Saturday, September 24, 2011

The War Series: Redux

Soooo... Remember when I wrote that long drawn out post on my latest project, the War Series?

Welllllll... I've changed my mind.

I'm not scrapping the project by any means. I'm just doing a little reorganization. The whole thing started after my initial post, when I went back and looked at some of my older recipes. I rearranged some of their dates and the recipes themselves needed some tweaking (I'd imagine this is going to happen again, too.) All this shuffling around and reordering, got me thinking (and that's always trouble) the Burton I was planning on doing is a perfect Christmas beer. So I'm holding off on that brew, in lieu of my Hurricane 39 Best Mild.

Hurricane 39 Best Mild? (Yup, it's about to go hyper-nerdy.)

As a matter of fact, yes. I've named all the beers in honor of the men of the Royal Air Force. In my mind, their isn't a group that exemplifies the entire war from 1939 to 1945, better than the pilots and crews of the RAF. From the Battle of Britain, and dogfights over Egypt and Libya; to strafing runs over Japanese airfields in the Pacific, and nighttime bombing raids over Berlin—those blue, flyboys of the RAF saw it all. Because of this, that I've decided to name my beers after the iconic aircraft of the RAF.

Since I've gone this nerdy, er, uh, I mean far, I've also done up some logos. See, that's the sign of a typical graphic designer—I haven't made the beer yet, but I've got logos. I figure if I'm brewing one of these beers, and I reference in the blog, I'll have a nice visual to go along with the post. I imagine that these logos will eventually end up a full fledged labels, but time will tell if I'm that dedicated. Another plus is someone might dig the look of these logos and pay me to design their logo.

Wow! That's nerdy to the 8th power!
I've created a big, War Series logo to encompass all of the beer, and then riffed on each individual logo. I thought using the squadron codes (BI-T, BU-R, ML-D, ST-T) would make for an interesting way to differentiate the styles, plus they give the logos a fighter plane feel. I also thought associating one color per style—red for Bitter, blue for Mild, olive drab for Burton and black for the Stout—would also help to set them apart. There's a couple of other things you can spot in the logos, as well. If you look closely, you'll see that the RAF roundel (the yellow, blue, white and red circles) changes after 1942. The RAF changed the originals in 1942, so I did too. Also, you'll notice the camouflage pattern changes from green and brown to a green and bluish-gray—again, the RAF changed things up, so I went along. The Beaufighter 44 Bitter has black and white stripes on it's lower section. I did that as an homage to the "invasion" stripes painted on all allied aircraft just prior to June of 1944. A large number of aircraft were mistakenly shot down by their own forces during the Allied invasion of Sicily a year earlier, so the stripes were added as another level of identification for Operation Overlord and the Invasion of Normandy.

Wow! It's getting thick with nerdiness in here. Okay last one—the Lancaster 42 Stout, is the only label that 1) is almost all black and 2) has red letters. This Stout is obviously going to be the darkest and the heaviest (flavor-wise) of all these beers. It also happens that the Avro Lancaster, was a heavy bomber—and the most succesful British heavy bomber of the war. You might ask where the black comes in? As I referenced earlier, the Brits did most of their bombing runs at night, opposed to the Americans who bombed during the day; so many British bombers had their bellies, under wings and fuselages painted black in order to be less visible from the ground at night. Their squadron codes were painted red as another way to de-emphasise visibility. So, the black, heavy bomber and the black, heavy beer were a perfect match.

That's it I'm done! No more talk of roundels and camouflage or dogfights and bombing runs—zzzzzzzzz. I'll just stick to specific gravity and yeast flocculation. My nerdy worlds are colliding and I'm afraid I'll end up with a crack in the "skin of the universe." That being said, if you like the logos please let me know! Oh—by the way, sometime down the road I'm going to do an American version... Light Lager, Amber Ale, Cream Ale and maybe a Bock, but we'll see how these go first.


  1. Shepherd & Neame's produced a series of very clever ads for thier Spitfire Ale.

    Check out
    Scott Pear in London; 31 Oct 2007

    btw: your logos are nice; but, if I need a graphic designer I have one in the fam; my lovely daughter Leslie who is associated with Venti's Cafe and Venti's Taphouse in Salem, Ore. Venti's were my gateway/portal into craft beer from May 2009.

  2. I've seen those ads before, and they are great! I thought about the whole spitfire issue, but how can I not name one of my brews after arguably the best known British fighter of the war? I say copyright infringement be damned!

    Don't worry Jack, I've updated my perspective client list and removed your name.

  3. That last bit was a joke, by the way. Please continue to read my blog.