Oct 12, 2021 - Food and Drink
This Minneapolis brewery's beer can is about more than a laugh
The art for Forbidden Islands New England IPA. Image courtesy of Modist Brewing
The art for Forbidden Islands New England IPA. Image courtesy of Modist Brewing

My husband recently came home with a four-pack of Modist Brewing's new Forbidden Islands New England IPA and she found herself mesmerized by the can's label.

  • Fog rises from islands dotting a turquoise sea, as an orca jumps from the water. A backpacked adventurer takes in the scene from atop a ridge of — wait — are those land masses made of ... fried chicken?

After I stopped giggling, I called Modist to learn the backstory of the IPA's trompe-l'œil.

What they're saying: Tyler Mithuen, the brewery's director of brand development, said my experience was the exact reaction they had in mind.

  • "We toy around with not being serious and being serious and ... I thought it would be funny ... to play tricks with the mind: Is it land? Is it fried chicken?" Mithuen said.

The bottom line: The eye-catching design is about more than adding whimsy to the drinker's day.

  • The pandemic has made many local craft brewers more reliant on liquor stores to stay afloat. As a result, competition for both cooler space and customers' attention is up.
  • "The more unique the cans are, the better chance you'll have standing out," Mithuen said.
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