FROM THE FIRST DAY MAN WIELDED FIRE AND METAL, TALES OF GODS AND ARTISANS WERE BORN. WE CELEBRATE THESE MEN AND GODS, WITH THE ONLY LIQUID THAT WOULD QUENCH THEIR THIRST… BEER!
When I was approached to do a new Craft Beer Branding I got seriously excited, and when the client told me the name I had ideas flying within 5 minutes already. Combining Blacksmithing and Brewing was a fantastic idea, as they are both art forms. Blacksmithing was such a crucial part of our past, and tales and legends of Blacksmithing Gods and Saints can be found all over history. It seemed a no-brainer to incorporate these Gods and Saints into the brand’s beers.
The Forge logo design was a tough one, even though the obvious was the anvil we through a shit load of ideas back and forth. Smithing reminded me of Freemasons, so the final logo we agreed upon had the Sketched anvil over an octagon design. I suppose it may not look completely Freemason but also have a religious icon attachment? Finishing off with an Old School Baseball Script and Swash that just put on the American branding element which pulled it all together nicely.
Vulcan Lager is the first release and is the Roman god of fire including the fire of volcanoes, metalworking, and the forge in ancient Roman religion and myth. Vulcan is often depicted with a blacksmith’s hammer. The image of Vulcan I wanted to portray was Man of Men amongst fire, oldish in age and overly muscular but still looks like he has a couple of pints while working his hammer.
Now it came to pulling the label together, and I wanted to create something unique that would be on all the labels. I wanted the Freemason look to continue throughout the branding and wanted to depict the smithing tools, but give it something new with the lines and shapes. This created the label shape, which wrapped around the bottle really nicely and gave it a grand dynamic.
I found a great poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow which I fell in love with and felt it really had to be on the label for all to read.
UNDER A SPREADING CHESTNUT-TREE
THE VILLAGE SMITHY STANDS;
THE SMITH, A MIGHTY MAN IS HE,
WITH LARGE AND SINEWY HANDS;
AND THE MUSCLES OF HIS BRAWNY ARMS ARE STRONG AS IRON BANDS.