Common Cask creates designs made of beer label artwork from craft breweries across the United States. We promote craft beer and craft beer culture through our designs by only featuring beer label artwork from breweries that are small, traditional and independent.
Common Cask was created in 2017 with the release of our first design featuring beer labels from California based breweries. We are just getting going and will continue to create and release designs state by state until all 50 are created.
The ideas that come to mind when you hear “craft beer” can be wildly different from one person to the next. To some, anything other than what your grandfather drinks is craft beer, while others may see a colorful label and believe it is craft. The difference between craft beer and the others is more important than most think and is not just about great tasting beer. At Common Cask we use the Brewers Association’s definition of craft, and believe it best describes what a craft brewery should be; small, traditional and independent.
Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member which is not itself a craft brewer.
A brewer which has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavors derive from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored Malt Beverages (FMSs) are not considered beers.
Independent craft beer has given us more than just great tasting beers. While the industry could stand firm on this pillar alone, there are many other reasons why craft beer is so important. By supporting independent craft beer we help increase variety, drive brewing innovation and support our local communities.
The increase in new styles and flavors, in addition to the availability of once seemingly unattainable beer varieties is all owed to independent craft breweries. This independence unleashes the unique creativity of each brewer to brew beer how they see fit. While the goal is generally the same, brew great beer, the unique approach taken by each brewer is what produces such great variety.
Independence clearly pushes innovation. Think of all the beer styles, unique ingredients and brewing methods we would not have if it weren’t for independent craft breweries. From the novice brewers just starting their first home brew to the pioneers who laid the foundation, independence drives brewing forward. With a quick look at today’s macro breweries it is easy to see innovation and creativity take a back seat to profits and efficiency. Without the freedom to take creative risks, we would still be shackled to the same few watery choices.
When we buy craft we don’t just support the brewery, we support local families, local businesses and the community at large. Community support can also be seen in the generous donations from craft beer companies, topping $73.4 million in 2016.
The seeds of Common Cask were planted in 2009 when I immersed myself into the growing world of craft beer. After drinking my first IPA I felt as if I had never truly tasted beer before. At that point in time I fell in love with the variety of beer and the works of art that covered each bottle. Having collected everything from rocks to sports trading cards I immediately knew my next collection would be beer labels.
Every trip I took and adventure I was on, I would make it a point to grab some local beers. My wife’s purse soon became my bag for smuggling home empty beers that we finished from bars and restaurants. After hundreds of hours of soaking, peeling and pressing labels my collection started to outgrow its shoe box home and needed to be properly displayed.
After many nights of beers and brainstorming the design started to slowly take shape and find direction. I photographed each label with my phone and began to slowly piece together each label. Very soon after, the first design was born.
The meaning behind Common Cask is at the core of our designs and the heart of the company.
Common can be defined as “Shared by, belonging to, or affecting the whole of a community… of the public”. This can be seen in our designs as each piece is created using the labels from a group of breweries, together making one design. This also represents the craft community as a whole as each brewery is unique and separate from the rest, but is also unified by their commitment to craft beer.
Cask pays homage to the way beer has been historically stored and served. Casks are also behind some of the current innovations that craft brewing has created.