Say what you will about the evolution of the pumpkin beer movement, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Punkin brand is still a standout in the seasonal calendar. Its marketing is great for starters. Its many art iterations have always been Halloween weird in a fun way. The new refresh lives up to expectations. Enjoy the photos. The work is designed by Michael Hacker, a Vienna, Austria-based artist who has made a ton of awesome Pixies posters that I suddenly want. Rock and roll have been a consistent theme over the years for the Punkin brand. In fact, this year, Punkin Ale makes its 25th annual encore with Sam Calagione recounting its hilarious origin in the press release:
“Punkin Ale made its first commercial appearance in 1995, but its story begins back in 1994 at the World Championship of Punkin Chunkin, a legendary fall event that brings folks from around the world to the Delmarva area to see who could hurl a pumpkin the furthest,” said Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head. “It was there that I entered my first-ever batch of pumpkin beer into a baking contest. It ended up winning first place — beating out a boatload of homemade pumpkin cookies, pies and cakes — and Punkin Ale as we know it was born. I even named the beer after the festival’s Punkin Chunkin competition.”
Since its debut, the recipe for Punkin Ale hasn’t changed. It’s a full-bodied brown ale brewed to 7 percent ABV with real pumpkin meat, brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon.
The design (from the press release)
Hacker’s design features a trio of cartoon pumpkin characters “rockin’ it out” on stage in front of a live audience. The band includes a singer, a guitarist and a drummer, all of which are fully engrossed in their hard-hitting tunes. The small details in Hacker’s work — like pumpkin people throwing up the “rock on” sign and crowd surfing through a sea of fans — amplify the scene’s allure, drawing beer drinkers deeper into the imaginary concert until sounds of shrill guitar runs and booming bass drums become audible.
“As a beer geek with a music problem, I couldn’t be more excited about this year’s Punkin Ale packaging,” said Calagione. “It captures the essence and energy of a punk rock concert in an interesting and lighthearted way. Makes me want to grab a bottle of Punkin and take my turn up on the stage!”
Punkin Ale is available on shelves now in six-pack and 12-oz. bottles.