Beaverwho? Said nobody ever. You can’t have turned a craft beer corner in the last however many latelies without happily stumbling into a new trick from the prolific Beavertown. We stole a precious moment with Nick Dwyer of Beavertown to find out the inside track on what’s really going on chez Beaver. Beavertown are the sponsors of the Pineapple Room at IMBC 17. Here’s Nick to take it away…
Hey Nick, tell us a little about your role at Beavertown – because it’s a goodie!
It sure is. Im “Creative Director,” a title I was given when no one knew what it meant but it stuck and sounds really grand and I love it. Basically I look after anything and everything visual at Beavertown, from designing our printed cans, labels, keg badges, merch and “POS” stuff through to deciding finishes, knocking up posters, beautifying the brewery, to liaising with production facilities and manufacturers to get all that stuff to us in time for events, beer launches and trips to other countries. I don’t think I’ve ever actually written that down before. Other little bits and bobs too, but that’s the jist of it. It’s by no means just me though, everybody will have input in one way or another too.
You guys are always busy beavers, what have Beavertown been working on lately?
Prep for our fest, The Beavertown Extravaganza in a couple of weeks! I’ve been on call for making signs and banners and other visuals etc, alongside an unrelenting list of collaboration artworks to do. These are my favourite, as I get to work with some really brilliant artists that work for other breweries, Trillium’s Kevin and Stillwater’s Mike being the most recent ones. Everyones really excited about it but its been manic! We also released our huge Firestone Walker collab, “Beavo”, recently, the first time we’ve had such a quantity of a collab beer made in the USA over here. Other than that we’re continuing our rebranding of much of the core range, working with as many brands as possible to improve our merch and not being able to brew enough beer to satisfy the thirsty masses so all in all not much HBU?
Are you hyped for Beavertown Extravaganza? We certainly are! I’m guessing you’ve had a big role in the aesthetics of it?
Absolutely. It’s a massive undertaking that I can take only a very small amount of credit for. Sam and Kieran are the real dream facilitating one-two-punch, alongside the rest of the guys like keeping the wheels turning and everyone sort of half smiling half crying. Smying. Criling? But we are getting there, ticking things off the list by the minute!
Last year at IMBC 16 Beavertown killed it in Room 1 – you were pulling so many Tempus Project beers out of the hat alongside so much more, spaceships and spacemen, all that jazz. This year Beavertown are taking over the Pineapple Room – can you tell us a little about what to expect?
I would say bright colours, brilliant beers and good times. Kieran has just said we are going “Uber beaver” over my shoulder which is a worrying statement out of context. Every year we have whittled the playlist down via trial and error so hopefully this year we will have 100% approval!.. Also, hopefully, Logan in that super flattering Gamma Ray man costume again. “I promise that’s just my phone”
Last year as part of the IMBC fringe, you had an exhibition of your work up at Common as part of a Beavertown bar takeover. Magic Rock are up at Common this year for a bar takeover throughout IMBC 17. Hopefully Rich Norgate will be peppering the walls with his art. Who are your some of your favourites when it comes to beer artwork?
Rich is up there in that list and is also a solid dude which helps. Recognizable from a distance but really intricate up close – perfect. I have always admired his talent for making abstract shapes have so much personality. Similarly, Karl Grandin of Omnipollo with his ability to make the simplest concept so visually appealing, but when he really goes for the colours and shapes… look out retinas there’s a new sheriff in town. Like I mentioned I’ve also worked with Mike Van Hall (Stillwater), Kevin Cimo (Trillium) and Nana Gulbaek (Lervig) who are all really damn good at what they do. Also just been told I’m working with Keith Shore of Mikkeller himself (again) which is always the best news so watch this space. Im really lucky to work in an industry with such exciting artists involved. Hopefully we get to work together at some point, Dave! Donut Boy meets…well, probably skeletons.
What’s your Beavertown beer of choice? (Tricky question, I know)
Humuloid. Our first crack at one of them hazy ones the kids love so much and we knocked it out the park. I can say that, having nothing at all to do with the brewing of it. Skullwater, our Belgian pale with Stillwater is also a firm favourite of mine at the moment, as it’s something a little different to what we usually do.
Quick! I’m in London! Where do I go?
The pressure is real… Walthamstow! Massively biased as I live there but Yardsale Pizza, Sodo Pizza, Eat 17, Clapton Craft and a choice of about 10 pubs all within walking radius means I absolutely love it up there. More centrally I usually find myself at The Mermaid or The Clapton Hart as both have outside spaces and I’m a sucker for a beer in a garden.
I know you’ve got a soft spot for Manchester, if you manage to make it up for IMBC weekend – where are you hitting in town?
You know exactly where Dave, let’s not do this. (Ed: I’ve previously sighted Nick in Manchester in Common, Port Street, Kosmonaut, Heaton Hops, and Manchester Piccadilly Train Station)
Lastly, what was your gateway into craft beer?
The burning desire for people to see my work. I did the initial bottle labels for Black Betty and Gamma Ray as a freelance illustration gig (paid in “exposure”,) but getting a bit of insight into the passion within the beer world led to asking for a job in Dukes, then Beavertown’s home by day, and gaming it so Logan saw more of my sketchbook and designs than he otherwise might have. Through mutual interests we became close / I became employed. Long story short I offered as much help as I could, and here I am.
Anything else to add?
I already feel hungover thinking about Indyman 17
Independent Manchester Beer Convention
Thursday 28th September – Sunday 1st October 2017 / Victoria Baths, Manchester
Tickets available HERE.