The Brewery: Collective Arts Brewing
Mention “culture” in craft beer circles and you’re likely to get an elaborate earful about yeast and fermentation.
Thanks to the two creatives behind the recently launched Collective Arts Brewing, however, culture and craft beer are fused together under the clever guise of a six-pack turned art gallery.
Inspired by their love of craft beer, music, and the arts, founders Matt Johnston and Bob Russell have collaborated with artists from all over the world to launch their label, or rather, labels.
Each six-pack of their flagship pale ale, available at selected LCBOs, contains bottles featuring labels with works from musicians, artists, photographers and filmmakers.
The labels come to life with the application of BLIPPAR technology, which allows people to use their Smartphones to learn about an artist, or watch a video or film.
There are currently 93 different labels in circulation, but the plan is to expand the collection, along with the company’s beer offerings.
The company’s debuting Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale and Saint of Circumstance Citrus-Infused Blonde Ale are brewed at Nickel Brook Brewery in Burlington, Ontario.
The Beer: Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale, 355 ml, 5.7% ABV and Saint of Circumstance Citrus-Infused Blonde Ale, draught, 4.7% ABV
Rhyme & Reason Extra Pale Ale is an American-style pale ale featuring highly sought-after American hops: Citra, Centennial, Chinook and Simcoe. The beer is not excessively bitter, with a lean malt profile.
As its name suggests, Saint of Circumstance Citrus-Infused Blonde Ale is crafted using fresh lemon and orange zest. The citrus notes are amplified with the addition of Citra, Amarillo, and Sorachi Ace hops.
Both the pale and blonde ales are well-crafted, approachable and sessionable.
The Brand: Cool, collaborative and cutting-edge
Johnston and Russell know how to throw a good party.
The pair, who has roots in the marketing industry, launched Collective Art’s Brewing at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel, a hipster hotspot and home away from home for the local arts community.
The launch last week was timely, kick-starting Toronto Beer Week. Media, artists and craft beer enthusiasts packed the house. Beer was generously flowing against a backdrop of party-goers and live music.
Johnston and Russell schmoozed the crowd, happily showing guests how to use their phones to engage with artists via replicas of their beer label line-up.
Collective Arts Brewing has its finger on the pulse when it comes to branding. As well as being available in some of the city’s best beer bars, including Bar Hop, barVolo and the Rhino, the company has also aligned itself with the popular Polaris Music Prize to become the event’s official beer.
The company’s unique concept, to unite craft beer enthusiasts and artists, sets it apart. Its exposure of emerging artists and the opportunity to engage with these talented people cultivates a community.
Plus, the six-pack and its interactive labels makes for a really cool party trick.