It’s not unheard of for us to interview artists with just a handful of labels to their credit. What’s exciting about interviewing Joana Fraga, whose third label has yet to be released, is that she’s just getting started with making label art for Chicago’s very own Odious Cellars. As head brewer and founder Reeve Joseph puts it, “She’s proven to be an integral part of the team and will clearly be a pillar of our success.”

Thirsty Bastards: My favorite label you’ve done is “Rubied Perspective”? Can you tell me the story behind its conception?

Odious Cellars Rubied Perspective Label
Odious Cellars Rubied Perspective Label

Joana Fraga: I’m glad you…

September is my favorite month, second only to October. The oppressive Chicago heat fades away and being outside doesn’t require mapping out the shady spots. I do what I can to put off drinking my first pumpkin ale until September first, even though they are on the shelves before then. And of course, Oktoberfest beers start hitting the shelves too. Stout season can’t be far! It’s a wonderful time to have a mouth!

You can tell that artist Sam Heimer absolutely revels in the spirit of the Fall season, not simply via subject matter, but with his work’s style and…

This never happens, but say it did: You are shopping for your favorite beer or one you are on the lookout for. There it is, on the shelf, but, to your surprise, it’s available in both bottle and can format. Which would you choose? Why would you choose one over the other? What do you do? What helps you decide? Most importantly — are you making the right choice?

Honestly — there’s really no question of what the better choice is when it comes to choosing beer cans vs bottles — cans prevail! But not everyone agrees with that. So…

In case you missed it, AB InBev has made brewing into the next “Space Race”. On 15 December 2017, Budweiser sent 200 barley seeds on a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station. Bud would like to know if the seeds suffer any untoward consequences from being in orbit.

We find this pairing funnier than cotton candy and a smoked gruit. After all, isn’t SpaceX the antithesis of everything we’ve come to understand about putting objects into space? Why on Earth would the underdog of space exploration be teaming up with the “NASA of beer”?

In the spirit of exploration…

Brewing beer, whether at home or professionally, is all about results. We can use an agreed upon set of words to describe the flavor, aroma, and appearance of our beer. We can use the information provided hop producers to estimate the IBUs a beer might contain. However, when it comes to the alcohol content in beer, we can’t rely on sensory perception or estimates, we need to take measurements.


What is a Hydrometer

A Hydrometer by Daniel Spiess via flickr
A Hydrometer by Daniel Spiess via flickr

Hydrometers are simple instruments that are used to the measure the specific gravity, or relative…

-or, I’m Going to Drink My Way Down This List Because Whooooooo!-

So, you’ve decided to get high on booze. Congratulations! Let me help you decide what beer style to pick to enjoy your night out on the town, dull the crushing sense of nothingness that consumes you, or purchase a couple bottles for a nice picnic.

Let’s get this out of the way first. There are two distinct categories of beer — Ales and Lagers. They don’t matter. Really. The only difference is the type of yeast used in the brewing process. …

Craig Gunderson

Beer writer, illustrator, edtech fancifier, homebrewer

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