When starting a new project you are just hoping that people feel your idea is a good one and in turn validate your concept. From the moment that I reached out to Daniel Endicott to invite him to be a part of this project he has been nothing but a positive force and encouraging. In the early weeks I was just excited for individuals to say yes and would make myself available to speak with them whenever - day or night, but Daniel and I knew that it would be an optimal experience if we met in person and sat down to talk, so we waited and were able to connect at his impressive brewery, Forest & Main and it was obvious that it was the right decision. Daniel is a true artist whose love of beer and art is something special, not to mention I am a little jealous he gets to do two of his favorite things for his job. Enjoy this unique look into one of the truly special individuals in the craft beer space.
AJK: Hello and welcome to another edition of the 16oz. Canvas - the Art of Craft Beer Podcast. I'm AJ you're host here. This one is live and in person we here at Forest & Main in Ambler, PA with Daniel Endicott - Jack of all trades - owner, brewer, artist, father and I don't know what other hats you have on.
Daniel: That keeps me busy me enough.
AJK: I was going to say that's like seven jobs right there. We were just talking about getting away to the beach and "relax with the children". And just wanted to thank you for inviting me and welcoming me to your home away from home here.
Daniel: My pleasure - thanks for coming down.
AJK: And for everyone at home, this is Episode #24 but one of the great things - Daniel and I have been talking for awhile and early on when we first started, had the idea for the 16oz. Canvas podcast, right away he wrote back and said that he was very interested in being a part of it. And I think from that point on we both agreed to do in person - the enthusiasm was there, we thought it would be great to collaborate.
Even a few weeks ago when we spoke about being interviewed by the newspaper, that was because of Daniel. We hit the cutting room floor but that was kind of a sobering moment to realize Wow - people find what we are doing interesting and to get to meet people like you so thank you again.
Daniel: Thank you for doing what you're doing. It's really cool. I've enjoyed listening to all of these interviews that you've done - great to hear other stories from people how to got to where they are and what they are trying to do. What used to be simple beer artwork has now become something else and it's really cool to see.
AJK: My whole point is that I think that it is really great to see that it is really artwork and it is not something - a device to get drunk off of. I think Craft beer is an art and so with that comes the fact the you as an owner it probably costs you more to put on special labels, cost you more to go the extra mile. In a weird way when I was talking to one of the other guys recently he was saying that it was a little surreal at first when folks started throwing away his art - the cans.
It's nice if you come down here, we're in the offices at Forest & Main. You can see, there is a trophy wall of all of the crowlers, so I am glad to see that you keep the momentos there..
Daniel: I throw plenty away but I keep one of each.
AJK: Exactly. For those scoring at home, give a little background about yourself and we'll see where we go.
Daniel: My partner and I started Forest & Main in 2012. Took about a year of renovations to open up. Prior to that I was mainly a home brewer - went to England and studied beer over there a bit. And before all of that I went to Art School got my BFA from Tyler School of Art which is Temple's Art School with a focus on glass blowing strangely enough. I went to school for painting and took one class in glass blowing and had a blast doing it. You work with other people, you can't do it by yourself, you're not sitting in a studio at night painting by yourself. I really enjoyed the community aspect of it and kind of stuck with it. We're talking about art glass blowing not pipes or bongs or anything. Not that there is anything wrong with that, that wasn't I was doing.
So graduated from there in 2005. Lived with my parents for awhile, showed art down town, tried to make it as an artist and never made quite enough money doing that. Then got into making beer and never really looked back. Now ten years later I'm doing both because of beer. I am making more art than I ever have before as a result of owning a brewery which is pretty awesome. I am thankful everyday I can go to work and make both beer and art.
AJK: And the beer is kind of art in and of itself too. I think that's the beauty of it. Art can be so liberating and beer has got to be very down to the recipe.
Daniel: There is still a bit of magic and art to it I think.
AJK: I think now more than ever with some of these beers you think oh this and that how is that going to work. And you're like I have to try it and I'm curious - you definitely get my interest peaked. As a kid I might not have been the most adventurous with my vegetables, but if you tell me you put it in a beer I'm like alright. I'll give it a try.
Now your art is very vivid and your use of water colors. How would you describe your style or your aesthetic? That word.
Daniel: Going right to the hard question.
This one kept me up at night last night. I knew it was the one I had to prep for. In terms of actual style what it looks like - it is mostly water colors and some pen and ink. I embrace the loose nature of water color. Colors bleed into each other, there aren't hard edges sometimes. That is mainly with the new can labels. The old bottle labels which I still do they're kind of a different family. They are more pen and ink with water color backing them up.
In terms of the ideas behind with all of the labels. Which I think is more the art of it instead of the mechanics which is pen and ink and water colors. It's more this running theme of life being a stage play. Not like in a broadways sense, more of an empty kind of stage - a Samuel Beckett play or a Brecht play --- where there is this creepiness to it. Very life like things real, but there is something off about them. That idea that things aren't always what they seem in the world. If you go see a play it's supposed to be real but you know it's not real. This life behind it. Something else behind that you're not sure about it.
I'm lucky I get to put that on a beer label.
AJK: Yeah --- get people thinking.
Now was that a deliberate choice -- the pen and ink with the bottles?
Daniel: Yeah. I sorta have two ways of making art. I still paint with oils at home, but they're much different paintings than the water colors I use pen and ink.s I've actually been thinking about doing some of that for beer labels soon. In terms of beer labels, I consider them more like illustrations and pen and ink and water colors to my aesthetic better suited to that. Little more control. It's probably more historically accurate. I think oh beer label and I think narrative illustration which to me is pen and ink and water color. For some reason in my brain, beer labels kind of have to be that for me.
That's always I'ver worked with in my mind and envisioned beer labels as being - this old school kind of cartoon. Cartoons sounds bad but almost like comic strips from the 30's and 40's. When they were highly detailed with a lot of cross hatching and pen work that I really enjoy. Like Art chrome I don't know if you are familiar with his work. Very simple means to get very detailed drawings. It's definitely a deliberate decision on my part to do water color and pen ink for the labels.
AJK: Now as we are here with the expansion of the brewery. You kind of have a little more time. Early on it must have been a lot more difficult to find time to do the art.
Daniel: It was. The first couple of years we ran the brewery and managed the restaurant. We were here 3 or 4 nights until closing, which is probably another reason why pen and ink and water color made so much sense for these labels. I would sit up in the office upstairs and my office was a third the size of this table. I would sit upstairs with that much room to work on these beer labels. I can pack them up in my bag, take them home and work on the dining room table. And having a daughter bopping around all the time i can't really be doing oil paintings there. Water colors is something I can do with her which is also exciting makes my work a little easier. Don't have to hide out in the attic painting.
It was hard to find the time to do when we opened up. Strange how a lot of down time when you're running a restaurant you're so of waiting for things to go wrong. Most night things don't go wrong, so I'd just be sitting up stairs keeping an eye on things. I would have quite a bit of time to work on them. I also didn't have much energy - I had been brewing and managing. So it was tough.
AJK: How did you end up managing the restaurant? That seems like a whole 'nother
Daniel: It wasn't easy. Myself nor my partner were restaurant people. Luckily my wife set up most of that before we had our daughter. She ran the restaurant for a year and passed it off to us. We had assistant managers but we still closed the restaursant at night but we were still the ones in charge til the end. But like I said you really just waited for something to go wrong. I'm not a server. I couldn't manage servers and say go wait on tables, but I was there if anything - someone needs to be kicked out. Those kinds of problems. You're really just babysitting the restaurant at that point.
AJK: And we're here today and it's exciting, if you go to Instagram for Forest and Main. The property next store, the expansion is happening. So when I pulled up it was kind of like I've seen this somewhere it was right off of... I had already seen a glimpse inside. Which i think you guys do a really good job of sharing the culture and the vibe of that.
Daniel: In terms of art that is a pretty exciting project. If you've been to the pub it's in a Victorian house - it kind of has got these sort of weird antiques everywhere. Its got a set vibe and aesthetic to it. Next door will sort of be a polar opposite to that. Bright colors, lots of clean surfaces. No antiques. It's pretty cool art project for me in terms of designing that. Filling that with stuff.
AJK: Yeah. The current is very intimate and you've definitely maximized all of the space. So to have this massive probably several times larger kind of openness to it.
Daniel: It's pretty exciting although it's filling up pretty quickly. Already need more space. Lots of wall space over there for art which is exciting.
AJK: Is it going to be rotating art?
Daniel: We're not sure yet. We're going to design a lot of things to absorb sound over there, a lot of hard surfaces. I'm excited to be able to do some canvases that have foam behind them. We're going to have live music over there so to absorb some of that sound. We have one longer wall over there, we're thinking about rotating artwork and different artists which is pretty exciting for us.
AJK: And you're from this area?
Daniel: Yes. Grew up about ten minutes from here.
AJK: One of the things that is very obvious is this community is very important to the brewery. The office is right across the street. From a real estate perspective it is like hitting the jackpot. If you're trying to find an apartment near your family, you have no luck but they have three buildings with in a good rock's throw of each other. Could make for some good snowball fights in the winter, but then even the expansion with the crowlers, the local farmer's market. It's very apparent to me how important the local community is - it's a great space. There's a boutique desert and foods place around - it seems like a really cool spot to be around.
Daniel: It's a cool town both for our businesses and our families. It's been a lot of fun to live here and work here.
AJK: I think that's ideal, especially now more than ever the importance of a good community and taking care of each other. TO really do that together and ... I'm just jealous there is no commute - -- I have a butch of a commute to work every day. But just even that sense of community is extremely important and having young children is till that in them. The roots of the future.
I had read that you had worked on a A to Z chldrens book.
: I did a series about a year ago, sort of on a whim. An animal themed alphabet series. I released it in prints. Was going to do a book, will probably still do a book. Making a book is a lot more work than getting prints made.
AJK: I think some of the prints are up on your site. Available on DanielEndicott.com in the shop.
Daniel: Still Some of those prints available as are a few of the originals still available. That was a lot of fun. Just having a daughter at home it's always fun to do artwork that she's excited about. The can artwork she's not at all excited aside from the fact that some of them are blobs of colors that look like she could have done them.
AJK: That's what I am waiting for one week -- going to be like slip it in there and not say anything.
Daniel: Actually One of them i did a drawing. I would draw outlines of animals for her to paint in and one morning she asked me to draw a tiger, so I drew a tiger. It was the most absurd looking animal in the world, so turned that into a crowler label. So it was kind of artwork that she did.
AJK: My kids know I have no artistic ability so I'm not asked to draw things in the mornings. When people have to draw on their kids lunch bag.
Daniel: The way that they draw is pretty magical. I don't think that I could draw like my daughter draws if I tried to. Just the way they see the world and simplify things to three shapes.
AJK: The huge legs, the little body and you think you know who you are and I always end up being the really one i never thought I would be. "That's daddy right?" "No that's Joe" or a new character and you don't even know who that kid is.
Now as an artist how is having a daughter changed your perspective on things?
Daniel: It's been huge I think. First and foremost it makes me much more efficient with my time. I think that was amazing for me to realize. Oh I'm not going to have anytime to do anything when I have a kid: You have less time but more time in a way. That hour of free time you have in the morning you make the most of that hour.
I think in terms of your view on the world. Especially as they get to be a little older, she's 4 years old now. She is starting to think about things more than a 2 year old or something. She is learning about Dinosaurs and all this other stuff. And just the perspective they have on stuff like that. She understands death I guess, because she knows that Dinosaurs aren't here anymore but in her mind they live under the ground. She says stuff like we're walking on dinosaurs everyday. To start to think about the world through her eyes you start to get all different types of imagery and a huge appreciation for life and an excitement for things. That carries over to the art. I could probably look at the art I've done since she's in the last two years when she's been more involved with the art with me where more vibrant colors, more playfulness. It's had a huge impact on my art.
AJK: I think as a humans its made me appreciate. Slow down a little more you're saying. I tell the story a lot but Grand Central is one of the busiest places on Earth. I'm in New York City a lot in Grand Central as quick as I can. I'll never forget the first time we took our son there, the look of pure unfiltered amazement and it was like Wow I take something for granted all the time.
Daniel: Just walking down the street, some things that she notices that I would walk by.
AJK: They were physched and I was like oh man it's pouring rain out. And they were like 'It's raining out!' - they went and got their rain boots and they could play in the puddles for hours.
Daniel: They sure know how to have fun, that's for sure.
AJK: You said that you were home brewing and then you spent some time abroad. What made you decide to take the big leap?
Daniel: I think it was always my goal. Ideally I wanted to work somewhere else first and then open my own place. When I came back from England I couldn't find a job anywhere brewing. I didn't really want to move cross country or to another state. I liked being around family and friends, so since my goal was always to do my own thing and I had some money set aside for it. I just decided to go for it. And my partner Gerard Olson was working at a brewery at the time, McKenzie Brewhouse and so we decided to partner up. I felt much better with him on board not having had the actual professional experience. He had that side of it covered so I felt better going into it then.
AJK: How did you team up with him?
Daniel: We were friends. I knew him through my brother. He and my brother were friends. We're pretty much the same age. He's a little bit older than me for about six months out of the year. I knew he was home brewing and working at McKenzies and whenever I'd see him we'd always talk about home brewing and the beers we were making. And that was sort of the seed to our friendship and over the years we kept in touch over home brewing and when I was ready to open my own brewery I started bouncing ideas off of him. Then one day he said I've got some money why don't we do this together. So it was sort of perfect. Since day one it's been great and the beers are both really into us. I brought the English beers to the table, that was my little area of expertise or what i was into and he was more the Saison guy. Felt like those two families compliment each other very nicely. Lower alcohol, sessionable beers that go well with food.
AJK: I think those type of beers I've come to especially with kids when you can have a bottle of beer and not have to worry. I think that's been really great. I came to learn of you guys, I trade and some guys in the Philly area and one of the guys Tedge threw in a bottle.
Daniel: I know Tedge.
AJK: Yeah he's a good dude works over at Tired Hands now and he's got Northern Liberties.
And I was kind of like wow, that was the kid in me. I had no expectations. I had no idea and now compliments to you, you guys are hopping. It's not as easy to get your beers, but now I know a guy. I think it has been really great. The house to the expansion of the big place, it is very metaphorical the kind of expansion and the growth of everything.
Daniel: Like I mentioned earlier, I get to do both of my passions now. They're so intertwined too. The whole house is a sort of art project in and of itself. We were very meticulous on how we decorated it. And to go back to what I was talking about with my aesthetic being the theater of life. I think that house embodies a lot of what I use the imagery, the wood floors, creaky wood floors, creaky chairs, ambient lighting.
AJK: I think you could lost in that house for hours. Each room I feel has a little story or spirit animal that goes with it.
Daniel: Sort of miss having that place to myself sometimes. I don't often go and sit at the bar and have a beer. Sometimes I just want to go and sit with a book and enjoy the space.
AJK: Now how is the process when you create the labels? Do you have an idea, does it correlate to the type of beer?
Daniel: It does. Well its different for the bottles and cans. The bottles definitely correlates to the beer. Most of those bottles spend months in wine barrels. So we brew a Saison with an idea for a beer and probably half the time its a basic Saison and the other half its maybe got something different added to it and it spends a lot of time in wine barrels. And Gerard tastes them through their evolution in the barrels and get an idea on where its going. And we'll talk about the beer and he'll relay them. I'll sample them on occasion. He's more the barrel guy so he relays some ideas of the beer to me.
And will form this picture - this beer is brighter, more lively and this one is darker. That will give me a little pathway and then we'll trade ideas. Often time we'll end up with the scene - this beer has a woman sitting in a chair drinking a beer. And we'll leave it at that and a couple days later I'll come back with a sketch.
Nine times out of time Gerard's like exactly what I am picturing. It's a pretty cool partnership we have in that I am doing the physical art but the brainstorming is a lot of the two of us doing it. Within those bottle labels there is a story that is being told, we have this big framework of characters and how they are interacting. We sort of know oh yeah we want to do a beer or label for this beer soon where so and so interacts with so and so and tells this side of the story. A little framework for the bottle labels in terms of bigger narrative we're trying to tell.
AJK: Do you have names for the characters?
Daniel: We do. There is a whole family tree that no one but Gerard and I will ever see. We started with these bottles like the first two, 5 almost 6 years ago were the mother and father of this family and they live in the attic of this house. And if you see certain beer labels there are parts of the house you can recognize and other characters that reappear. It will eventually all come together. Will probably do some sort of cool book with it.
AJK: What's the overall theme of the story?
Daniel: Sort of like good versus evil, but you're not really sure who the good or the evil are at that point. It's also family - there's a brother and sister who get separated and end up fighting each other without knowing they're really fighting each other. It all stems from this - we had this reiki master come and cleanse the house before we opened and she told us about these characters that she saw living in the house. Whether or not you believe in reiki masters and that whole spiritual side of it, they are arguably based on real people. A little spiritualism there.
It's pretty cool and creepy. Gerard is more into that. Reiki healing, that stuff. Right when we signed the lease for the house he brought them and they spent like three hours burning sage and sensing different beings in the house. It was pretty cool but also kind of creepy.
AJK: I think it is very interesting that you both have different perspectives on it so it helps the story go to not all be on the same path, so to speak. Again this is not a religious podcast but whatever gets you going and makes you want to be a better person you can call it whatever you want is how I look at it.
Daniel: And the crowler labels are all much more just I do a whole bunch of artwork. Kind of these are some of like I was saying are like I will do over coffee in the morning at home. No idea that this will ever be a can label. I just do random water colors or water colored painting for myself. Every two months we do ten labels at at time. I will go through all of my recent paintings and pick out - I like this one. These will labels, I'll scan them in and we'll print them. Then we have a whole bunch of those made ahead of time so when we make a different IPA every week, we'll taste the IPA and be like oh this. There's no reason this beer should be with that label. We'll be like this tastes like that label looks. So we'll work just down from our ten labels each week.
It's pretty cool to go from the bottles where it is so structured. I'll spend several days doing one label for bottle where as I can make five labels for cans in one day because they are much more femoral and playful and they're not really telling a story. They're not illustrations per se.
AJK: Yeah knowing that there this whole family life thing there is a lot of pressure to keep that story going.
Daniel: It's fun. We've got a lot of it figured it out. For awhile it was what side of the story should we tell or where should this character go. Now we have the actual tree in place.
AJK: Do you have a secret vaulted book?
Daniel: We do. It's more for our own brain so we don't get too confused. At one point we had to write it down.
AJK: Is there a family tree?
Daniel: We do, it's pretty cool.
AJK: Now taking your water colors and getting them on the crowlers?
Daniel: That one for instance I scanned it in. I do alter them sometimes in Photoshop. That one was pretty heavily altered. I will sellectively copy all of the leaves for instance on that one. Copy and paste and do multiple layers of leaves, change the saturation and hue on them. Some are straight water colors as I did them, no alterations. That sort of is another layer of playfulness I have with those labels. They can be actual be physical paintings or can be completely made up from the parts. Sometimes I'll do random splashes of water color. Fill up the whole page with shapes and stuff and scan that all in and select different shapes and paste them on top of each other, blow them up, shrink them down. It's pretty cool. It's a whole other way of making art for me.
I am very old school. For the bottle labels, they don't see anything. It's all tracing paper and it's pen and ink and water color. If I mess something up the whole label is trashed and I start over again. To go from that to sometimes making entire labels in Photoshop is pretty weird for me but also liberating.
AJK: I feel there is a big duality to a lot of the things you do. You have your structure. Even you and Gerard have your different perspectives, but it seems to all kind of works itself together.
Daniel: It may be another result of having a 4-year old daughter now. I think that I have always loved abstract art. I never really got my head around making it until recently. And maybe that is a result of having a daughter and having a different world view. Embracing accidents and also having less time to work. I think that spurred me to make more abstract art.
AJK: It's a nice exhale sometimes. You can hit Control-Z a couple of times and try it again.
Daniel: It's very cool. I can achieve things that I could never do with water color and paper in Photoshop and stuff. Building layers. Pretty cool.
AJK: Do you paint everyday?
Daniel: Water color yes. I haven't done oil painting in almost a year. I've just been too busy with work and I used to paint in the morning. And then when I stopped managing the restaurant I switched to a more 9-5 so I have less time to paint in the mornings unless its water color at the dining room table.
I try to make some art everyday. It keeps me sane I think and it's fun. And then in terms of the crowler labels I build up a library to pull from when it's at crunch time.
AJK: It's kind of your Forest & Main art - I'll use it at some point later.
Daniel: Exactly. Listening to other artists talk on your podcast I feel sometimes very unique in that I could never be a Graphic Designer. I could never be for hire. Like if you had a brewery and said I want you to do my beer labels - no way. I am not a designer. I am kind of good doing what I do and nothing else. So I could never switch gears and design something for another brewery that looked totally different. It wouldn't be very good first off and I don't think it would work for me.
I guess I was getting to the point where if every piece of art I make sometimes ends up being Forest & Main labels or whatnot its kind of a weird notion. I don't think it is weird to me in that sort of everything I do at this point is Forest & Main at this point. It's genuine. Decorating the house was genuine. I make the imagery that is Forest & Main so in some sense everything I make could be Forest & Main imagery.
AJK: Yeah you're saying you can't do it for commercial. Forest & Main is commercial but it's more - it's a different, it's a part of who you are and that is what i was saying about the community and being here. It's not we got the biggest space. We got the space that is here. And it is literal and extension of our foundation. It's a nice little universe which all makes sense.
When we spoke with Max earlier from Black Hog, he said it was really hard for him to do commercial stuff. I feel that the only way it made sense for him, he did have a personal buy in with the people through the food and all of that. He said commercially I don't do anything else so he's trying to get himself up to that and I think that it has become less and less truly commercial for him.
Daniel: I think it's pretty cool to see that beer labels in general going less and less commercial. They are still commercial. They're still trying to sell a product in a way. They're commercial because they are trying to fight against the old standard design. It's pretty awesome to be abel to exist in a time where you can create art to sell something that isn't really old school ad design work and that stands out on the shelf.
AJK: I still haven't figured out a way to keep them. That's why I am trying to get prints or little things here and there because they have beer in them and they sit around and either I don't drink the beer. I did do that once. In CT we had the Gandhi Bot and it was a disaster. They changed it as folks felt that they were making fun of Gandhi. I still have one that is with the original.
A lot of the folks that we talk to their product doesn't even go on the shelf. When we started the podcast, part of the idea was that it was about standing out on the shelf but now even the distribution model which has been broken by other industries and now for beer and going and leaving with a fair amount of beer and having the intimacy of possibly buying it from the person who made it or one step away and its super fresh. All of those things just shows that level of appreciation and detail on all aspects of it.
Because yours are a lot of colors is there any limitations or because they don't go to the TTB - you're not limited with colors?
Daniel: And no the printer we work with is awesome - Blue Label out of Ohio. There are no limitations and they are all digitally printed. We've worked with them for like four years now. They're really great. I don't need to get test prints. I can just send stuff off and a proof in an email and we're good to go. Can't say enough good stuff about them.
AJK: Now we spoke before about the Farmers Market. How did that come to be? I think even now selling beer at a Farmers Market.
Daniel: It's something we've always wanted to do even when we opened five years ago. I remember Lawson's Finest was selling at Farmers Markets and that seems so cool and I wish we could do that, but it was not legal at the time. It just seemed so natural for a brewery to be able to go to this place where people were selling fresh produce and stuff and setup a stand and sell beer. Not like pour beer, not opening a bar just a product that someone is going to take home. But it wasn't til they changed the law like a year ago that we were able to do that. And there was some advanced notice on that and we knew a year ago in May that that was going to happen in August. So we were like what should we do? We don't want to just lug a bunch of kegs to the Farmers Markets and sell or fill growlers, so how can we differentiate ourselves. And we didn't have money for a canning line at the time, so we decided to get a Crowler seamer and start doing those and it really took off.
We bought the Crowler machine for the Farmers Market specifically and if we had any left over we would bring them back and sell them here, but now we fill a whole bunch and take some to market and leave some here. Every Saturday we have a new one which is pretty cool. Add it's another outlet for the artwork. When we first started we had two labels - we had an IPA and a Saison and I would do 1000 labels. One for IPA and one for Saison, but found with the Instagram world if every week you post the same picture / label.
AJK: People would think it is the same beer and that it was left over.
Daniel: Even though you say this week's beer is ... But you can't blame them for seeing the same picture as most people just scroll through. So then we decided to do new artwork every week. And that's sort of when they really took off.
It was exciting for me. The bottles we do once a month or so so they don't keep me as busy, but the crowler labels definitely do.
AJK: You do all the glassware as well?
Daniel: Yes. I do.
AJK: What's the story with the the three-legged underwear man.
Daniel: Four-legged. That started with this beer we did with McKenzie and Almanac. It was two years ago when the CBC was in Philly. Almanac sent a bunch of beer out and McKenzie brought a bunch of beer over and we blended a beer together. And it was a pretty quick turnaround for that beer because a lot of those beers were already barrel-aged and had already had the funky souriness to them.
So we had to bottle it and condition it and we were going to serve it during Philly beer week, so we needed a label pretty quickly and I think that that was the first collaboration that we did. And we weren't sure since our bottled beers have a story and they are all very close-knit. Well his is a bastard beer - do we work it in with the story or not?
We decided to take some of the themes like the wooden stage and weird backdrops. Well there is four of us so lets do four legs and underwear. And it's this awesome image that we came up and that was one of the fastest label I've ever did - it went from idea to a finished label in one day and the image just cracks us up.
AJK: It's so funny. I didn't know what the story was but knew I had to ask.
Daniel: Tighty-whities are hilarious and we decided to be more playful with our glassware instead of just Forest & Main on it. Get a new glass every month or two - more often because people steal them a lot. We stopped serving them now. That was one of our favorites, It's a cool images, because it is eight legs and from a distance it turns into an arch - it looks like a bridge. That's been a big hit with people. It's a cool industry - I don't konw how many industries you could put four men in underwear on something.
AJK: And people want it.
Daniel: It has nothing to do with our brand or our place, but it's a fun image. Nothing's sacred so put it on some glassware and have some fun.
AJK: Now when you're creating what kind of tunes are you listening to.
Daniel: Pretty varied in what I listen to.
AJK: I'm kind of hoping you're going to turn me onto something cool. No pressure, I'm just kind of curious.
Daniel: I've been into this one band, I want to say band but I think it's one guy - Sun-Araw. So sort of ambient but with more of a beat. Not really ambient but more in that vein. I listen to a lot of psychedelic rock. Carlton Melton is one of my favorites. Apparently every time they record they just drop acid and go into this geodesic dome and improvise and cut it from there.
AJK: That's great have you seen the new Grateful Dead Long Strange Trip?
Daniel: Yes I loved it.
I actually wasn't really a Dead fan until I started watching that. I always appreciated them but was never really into them and my wife and I watched that - blew through that in like 5 nights and have been really into them since them.
AJK: Phish is my band and the Dead is my wife's band. She got to see them with Jerry. I've seen all the incantations since, but I was like is this going to be drugs and noodling guitar. It was a beautiful story of like American History. The music was almost the soundtrack. It was amazing to go through all those periods of life.
Daniel: I never knew so much of the history. I never know that Phil Lesh a classical composer.
AJK: The Wall of Sound. That was amazing.
Daniel: How did they do that? Speaking of staying up all night. The amount of time for that.
AJK: There was like two hours a day that they weren't either taking it down or putting it up.
Daniel: They had to show up so many hours before the band played. And then I realized that they had to take it down after they were done for another five hours. It's crazy.
My favorite moment of that show is the sound guy on the '72 Europe tour snuck out of the bus. He was never supposed to leave the recording equipment going without watching it and snuck in and i guess Jerry was soloing during Morning Dew and he saw him with tears coming down his face. Jerry wasn't mad, he was happy just living in the moment.
Been listening to the Dead a lot more since then. I've always been into Jazz. Big Jazz fan - big Miles Davis fan, Coltrane, all that stuff?
AJK: Do you have certain labels, certain music?
Daniel: Yeah I feel for the crowler water color I definitely get a little more ambient physch rock - a little more out there match the bleeding colors. Definitely more like psychedelic stuff for that. With the bottle labels I feel they are a much longer processes, so put on the classical station and just zone out to that.
AJK: Now I'm going to go back and find all these labels and try and see the story.
Daniel: I do feel like the guy that doesn't fit in the brewing world that I don't really listen to metal.
AJK: Right? I do love everyone I have spoken to and if you are listening thank you, but I have met more people who listen in the last 6 months.
Daniel: It something about the brewing world.
AJK: It's not light metal, it is very aggressive.
AJK: Well thank you so much Daniel this was great and this is why I did this. Thank you for validating that and being supportive and really just being into it. It means a lot. I really dig your work.
Daniel: Thank you.
AJK: I'm really happy that I got to come here today when you're almost like breaking ground on the new place
Daniel: Keep doing what you're doing. I sit here and do paintings and listen. Keep it up.