In the modern era of craft brewing, Oregon’s Rogue Ale qualifies as an elder statesman. They opened their first brew pub in Ashland back in October 1988 and have only continued to excel in the decades that followed. Not everybody loves Rogue, but most will admit that their Dead Guy Ale remains one of the more reliable—and ubiquitous—craft beer options in places that typically only offer the usual macro-brew suspects. Their labels, initially screen-printed to save money, are just as much a tradition as their high-quality beer. Here’s a handful of some of their more successful labels.
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Dead Guy Ale
This iconic image traces back to 1990, when graphic designer Penny Mutre created a stylized version of the Dia de los Muertos-inspired Casa U-Betch image, merged with some bare-bones clip art, and perched the guy on a beer cask.
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Sriracha Hot Stout
The inspiration for this bottle is self-evident, and reinforces the use of Sriracha as a key ingredient this "hot stout." The famed hot sauce traces back to the coastal city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, and uses the now-iconic rooster as an image of strength—the guy who first made the sauce was born in 1945, the year of the rooster.
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Yellow Snow Pilsner
One of two yellow snow beers from Rouge (the other being an IPA), this pilsner uses Oregon spruce tips to craft a clean-drinking winter ale with a session-friendly 5.5% ABV.
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The big pink lips say it all—the Paradise Pucker uses a variety of ingredients (passion fruit, orange peel, and pink guava) to craft a bold sour ale. The palm tree silhouettes and bright colors also reference the point of inspiration for the beer: the classic Hawaiian juice.
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This infamous brew takes its name from one key ingredient: wild yeast harvested from nine beard hairs from Rogue Ale's brewmaster, John Maier, whose face adorns the label.
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Straight Outta Newport…Oregon
Another label that wears its influence on its sleeve, this double IPA re-imagines the famous Straight Outta Compton record cover from N.W.A., swapping out the musicians and their LA home to play homage to Rogues' seas-side home town, complete with the iconic Yaquina Bay Bridge and the brewers who crafted the beer.
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Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout
This American-style stout uses the famed scribe as the central image, one arm raised victoriously in the air, another one of the reoccurring themes in Rogue's beer labels like the Mocha Porter and American Amber, whose label displays a hipped-out Abe Lincoln offering the one-armed fist-raised salute.