Stomping Ground wins GABS Can Design Awards
Imagine a design inspired by abstract, psychedelic illustrations from the 60s and 70s that showcases the beauty of New Zealand with its blue lakes and snow-capped peaks combined with a tropical Garden of Eden. Or how about an illustration of street art that captures the essence of the sunrise colors and back alleys of the Sunshine Coast. Maybe a smoking gothic macabre skeleton or an out of this world, super cool robot with a thoughtful, almost melancholy expression that is reminiscent of a picture found on a classic science fiction paperback.
It is unlikely that you first think of such incredibly creative and stunning works of art that these can be found on the outside of Australian Craft Brewery Beer Cans! These are just some of the brilliant inspirations behind the record of 145 craft breweries, each of which has nominated an entry for this year’s prestigious GABS Craft Brewery Can Design Awards.
After beer lovers and art lovers cast a referendum for their three favorite designs to determine the TOP 10 finalists, it was past a jury of Brand expert juryincluding Adrian Mills Deloitte Australia, Emma Robbins M&C Saatchi, Ben Keenan The Thought Police, Andrew Morwood Orora Group, Francesca Lucas BoozeBud, and Paul Haggett Opal Specialty Packaging who had an incredibly difficult task of evaluating the finalists in six different categories (visual & aesthetic appeal, creativity & originality, impact, brand identity, usability & messaging and design briefing).
In the closest possible placements with very little to separate the top 10, the winner of the GABS Can Design Awards 2021 with the first prize and the prestigious Orora The gold trophy goes to Victoria’s Stomping Ground Brewing Company ‘NECTARON OF THE GODS’ designed by Terry Ricardo.
Queensland took silver and bronze with Blackflags Kick Ons (Ross Holloway) and Aethers El Jefe (Steve Falco, Reproductive). Topping the charts in South Australia was 2020 winner Little Bang with her Zero Kelvin Cold IPA (Matt O’Connor). Awards in ACT went to Capital Growler (Mick Healy) of Capital Brewing Co and Tawny Grogmouth (Brent Turner) of NSW Bucketty’s Brewing Co. Gage Road Brew Cos Dawn Patrol Breakfast Stout (Dwight O’Neil) drove to first place in WA and in Tasmania the state honors went to Moo Brews Hazy Pale (David Cambell, Mona)
Go to what is considered the best virtual Craft brewery can design art gallery in Australia to get an idea of how talented the designers are behind some of your favorite breweries and discover who this year Top 5 in each state are.
“What an incredible celebration of our amazing Australian craft brewery industry with record nominations and the talent and creativity on the outside of each can to match the brilliant craft beverages inside! We were very happy to bring joy to craft enthusiasts and to help the industry, which we have so much joy, to break out again after another difficult year with Covid influence. ”- Mike Bray, GABS Craft Beer & Cider Festival.
Nectaron of the Gods NZ IPA
Pounding Ground Brewing Co (VIC)
The design of the Nectaron of the Gods was inspired by abstract, psychedelic illustrations from the 60s and 70s. Based on the term “nectar of the gods”, a divine nectar not originating from this world should be conveyed, which is made from a large number of hops from New Zealand, mainly nectarone. When designing the scene, we turned to the beauty of New Zealand with its blue lakes and snow-capped peaks, combined with a tropical, otherworldly landscape like the Garden of Eden. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find the iconic New Zealand flora and key flavor traits of this magical brew.
Black Flag brows (QLD)
The intent was to capture the essence of the Sunshine Coast’s back alleys and the skate scene that is killing them in the community run by our good friend Chiggy and his crew. We worked with a direction that captured the “skate-away” style to create a hand-drawn design that added elements related to “kick ons” in various ways, firstly skating and secondly ending the night in good shape . From the blown pavement and graff, the grip tape / concrete feel and the typical Sunny Coast Palms, the picture shows the sunrise colors in the early morning to definitely pick up on the can name Kick Ons. The beer to end the night in the right shape.
Ether brow (QLD)
This design is an expression of Mexican beer style, intertwined with subtle hints of our entire Gothic branding theme of macabre skeletons and skulls.
FINALISTS 4 TO 10
Zero Kelvin cold IPA
Little Bang Brewing Co (SA)
The Cold IPA style is sharp, crisp, and flawless. Kelvin too. Despite its subzero environment and steel case, it is full of depth and character. In a chaotic world of crazy, loud branding, Zero Kelvin excels at speaking softly and deeply. Robots are also super cool.
Murder Hornet Imperial IPA
Black hop brewing (QLD)
Murder Hornet was set to become the show’s flagship, and Dan and the team really wanted a label that would set the tone for the rest of the series. With words like murder, kill, swarm, sting, intense, predator and prey floating around in the beer description, I felt like I needed something pretty haunting. Skull. I dig them up. Always have. Hornet + skull. How does it look? I didn’t know, but after taking a few pictures and trying a few things in Photoshop, I hit a certain blending layer and boomed – that was when it was staring me in the face. Murder hornet. I put it on the can. Full black. Drop the logo. Delete the name. ABV and volume only. But something extra was needed. The orange had to show up somewhere. I tried getting it into the hornet’s tail but it just looked a bit strange and then I thought, what else looks kind of scary? Scratch marks. yes they are wreaking havoc on me. So I put 4 orange scratches across the skull to symbolize the hornet tail markings and to refer to the 4th birthday. I sent the design back to Dan with the simple words, “It had to be more scary.”
Sidewinder Hazy Pale
Brick Lane brows (VIC)
Sidewinder was developed to capture the freedom and ease of the 70s, a time when life could be more spontaneous and carefree. With just 0.3 standard beverages, Sidewinder Hazy Pale was developed with the intent that there was no need to compromise the taste or drinking experience to include low-alcohol options in your day. The can design captures this intention of sipping the moment with a beer that sits proudly in the hand, without the obvious no / low alcohol hints. With a playful and charismatic can in hand, complete with Sandman-inspired stripes, drinkers can live the Sidewinder life without compromise.
Rum Barrel Aged Coffee & Molasses Baltic Porter
Brewing pirate life (SA)
This label is a mix of themes and images that I personally enjoy drawing. It’s a Frankenstein mashup of past and present original tattoo designs and ideas fused into a cohesive image to wrap around the can. I wanted it to be dark and gnarled and a little twisted which could be compared to a similar creation by the Pirate Life crew. It corresponds to my style – just like the liquid in the can.
Last tram to Braunschweig
Temple Brow Co (VIC)
The design is based on the “Last Train to Boston” from 2020 and is hand painted in watercolor style to represent Brunswick East, a suburb full of street art. It is directly linked to the title and contains several hidden “Easter eggs”. Tram No. 01 is the tram that goes to Braunschweig Ost and stops at line 121, the stop to reach the brewery. The title is based on PTV’s styling. On the side of the tram there is a “Last train to Boston” display indicating the previous version. There are also hidden hops in the background.
Bucketty’s Brewing Co (NSW)
We wanted something that represented the beach, Australia, beer and of course the tawny!
Event Horizon Black IPA
Cavalier brows (VIC)
The event horizon – the point at which a black hole absorbs light, black as it can be. Cavalier Event Horizon Black IPA is the manifestation of this proposal. The image used on the label is the result of 160 telescopes spanning the entire world, fixed on a single black hole, stitched together to capture the moment when the Event Horizon absorbs the light. We thought, appropriately, for a Black as Night, blacker than black, Black IPA.
The GABS Can Design Awards are proudly presented by Orora Group, Australia’s largest provider of beverage can solutions, and supported by Opal Specialty Packaging, the country’s leading experts in renewable packaging. Boozebud, the online alcohol retailer and leading industry publisher, Australian Brews News.