PorchDrinking: Great Divide’s Denver Pale Ale Artist Series #3 Featuring Rachel Jablonski
Featuring a man relaxing on a hammock as he sips a beer with an eye toward the city and mountain skyline, Jablonski’s design will now adorn cans of Denver Pale Ale, the brewery’s piney and sessionable staple. Rounding out the composition are iconic Denver symbols such as a hiker, the state capitol, skis, a hawk and a deer.
Great Divide — which at 24 years old is one of Denver’s older breweries — started the Denver Pale Ale Artist Series in 2016 shortly after opening its new RiNo location. Director of Marketing Shannon Berner described the series as a way to showcase local artists and pay tribute to the Mile High City that the brewery calls home.
“We really emphasize letting the artist use the can to show off what Denver means to them,” Berner said. “We know that no one design could accurately represent Denver to every person who drinks the beer, which is why it’s so great to be able to change up the art every year.”
Jablonski, who works out of a studio in RiNo (coincidentally the same one as last year’s artist, Vogl), is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and hand draws her illustrations with pen and ink before coloring them digitally. Below is a brief Q &A with the artist.
PorchDrinking.com: What was the inspiration for your design?
Jablonski: The design for the can came from the inspiration of a “window” into the city. I’ve always loved frames and little vignettes, so by framing a Denver scene- a guy drinking beer in a hammock and looking out at the Denver skyline- it was like with every can you have a little window into Denver. The icons and frames of a hiker, wolf, deer, and the state capitol were also meant to represent what is familiar to Denver. They are meant to be like family portraits hanging on the wall.
How would you describe your take on the Denver Pale Ale Label?
I would describe the Denver Pale Ale label I designed as a party. It is fun and bright and colorful but also detailed. There is a bit of whimsy to it as well.
Would you say beer-related work is much different than other types of projects?
I don’t think beer-related work is much different than other types of projects. There is still a message to convey, or an idea to articulate. With the Denver Pale Ale Artist Series the prompt was to convey what Denver means to me, and the canvas just happened to be a beer can. With any project I have worked on there is always an idea or emotion or feeling that needs to be communicated, just as different brews of beers can communicate different tastes and emotions. Beer labels can communicate the feel of what the beer represents, just as any illustration for an article or book cover or painting on a canvas can communicate an idea.
Are you a beer fan yourself? If so, what are some of your favorite brews?
I am definitely a beer fan myself. It’s hard to live in Denver and not be. I’m a fan of IPAs, which I’ve been told isn’t necessarily a popular choice for women drinkers — but I don’t think beer is that sexist. I love Denver Pale Ale (obviously) and that’s not even a plug. I love Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, and Modus Hoperandi by Ska Brewing. I also love a good sour like Funkwerks Raspberry Provincial.
Denver Pale Ale Artist No. 3 Launch Party Information
Great Divide is hosting a launch party for the new label this evening from 6-9 p.m. at Helikon Gallery and Studios, located at 3675 Wynkoop St. Attendees (who must register) will receive a free Denver Pale Ale and have a chance to meet all three of the Denver Pale Ale artists, including the Josh Holland, who kicked the series off.”
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