Beer Logos Offer a Diverse Taste of History, Mythology
Drinking beer is a national pastime in
most countries, and when you aren’t flirting with the opposite sex, rooting for
the local sports team, or making outrageous claims on your own abilities,
there’s plenty of time to sit quietly and meditate over the meaning of life,
the universe, and the label on your beer.
To set themselves apart from the
competition, beers have different tastes, different ingredients, and different
logos. Most beer logos are there for a reason, and that reason is usually a
story long on detail and short on believability. But that’s part of what makes
drinking beer so fun. Here’s a look at how X famous beers got their logos.
St. Pauli Girl
St. Pauli Girl is almost a little too
spot on considering the average guy knocking them back is probably ogling the
girl on the bottle from the minute he pops the top. The St. Paul Girl might
look like a waitress but she actually has another job that pays the bills more
frequently. Yes, the original St. Paul Girl was an employee of the red light district
in Hamburg, Germany, back in 1977 and also appeared on a popular poster series.
From 1999-2008, the beer switched to using Playboy models on its bottles, and
not surprisingly, sales increased.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
A little less raunchy than its predecessor,
Pabst started off named Best Select, then Pabst Select, then Pabst Blue Ribbon
based on its wins at various competitions. To augment the win, the
powers-that-be started putting real blue ribbons around the bottle necks just
in case you had forgotten who the champion was.
Rolling Rock 33
When the first bottle rolled off the
assembly line at LaTrobe Brewing Company in
1939 there was a tiny 33 on the label. There have been many mysteries and
conspiracy theories passed around since then. One suggests it was to celebrate
the end of prohibition in 1933, other theories are that it is the precise
number of steps from the brew master’s office to the brewing floor. Other
thoughts include that it was the number of a lucky racehorse or perhaps the
highest level of Freemasonry attainable. The slogan has changed more than a few
times for this brand, but the story remains a mystery.
Arthur Guinness unleashed his first stout
beer on the world in 1759 but the logo – the harp of Brian Boru – did not appear on the bottle
for more than 100 years. The harp of Brian Boru was the fateful symbol, one
that appears in Ireland’s heraldic emblem and is a symbol of unity. It also
appears on the Euro coin. Boru was a
real guy, King of Ireland from 1002-1014 and protected his people from the
invading Vikings during that time period. The harp is actually not just a real
thing, but a real surviving thing. It is one of three harps dating back to the
14th or 15th century and can be seen on display at Dublin’s Trinity
Stella Artois was a special beer for Christmas in 1926, the original name was a combination of the Latin word for “star” and Sebastian Artois, the brewmaster from Louvain, Belgium who worked at the Den Hoorn Brewery, whose own roots traced back to 1366. Den Hoorn is Dutch for “The Horn” which was prominently displayed. The frame around the name on the logo is the style of Flemish architecture in the city proper.
Beers are a great example of products not afraid to be different and tying their unique stories into their logos. If you’re looking to do some similar branding, try a service like Tailor Brands for your logo needs. It lets you choose from potentially hundreds of different freelancers all eager to get your work.