Of all the Almanac Beer Co. projects we’ve had the pleasure of taking on, perhaps the most exciting has been getting to create a large-scale mural for their new brewery in Alameda, CA. Almanac’s founders asked us to create an isometric scene (similar to our previous can illustrations) that was evocative of a map of the bay area, bridging their two homes of San Francisco and Alameda, while also infusing the design with lots of little easter eggs, paying tribute to some of their favorite pop culture icons. See if you can spot them all including Ren & Stimpy, Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Rick & Morty, Monty Python, and Firefly.
The mural itself is a 40’ x 17’ behemoth, installed by the great team at Sterling Graphics in San Francisco. After considering both hand-painted and decal applications, the shear size and detail of the artwork led to the wallpaper style decal approach as the best option. You can see a video of the installation process below, along with our initial sketch and photo of the finished artwork, but we highly recommend stopping by the brewery to enjoy the mural in-person, paired with a cold pint.
Initial Concept Sketch
One of our favorite bands in the world, Radiohead, recently played two nights of shows at the iconic Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA, and we were thrilled to create the gig poster for the run. We were inspired by the band’s recent abstract aesthetic as well as the lush setting of the Greek Theatre on UC Berkeley’s campus, and came up with a composition printed on three different paper colors to add some variety to the print edition.
The poster is an 18” x 24” three color screen print with numbered artist editions of 20 on each of three different papers - French Pop-Tone Lemon Drop, French Pop-Tone Red Hot, and Gmund Matt 34. The posters also feature a metallic silver ink which you can check out in close up photos of the prints below, along with our initial design exploration.
Initial Design Exploration
Close Up Shots
DKNG recently had the opportunity to take on a project that was a first for us…mural design. The challenge was to develop a multi-panel mural for Almanac Beer Co.’s new San Francisco taproom that tied into their existing brand, while also complimenting the new space without overpowering it. The solution turned out to be two separate murals - a large abstract mural featuring the Almanac logo, and a smaller, more detailed mural, featuring an isometric cityscape that incorporated both the Mission district of San Francisco where the taproom is located, along with existing Almanac branding and iconography from their fresh beer series. The murals also incorporate the color palette of the space including the natural wood tones of the bar and seating as well as the blue-gray tones of the hand-finished plaster walls.
Check out our initial sketches for the murals below along with photos of the finished taproom. We also created a time-lapse process video of the awesome team from New Bohemia Signs painting the murals by hand. Their team of four sign painters spent six long days hand painting every inch of the murals! The Almanac San Francisco Taproom is now open at 2704 24th Street.
Time-Lapse Process Video
Initial Concept Sketches
Last year we had the opportunity to design a series of limited edition fresh beer bottles for San Francisco's Almanac Beer Co. Almanac's "Farm to Barrel" process takes advantage of local, seasonal ingredients and has landed them on the map as one of the fastest growing breweries on the west coast. We were thrilled to work with Almanac again on their first venture into canned beer. Each beer's isometric illustration focuses on part of the beer making process - from the orange groves and wheat fields of California, to the brewery, and the city of San Francisco itself. Almanac's Fresh Beer cans are now available in Whole Foods stores throughout California and coming soon to a state near you.
"I first partnered with Nathan and Dan on the design and branding of our 22oz Fresh Beer Limited product line back in 2015. The rollout was very successful and the response to the new branding was intense and immediate. We were onto something. For 2016, we had an exciting new canned six-pack lineup coming out, so I figured it was a great opportunity to expand on our prior success and further evolve the visual language we had developed.
I wanted the cans to be bold, inviting and contemporary—but I also wanted to honor the long legacy of iconic beer brands that came before us. I couldn't be happier with the results. Nathan and Dan crushed my expectations and based on the early response, I think we're going to have another rousing success in our hands."
Co-Founder / CEO
Almanac Beer Co.
"Almanac’s Craft Pilsner is a crisp, dry-hopped lager that provides a West Coast twist on the traditional German style. Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Mandarina Bavaria hops provide a melon and citrus nose backed by 100% Pilsner malt. This beer is crushable, always begging for another sip and pairs well with sushi, outdoor grilling and tames spicy Thai and Mexican dishes."
San Francisco IPA
"This West Coast IPA features an explosive aroma of citrus, tropical fruit and dankness from a blend of Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, Hallertau Blanc and El Dorado hops. Intensely hoppy without overt bitterness, a light malt backbone balances this IPA, giving it a clean finish and making it a beer to be enjoyed again and again. Inspired by San Francisco but brewed to be enjoyed everywhere. Enjoy with super burritos, hangtown fry, and rich copping."
"This California spin on a saison highlights tropical and floral aromas. An expressive fermentation provides hints of pineapple and white pepper, while a dry-hop of Mosaic and Hallertau Blanc doubles down on tropical aromas of mango and passionfruit. Enjoy this aromatic farmhouse ale with earthy mushroom dishes, funky washed-rind cheeses and al pastor street tacos."
"Mandarina’s tart and citrusy profile makes it the perfect beer for warm, sunny days. The combination of crisp tartness, tangerines and the citrus aromas of Mandarina Bavaria and Citra hops puts this farmhouse ale’s fruity aroma over the top. Pair this summer sipper with a day at the beach, fresh seafood and citrus-infused desserts."
Behind The Scenes
What began as rough ideas and initial sketches (see below) eventually transformed into ink swatches, box mockups, press checks, and finally canning and boxing of the finished product. For more insight into the process, check out our appearance on the Adventures in Design podcast episode 395 (player below).