Meet The Artist Traveling Cross-Country To Design Labels For Craft Breweries In Each State

craft can label 48 beer project bus

48 Beer Project has flipped the script on the beer run.

Plenty of folks have taken a road trip for a special beer release, to visit a favorite far away brewery, or just for the hell of it. Heidi Geist is traveling across the country making stops at a new brewery, in a new state, practically every week.

The Portland, ME-based artist is embarking on the 48 Beer Project this September, with major sponsorships from Liquid Riot Bottling Company, Novare Res Bier Café, and Bissell Brothers Brewing. Over the course of a year, she plans to stop at (at least) one brewery in each of the 48 continental states. For every brewery she visits, she’ll be designing a one-of-a-kind label for a special release beer.

 

Selections From Heidi’s Beer Label Art

See 48 Beer Project On IG For Updates

 

Heidi’s no stranger to the world of can art — she’s designed labels for nearly 20 breweries over the past three years, notably 13 labels for Portland’s Bissell Brothers. What is new this time is that she’ll often have less than a week to design the label before the beer’s released.

She’ll be doing most of her work out of a mini school bus she converted into a mobile art studio. The bus will also double as her living quarters over the course of the trip.

“I’ve always had this constant need to move, but also exploring other cultures,” Heidi said.

This cross-country expedition is the best of both worlds for Heidi: exploring new parts of the craft beer community and returning to her roots of traveling.

Have you ever seen a beer list like this?

The list of breweries along the 48 Beer Project’s route features a wide variety of superstars, such as Trillium Brewing Co., Jackie O’s Brewery, Against the GrainFoam Brewers, Civil Society Brewing, and Dancing Gnome Brewing. (Check out the full list of brewers below.)

After reaching out to nearly 100 breweries across the country, she ended up with a mix of some she’s worked with before and some she’d never even heard of. Understandably, she wasn’t able to pick just one or two that she’s looking most forward to. Ultimately, Heidi said she’s equally looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new folks and hearing their stories.

She said these breweries weren’t chosen based on their popularity, but on the people behind the scenes. Their vision, effort, quality, and how they connect with their fans played a major part of mapping out her stops.

She’s also utilizing the art of the itinerary.

There is, in fact, a method to this madness. The breweries that have been chosen filled out forms beforehand with info such as label dimensions, whether it’s a can or bottle, logo to be featured, etc. This was a good conversation starter with the brewers she hadn’t worked with before, and also means there’s more time to focus on the creative elements once she rolls into town.

Once at the brewery, Heidi gets to work in the studio and eventually delivers the finished product to the brewery for labeling. Again, this is all over the course of less than a week — including travel.

It’s up to each brewery to decide what kind of event will be held to commemorate their label, if any. Some have already mentioned some plans, while many are still anyone’s guess.

But it’s not just about the beer.

There’s more to the 48 Beer Project than just the beer. Heidi said she’s looking forward to meeting plenty of new people along her trip, not just at the breweries she’s collaborating with but also at beer bars, art galleries, anywhere.

“I want to share more than just the beer. I want to share the stories,” she added.

The trip will be chronicled in the form of photos, video, interviews, and more. These will fuel a YouTube channel of her adventures, and possibly a full-length documentary when all’s said and done.

Here’s the current list of brewery stops.

 

StateBrewery
AlabamaYellowhammer Brewing
ArizonaTombstone Brewing Co.
ArkansasOzark Beer Co.
CaliforniaCasa Agria Ales
ColoradoCerebral Brewing
ConnecticutBeer’d Brewing Co.
DelawareTBD
FloridaCivil Society Brewing
GeorgiaCreature Comforts Brewing Co.
IdahoWoodland Empire Ale Craft
IllinoisMikerphone Brewing
IndianaIndiana City Brewing
IowaExile Brewing Co.
KansasCentral Standard Brewing
KentuckyAgainst the Grain Brewery
LouisianaParleaux Beer Lab
MaineAllagash Brewing Co.
MarylandUnion Craft Brewing
MassachusettsTrillium Brewing Co.
MichiganSpeciation Artisan Ales
MinnesotaWild Mind Ales
MississippiLazy Magnolia Brewery
MissouriPerennial Artisan Ales
MontanaBozeman Brewing Co.
NebraskaTBD
NevadaTBD
New HampshireNorthwoods Brewing Co.
New JerseyMagnify Brewing Co.
New MexicoEx Novo Brewing Co.
New YorkPlan Bee Farm Brewery
North CarolinaBond Brothers Beer Co.
North DakotaDrekker Brewing Co.
OhioJackie O’s Public House & Brewery
OklahomaPrairie Artisan Ales
OregonGreat Notion Brewing
PennsylvaniaDancing Gnome Brewery
Rhode IslandLong Live Beerworks
South CarolinaBirds Fly South Ale Project
South DakotaFernson Brewing Co.
TennesseeBlackberry Farm Brewery
TexasThe Collective Brewing Project
UtahEpic Brewing
VermontFoam Brewers
VirginiaAdroit Theory Brewing
WashingtonE Nine Brewery
West VirginiaWeathered Ground Brewery
WisconsinFunk Factory Geuzeria
WyomingMelvin Brewing

 

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Greg spends 9-5 as a content strategist while nights and weekends are for craft beer escapades. A southern New England native, he's been writing about the local beer scene and related current events for over 5 years. Find him and his illustrious beard raising a pint or on beardandbrewed.com.

1 Comment

  1. Nick Santini

    August 30, 2018 at 3:03 PM

    Her last name is Geist and she isn’t going to visit Rhinegeist in Ohio? Major mistake in my opinion.

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