The donning of one’s birthday suit usually leads to a good time, and may lead to a change of relationship status. Such is the way Uinta Brewing Company is turning over a new leaf.
Since Uinta launched its high-point, limited-edition Crooked Line brews in May 2010, three local artists have created five—soon to be six—works of art on as many beer labels. But their time to bask in oak-aged effervescence will end with Travis Bone’s label for Birthday Suit, a sour beer to be released in December.
Like the Crooked beers themselves, the artists will change beginning in 2012. “This is about supporting a community and embracing the talent in our backyard,” says brewmaster and owner Will Hamill.
That roster has yet to be finalized, but the change happens to come in conjunction with Uinta also launching redesigns of their Classic and Organic—formerly Four Plus—lines as well.
Hamill can relate to creative pursuits—that’s why he initially launched the Crooked Line. “We wanted to take it to the next level and not color within the lines of style guidelines,” Hamill says. “These are bent beers.” And the art on the labels is just as nontraditional.
The first artistic graduating class included renowned concert-poster and print artist Leia Bell, who inked the Detour Double IPA and Tilted Smile Imperial Pilsner labels; local visual artist and Swinj zinester Trent Call, who created the Labyrinth Black Ale and the seasonal Jacked Imperial Pumpkin Ale labels; and Travis Bone, who makes concert posters under the name Furturtle and put his artistic flair on Cockeyed Cooper Barley Wine and Birthday Suit.
While the artists’ names don’t appear on the bottles, marketing manager Lindsay Berk says many customers recognize their styles.
“It creates an interesting connection to the beer,” she says. Each artist has printed 50 signed-and-numbered lithographs, which can be purchased at the Uinta Brewhouse Pub (1722 S. Fremont Drive [2375 West], 801-467-0909) for $15 unframed and $60 framed.