You won’t see an image of the Rocky Mountains or a gold crown displayed over the word “cerveza” on these bottles of beer.
No; the labels on Greenport Harbor Brewing Company’s recently released glass containers feature unique designs that are more surreal than those seen on the well-known brands that have dominated store shelves for years.
Think a barnacle-covered humpback whale floating like a blimp over water and a honeybee carrying an airplane banner over the shore.
East Hampton artist Scott Bluedorn is the illustrator behind each of the four drawings printed on the first bottles of four Greenport Harbor Brewing Company beers that were released in retail stores April 20.
Earlier this month, the 28-year-old had the unique opportunity to pick up the bottles featuring his artwork at a local store.
“It’s just awesome,” he said. “I was going to a friend’s house for a party the other day so I went looking for the bottles … Then I was just sitting around with friends drinking a beer and showing them [my drawing].”
The Greenport beer Mr. Bluedorn was drinking that night was the Harbor Ale, which features the illustration that first got him noticed by the brewery.
The company has always featured a whale in its logo, a nod to its home village’s maritime roots. Ann Vandenburgh, whose husband, Rich, is a co-founder of the brewery, said she was giving another local artist a tour of their tasting rooms in Greenport and Peconic when he noticed the whale and mentioned Mr. Bluedorn.
The young artist had originally drawn the sketch that now appears on the Harbor Ale bottle for a cover of Dan’s Papers in June 2014 and Ms. Vandenburgh recalled falling in love with it.
Greenport Harbor Brewing co-founder John Liegey, himself a marketing professional and a former creative director at Time Warner, gave Mr. Bluedorn a call and the two embarked on what they called an “ambitious process.”
“I was in the middle of an installation at Southampton Art Center when John called,” Mr. Bluedorn recalled. “He said, ‘We’re interested in having you do some labels for us.’ I was instantly really excited. I had never met them, but I already liked their beer.”
Mr. Liegey said it was important to make sure the illustrations matched both the style of the beer and the community where it was first poured.
“These labels had to serve both the high standard of beer we make and the authenticity of the hard-working fishing village of Greenport, where it is brewed,” he said in an email. “Scott’s work goes far beyond the standard seaside imagery and adds depth and creativity to his vision of maritime life. Not unlike our beer.”
A South Fork native, Mr. Bluedorn graduated from Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts in 2009. He has had his own studio, Neoteric Fine Art, in Amagansett for two years and creates mostly as an illustrator and furniture designer. He paints, draws and also works with found objects.
His artist profile, which the brewery sent out in advance of his upcoming show there, contains a paragraph that sums up just how natural a fit he is for Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.
“Often distilling surreal imagery from the seemingly familiar, the artist draws from cultural anthropology and nautical tradition with supernatural overtones — a world he invokes as ‘maritime cosmology,’ ” the profile reads.
The brewery has made a conscious effort to work with artists since soon after it opened in 2009 and Ms. Vandenburgh has regularly invited local artists to show their work in the Greenport tasting room.
“Craft beer and art go together,” she said. “A lot of the same people who appreciate art also appreciate beer and wine and food.”
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