Well, this has been over a year in the making. I'm neither a graphic designer nor experienced in online retail, so it seems like I've had the above shirt idea — Wild Yeast Appeared!, a design which hopefully makes sense to a sizeable-ish portion of my readers — either in my head or in various draft stages since, I don't know, forever. The first time I thought of it, I thought: "Holy crap. That must exist." And while I was figuring out how to make one design exist, why not some others?
While I decided to tackle that initial design on my own, a friend of mine is an actual, legit, real, professional graphic designer, and I hired him for the rest. If you like his work here, his name is John Bryan, and he works under the name Revolution Dream Design. The same artist that drew the awesome header for my Fermented Man blog, Lena DeLeo, drew the artwork for the Bear Flavored "Fermenting Bear Skull" design.
Now, here we are, and Bear Flavored has a little line of t-shirts. Why does my blog need t-shirts? Well, it probably doesn't, but I liked these ideas too much not to see them on an actual shirt, and I figured maybe a few other beer lovers / yeast aficionados would appreciate them as well. Plus, I wanted to focus mostly on visual shirts, rather than slogan shirts. There are already lots of clever, well-designed 'slogan' shirts out there for homebrewers, from vendors such as Barley Knew Her and Hop Cloth. My hope was to make a series (or, depending how this goes, multiple series) of shirts that beer nerds will 'get,' but will just look cool regardless of whether you're in the know. Even if you could give zero hoots about bear-flavored.com, maybe you will want to wear a shirt that's a fermenting bear skull because... why would you not want that. The second reason that I decided to make some t-shirts was, of course, monetary. I've been writing this blog for almost three years, and enjoying every second of it, and meeting wonderful people through it, but some months I spend enough time on this thing to accurately consider it a part time job. I do it because I love it, but I also love having money to buy more beer with, you see. Now that I'm focusing on my writing career / book project and running a tiny homebrew shop, everything extra helps quite a bit.
Thank you for humoring me these last few years of adventuring with wild yeast, investigating experimental hops, and subsisting off of only fermented foods. I hope you enjoy these sweet shirt designs as much as I do. Isn't it about time you covered yourself in yeast?
Head over to my brand new merch store at bearflavored.storenvy.com to see more. But for those stumbling across this entry without any idea what's going on, let's run down the designs here too.
Wild Yeast Appeared! - My first shirt idea, and I'm quite thrilled with how well it came out. Of course, it would look far less awesome if it weren't for the invaluable tips of my graphic designer pal John Bryan. You'll see his work in a second. This shirt is for everyone that has ever gazed wistfully into the distance and thought: "There's probably some really sweet wild yeast over there."
Fermenting Bear Skull - Bear Flavored still doesn't really have an official logo, because apparently I am a fan of overly-complex designs, but it's not like I'm worried about fitting these on a bottle cap just yet, right? The artwork for this was drawn by the incredibly talented Lena DeLeo, who did a pretty sweet representation of a bear skull dissolving, despite having limited experience with the subject matter.
Space Metal Brett - My idea for this series of Brettanomyces-themed shirts was essentially "What if Brettanomyces was a band [of various genres of music]? What if beer shirts just looked like rad genre t-shirts? What if Brett got to show-off its badass side a little bit?" I think it's pretty self-explanatory: Brett has taken to space and formed a band with Cthulhu.
Black Metal Brett - We all know that Brettanomyces is the most brutal of yeasts. If I ever have a brewery, you can bet your britches there will be a pentagram made of mash paddles somewhere.
Funky Brett - Brett uses his many powers to travel back in time to the 70's and make its beer a little less boring, while finding himself perfectly suited to the decade's musical tastes. I expect this should be self explanatory for any and all devoted beer nerds.
There you go. Once again, the link to my webstore is here. Thanks for checking these shirts out — my hope is that they will be an ongoing thing with perhaps new "series" in the future. Other yeast and bacteria could use their own shirts too, right? If you're a designer and interested in perhaps collaborating on a future run of shirts, or even a single isolated design, feel free to get in touch.
Keep it funky and rock on, my friends.