Good friend and big time beer nerd Josh Smith has been selling me on the notion of home brewing for a while now. Back in October, as a convincer, I was invited round to see the kit and the process. Dark times of the year call for a dark beer so we opted to try out an oatmeal stout, hopped with Pacific Gem.

It may only be a hobby but there’s no harm in having a bit of fun with it, so as part of my initiation I was tasked with designing the label. With the addition of oats and since everybody loves puns the beer was named ‘Earth Quaker’ and coming in at 9.6% the name seemed even more apt. Aiming to strike a balance between the nerdiness of beer and hipster influence of craft brewing, the design ended up taking a 50s Sci-Fi route combined with an illustrated crest to distinguish between a batch that was dry hopped and another that was aged with oak chippings.


The printing services were provided by Diginate, who offer a great way to produce high quality, low run labels and stickers really quickly. They also offer process printing techniques so I decided to experiment with the use of a spot varnish. It worked rather nicely to accent the shadow of the name but sadly the large area in the middle is a bit distracting and affected the crispness of the text and illustrative details.

As for the beer, well the dry hopped batch may have got a bit infected leading to some frothy bottles. Although I’ve had one that was decent, thick with a bit of fizz. The oak aged was much more interesting though, complementing the dark malts and berry hops with a subtle floral sweetness to the extent that it even gained the approval of my girlfriend. Though at 9.6% it’s definitely not a drink for girls. Hopefully it won’t be too difficult to convince her to let me have a kit of my own.