To celebrate our third year working with ELCAF, The East London Comics & Arts Festival we’ve teamed up with some of our favourite artists to bring you a set of one-off label designs.
Our artwork has always been a huge part of what we do here at the brewery, helping to tell the story of our beers and bring them to life. Each illustration features a member of our team, or – in the case of collaborations – someone we have worked with to make the beer.
Die hard Gipsy Hill fans out may have noticed the few times we’ve let another illustrator touch our hallowed cans designs. The change up in designs were part of our partnership with The East London Comic Arts Festival (ELCAF).
ELCAF is all about showcasing the best in comics, illustration, sequential art and storytelling – they pull in artists from around the world, host talks and champion the incredible independent illustration scene. Every year, we brew a beer together and spend the weekend serving it to all their thirsty artists and fans.
This year will be the third year of us and ELCAF working together, and we wanted to mark the occasion with something special. Whilst our out of house illustrator Marcus is taking some well earned time off to recover from surgery, we opened up our labels for a celebration of illustration.
Five illustrators were offered the opportunity to take on our can designs. Two from our own Gipsy Hill team and three that have worked closely with ELCAF over the years.
The labels still feature the distinctive Gipsy Hill visual identity of a character holding a classic black and white sign, but each illustrator was allowed free reign to take our basic brief and put it across in their own style.
The beers will be launching online, at our taproom and at The Douglas this Wednesday from 4pm, before heading out into the wide world from next week.
Without further ado, lets take a look at each of the beers, and learn a bit more about some of the incredible illustrators involved.
Gruff // Jayde Perkin
Jayde Perkin is a freelance illustrator based in Bristol, UK. She creates hand-painted illustrations for a wide range of clients, as well as writing and making comics. She creates a strong sense of visual dialogue with her work, injecting it with a vivid atmosphere and personal expression.
Gruff is a Red Maibock, brewed in collaboration with Mahrs Bräu and lagered for 100 days. A style of beer traditionally brewed for the start of spring, we wanted this label to evoke a fresh, Bavarian mountain landscape. Bock beers often feature a goat on them – in German, ‘Ein Bock’ translates as “a billy goat” – so we settled on calling the beer Gruff after the children’s story. The label features Stefan, fourth generation family brewer at Mahrs Bräu.
Thumper // David Biskup
David Biskup is an illustrator, cartoonist and artist based in London. David’s work focuses on a combination of simple shapes, consistent lines and block colours to create scenes full of humour and intrigue. He was the recipient of the 2019 ELCAF x WeTransfer Award, where he won funding to complete his book There’s Only One Place This Road Ever Ends Up.
Thumper is a chocolate milk stout, brewed with craft beer meet-up group CBGB. Inspired by Easter, we wanted the label to feature a character dressed in a colourful Easter bunny outfit, and convey the creamy, chocolate nature of the beer within. The label features Andrew, co-founder of CBGB.
Sun Trap // Eloise Szruga-Bolt
Eloise is a UK based cartoonist and illustrator, and an alumni of Norwich University of the Arts. She creates comics and illustrations driven by tone, lighting and composition. She believes every character is unique and has their own adventures to uncover.
Sun Trap is a New England IPA, brewed with Bru-1 and Simcoe Hops. We asked Eloise to design a label inspired by the landscape of the east coast of America – lighthouses, green coastal areas. We called the beer Sun Trap as we liked the idea of an open roof terrace, capturing the sun, with nice herbaceous potted plants, looking out of the coastline. The label features Ruth, one of our taproom staff members.
Gipsy Hill Team Artists:
Well Digger // UNQO
UNQO is a freelance illustrator based in London. Their use of bold bright colours juxtaposed with dark humorous imagery creates contrasting image to the viewer. Their style is heavily influenced by 90’s cartoons and anime.
Well Digger is our collaboration beer for the Brewgooder Global Gathering Project. It’s a Weiss beer, infused with blood orange. The label features the colour palette of Brewgooder, and the likeness of Alan, the organisation’s co-founder.
Space Coyote // Ramona Armitage
Ramona Armitage is an artist and illustrator based in London, she works in a variety of styles and mediums with a focus on Chromesthesia. She works in our marketing team as an events and marketing co-ordinator!
Space Coyote is an Imperial Stout. It’s loaded up with cacao, coffee, vanilla and ancho chillies for an 11% oral assault course. We based the concept for this design around a Mexican desert, full of mystery and intrigue. The name comes from an episode of a particularly famous cartoon, in which the protagonist eats several hot chili peppers and meets an extra-terrestrial coyote. The label features James, our content and comms manager.