design of both the can art and the beer:
“My process varies from beer to beer but is generally pretty simple. Design the type of beer first and then move to the visual stuff. I think the colour palette is by far the most important aspect; so I start with that.
I’m normally inspired by things I see day to day. The most recent label, “Pretty Much Yeah”, was copied from a cool backpack I saw someone carrying a few weeks ago. Then I play with different shape/pattern combos which is the tough part. There are only so many colours and shapes, so making each label unique can be a challenge.
A few words to describe what we go for aesthetically are: Bold, minimal, clean, approachable, colourful. My partner, Adam, comes up with the names. It’s all a cool process, and kind of neat that we have the ability to tell the Superflux story ourselves.”
And it’s a story Vancouver’s beer scene is keen to keep reading. Head down to Strathcona on a can release day and you’ll find yourself part of a line-up that’s just a few wands and cloaks away from rivalling a Harry Potter book release.
Stay tuned for more from Superflux in future, I have a feeling there’s a lot more to come.
Thirsty for more? Head to the Archive to read more