O Canada! Warren is another first for us here at the 16oz. Canvas - our first Canadian artist to join us here. It took a bit of convincing but was really great to get him out of his shell and talking about himself and his work with Liquid Riot and his company Thro' Creative. He is a hard working, honest and very appreciative individual who loves his job, his family and a good beer. Definitely connected and would have loved to done this one in 3-D over a few cold ones. Enjoy.
AJK: Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the 16oz. Canvas - the Art of Craft Beer podcast. I am very excited to introduce to you our first Canadian artist, we have Mr. Warren Cathro who is joining us right outside of the Toronto area. Thanks so much for making the time today, Warren, how are you?
Warren: I am good, thank you and thanks for having me.
AJK: No problem, you have a big, you know, you are the first Canadian on here. So, there's a huge, you know, all the Canadians are listening, you know, waiting --
Warren: It’s a lot of pressure.
AJK: I know. Well, I like to set the bar here and in life low and then if it kind of exceeds it then it’s a wow moment versus an oh well it didn't go as well. So, we’ll set the bar low, you know, and we’ll go from there.
Warren: I like that.
AJK: Now Warren, you have your own company Thro’ Creative. Now, I’m going to lie to you until about 6, maybe 6 to 10 seconds ago I did not put together the Thro’ was from your last name. So, that was one of my questions I had where the Thro’ cane from, but I think I figured that out, it comes from your last name if I'm correct.
Warren: That’s the gist of it, yeah.
AJK: But then it has the punctuation at the end of it so that’s where it kind of threw me off, you know, it’s kind of like --
Warren: Okay, yeah. So, there is some old English tied into that. It’s sort of like a short form of the word through. So, it’s kind of like through creative. Like we accomplish these things through creative, but that also doesn’t really make sense because it’s pronounced throw. So, it’s just really confusing.
AJK: Yeah, that’s cool. I think Thro’ Creative right, I mean I think the branding, packaging, labeling, you know, with Thro’ Creative, it helps tell the story right. So, I mean, yeah, I think it’s good and it works out pretty well, it’s part of your last name that’s pretty catchy. Awesome. Now, how long have you kind of, you know, how long have you been doing -- how long has Thro’ been on the scene?
Warren: Couple, two years.
AJK: Excellent. Now, kind of, you know, we’re in the elevator going up, you know, what’s the Warren, you know, art design story, how did you kind of, you know, find that niche for yourself?
Warren: I think it’s along the same lines of some things you’ve eluded to, you know, where music has kind of a big role in my life and the past in it, you know, starting teenage years, early 20s, playing in a couple of bands, someone’s got to do the CD art.
So, like I was also in -- I was at the York University my early 20s and I was doing an environmental studies degree, but I had a spot for one more elective course in my last year and it was kind of just like an intro to design and/or graphic design and web design. So, I took that which sort of introduced me to like the digital tools like Photoshop, Illustrator as well as like HTML to design websites. So, I designed our band’s CD art work in Illustrator, Photoshop and did our band’s website and that just kind of like got me on that path, mostly working in the digital realm.
And then my first job out of university, I ended up doing a lot of the web and graphics for that company I was working with and few years later my brother-in-law Eric Michaud, he started Novare Res Bier Café in Portland and I did the website for them and some of the poster art for their beer events and what not. And then decided I kind of really wanted to get more into this, sort of need to focus more on the graphics and the design side of my job and so, did a little intensive course at Humber College here in Toronto. And that that was around 2014 that I finish that and then started Thro’ Creative and so that’s -- that’s where we’re at.
AJK: Excellent. Now, what kind of music, now I noticed, you know, I could probably get a little more, you know, metal grungy type of stuff or what was the band or what kind of tunes you guys playing?
Warren: That I was playing?
AJK: Yes sir.
Warren: Yeah, sort of a mesh of metal punk post rock. Those were our kind of influences.
AJK: Yeah, I noticed that I don’t know what it is, but like lot of the label artists love metal like it’s like I’ve definitely like if I were to plot it all out, I would say like it’s a pretty high level of folks who like the metal. So, that’s really bizarre.
AJK: It’s been interesting to me like that’s not a style that I’m not opposed to it. I just never really was like introduced like properly to it and so that’s always been kind of fun with the music overlays and stuff like that, but I am like oh okay, I can get into this.
Warren: Yeah, that style of music was -- that was the most prevalent in my formative years, the coming of age, years and that sort of sets you on that path forever basically. I’ve opened up a lot the past few years get into it, you know, I listened to everything but well not -- that’s sort of the main stay or the big bulk of what I was into I suppose.
AJK: That’s awesome. So, that’s a pretty -- that’s a good story I mean, take the one class, you know, who knows if you could kind of just kind of, you know, probably your senior year be like ah, I'm just going to take a flub class, let’s get out here and get to the environmental stuff so.
Mother Earth is probably crying a little bit but, you know, I bet you recycle, so it’s all good, helping recycle those cans.
Warren: Yeah, we recycle, compose.
AJK: Oh nice.
Warren: All that sort of stuff.
AJK: My sister is pretty hardcore on that, she is probably like she’ll come over and even be sorting our trash while we’re like here, it’s like okay, we get it, we get it. So, yeah, at the party she is the ball buster, I love you Shannon but yeah, you’re a ball buster with the recycle stuff. Now, how would you describe kind of your style or your esthetic in terms of, you know, your design?
Warren: I don’t think I have one. Right now. I mean, if you look at the Liquid Riot cans, each one is almost their own esthetic, some of them are sort of similar, but I am pretty new of this. So, I am kind of still in a sort of a discovery phase artistically maybe.
AJK: I like that, Warren. One of the better answers I’ve had.
Warren: Awesome. But maybe I am on the road to developing my own style, but maybe not I don’t know but yeah, like I said with the Liquid Riot, they’re all -- most of them were kind of different and I try to do something that sort of fits the name or the style or there is a story behind the beer. I try to kind of fit the aesthetic to that and so, I don’t know if like that would change. Maybe that’ll change down the road, but right now we’re just kind of having fun with it.
AJK: Now, you said about your process being mostly digital, is that still true now after the classes and some of the time at university or, you know, you’re mostly working in like Illustrator and Photoshop, what’s your process?
Warren: Yeah, primarily Illustrator, Photoshop to a lesser extent, you know, occasionally I’m not strong with drawing like by hand or anything but I will like occasionally like sketch out the idea that if the idea needs to be hashed out, but if I have a pretty good idea of what I want it to be beforehand sometimes I’ll just start like right in with the digital.
AJK: Okay. Now, do you learn Illustrator. I mean, I used to dabble with the very big quotes around Illustrator and Photoshop, but was that one of the classes at university with Illustrator because that’s one of the things, more and more I talk to folks, I used to spend more time with Photoshop but I think illustrator would be a great program to learn.
Warren: So, when I went to Humber for the graphic design, I definitely wanted to get better with Illustrator and Photoshop and they covered both of those pretty well, yeah.
AJK: Awesome. Now, before you said you worked with your brother-in-law’s is that correct?
Warren: Yeah, my brother-in-law Eric Michaud, he is the man behind Liquid Riot and Novare Res in Portland.
AJK: Nice. Now, how did you kind of -- you mentioned kind of doing some posters and with some, you know, promo stuff but how did that kind of come together where you’re now the label art guy, you know, how was that process?
Warren: I just said you have to give me the job, no.
AJK: Business 101 with Warren, just give me the job.
Warren: I guess like when they started that I mean, originally Liquid Riot was -- they started at Infinity. I think that door was like always maybe there somewhere down the road, but when they started out, it wasn’t quite the time to get into that. I mean I was also -- our daughter was born in 2012 and I was kind of like, you know, I had to just kind of hold down my job and try to be a good father at the same time. So, I may not have really also been too available for them at that time when they were starting out and then couple of years later, few years later sort of opened up more and been able to do this, it’s really great.
Absolutely love my job right now, it’s amazing.
AJK: That’s awesome, yeah and thank you again to the folks. It was the first time, I mean I did this for selfless reasons, but, you know, in talking about Warren, he helped facilitate. I got a package of beer from Liquid Riot folks and I was -- I trade beer and, you know, I love beer, but it was just nice to like get it so I could, you know, try it all out, it was awesome. So, I really, you know, thanks everyone over there for, you know, Eric and everybody for making that happen, that was really unexpectedly awesome.
Warren: Nice, nice.
AJK: And so, what I was thinking about it, I was like obviously I used the Untappd and you could find us on there, I think it’s akeirans or whatever, but I was like okay let me check and I think it was the head stash because I really like that and we’ll get into that kind of like the hops, like hot air balloons type of thing that I really that design. I go to check in and I’m like I’ve already checked into this beer and I was like what I am like ah, that just seems kind of, you know, maybe it’s a drunken night and maybe a heavy swipe somewhere in the wrong direction but when I was looking back, I was -- we got to Maine - Harrison, Maine every summer, I think I told you that but when they first “canned,” they did these aluminum ones like you’d see almost like in the stadium, they did these aluminum style which is a sticker on it with, you know, the Infinity symbol on it and I remember I’d gone to a Bier Celar in Portland and they were like, you know, it was like, you know, to get those, you know, people were going crazy for them because it was their first time, you know, canning I guess you’d call it, you know, or whatever that or aluminum bottling but --
Warren: Yeah, yeah.
AJK: And that was like cool because then I was definitely -- that was, you know, that was really good beer and a good memory for me so that was kind of nice just to see the old picture that I had posted and been like man, that’s awesome to see how it’s kind of you know --
Warren: Oh yeah.
AJK: Evolved from that.
Warren: Nice. I don’t know why they stopped doing those aluminum bottles, they’re cool.
AJK: Yeah, probably shipping wise right, it’s just probably easier --
Warren: Yeah or the efficiency of bottling or who knows.
AJK: Yeah, that was the period like it wasn’t -- cans weren’t going as crazy and so, I thought in my head, I'm like maybe this is going to be like the new way it goes because you can drop it, you don’t have to worry as much, you know, and what not but it was really cool, you know, I thought that was going to be like, you know, a trend for a while and, you know, it didn’t go anywhere.
Warren: Yeah, curious.
AJK: Yeah, well I’ll have to ask. So, get on that, let us now what they say Warren, or Eric can get back and talk to us. Now what was the first label that you did for Liquid Riot?
Warren: I believe it was Straight to Blackout. It was a -- they released two barrel aged imperial stouts around the same time, a port barrel aged and a bourbon barrel aged.
AJK: That sounds yummy. The ones with the hand dipped wax ones.
Warren: Yeah, their one had kind of like a yellowy-orange one and the other one was purple.
AJK: Oh excellent, yeah.
AJK: I’ve heard very good things about those, so that’s awesome. So, that’s very -- again, those are -- another unique bottle almost like it’s really uniquely done, you know, just kind of like the physical, you know, bottles --
AJK: Choose to use. They’re like much cooler like Red Stripe bottles for lack of a better description.
Warren: I feel like you don’t see the wax stubbies very very often.
AJK: No, to be honest I don’t think I’ve seen it anywhere else. Like I think that’s kind of like, so they’re keep doing that or that’s kind of like their claim to fame. So yeah, and they do spirits over there so yeah, definitely some unique stuff over there.
AJK: I think that’s on the to-do list is our trip in a couple of weeks so.
AJK: Excellent. So, the first one -- that was the first one you did and so that was -- was that kind of like okay, you kind of you’re hazing. It was like All right, you’re part of the team now, how did that go because it is family so it’s kind of weird right. I mean, he did marry your sister. So, I mean really, you know, that’s kind of -- that’s a big approval process.
Warren: Yeah. I think, you know, when he said like can you come on, I felt pretty confident that I would -- this wasn’t going to be my only chance. If I blow this like I’m not going to get another chance.
AJK: He’s like oh sorry Warren, you are not invited to Christmas.
Warren: Yeah. But yeah, like there were some -- those labels actually, you know, there were -- the contrast, it wasn’t actually that great. The dark grey on those might have been a little too dark. I think we corrected that on the next Straight to Blackout that came out few months ago, the single malt. That was cool like it wasn’t the end of the world. Some of the cans like they had a bit trouble with the first Cash Money can, is my first time doing a chrome pop substraight label, also incorporating some white layer. So, it kind of looked -- it was a big funky but we move on, I think we’re good you know.
AJK: Yeah, yeah, the first one is a smaller, was a 12 ounce can right and then it evolved to the 16 ounce can.
Warren: Yeah, yeah, that’s right.
AJK: Yeah, I think the first one was more black heavy right and then kind of it lighted up a little bit.
Warren: Yeah, I wanted to go for a more like more of a loving kind of look, for lack of a better term --
Warren: On the white one. The other one was like kind of like uh, you know.
AJK: Yeah, little agro and the hip-hop and then this was more of a party starter - good times.
Warren: Yeah, exactly.
AJK: Nice, yeah, and also I mean, the music guy -- it doesn’t unnoticed to kind of all the music kind of, you know, subtleties, you know, with the music, the name of the tunes and kind of how it correlates that. So, I like that a lot of too.
Warren: Sorry, say that again.
AJK: The music kind of, you know, Primus, you know, Cash Money, the Fade to Black yeah, yeah, kind of the subtle musical references.
Warren: Yeah, you know what, I mean Cash Money might actually be the only one that is that -- like Primus is Latin for first.
AJK: Oh man, my prep school teacher's are going to be pissed, I didn’t catch on that one.
Warren: So, I believe Primus was the first Liquid Riot, the first beer they brewed. It was also a beer that Eric brewed, originally brewed with the guys from Marshall Wharf for Novare Res' anniversary and then yeah so, it’s actually that is not a reference to Primus the band, I'm sorry to say.
AJK: Yeah. Well, I am changing it, it is now reference to Primus the band. We’re going to edit this out. I'm going to make it sound like it is, no. Primus is yeah, I guess I took three years of Latin, so I should have picked up on that one but I did not. So, I don’t know what's worse, the three years of Latin --
Warren: No worries, man.
Warren: No worries.
AJK: No, it’s good. I think it’s fun to learn about the stories and kind of how things kind of come to be. So, now, when you’re, you know, how many labels have you done up to this point?
Warren: I don’t know. Maybe 15 or 20.
AJK: Oh wow, okay.
Warren: Maybe it’s not that many, I don’t know, 10.
AJK: Let’s go with 15 or 20 because you’ve done a couple of version --
Warren: I thought I’d do bottle labels, I’ve done some of their spirit labels.
AJK: Oh nice. Now, how is the process of doing the label or the concept for the label, do they have a name, do you go, you know, come over the border and, you know, and drink a bunch of them and then kind of have an epiphany, how does that go?
Warren: I wish I got to drink more, but usually they have a name and there might be some of sort of back storage of the name or sometimes there isn’t. And so, every design is kind of tailored to each beer, each name. Sorry, was there another part to that question?
AJK: No, just kind of, you know, working with the, you know, the team or -- is there a kind of like a label team like do you show some, you know, concepts you’re working on or, you know, before you said you were --
Warren: Yeah. Sometimes I'll show maybe one or two. Often I’ll start with the one and hopefully get it a point where it’s sort of -- there is enough of the idea there and it looks okay enough that they can see the potential in it and then say like hey, what do you think of this, should I take this to the next level and more often they’re not very open to it and you just go from there. There are couple -- the beer has no name for example, that was very much Greg that head brewer, that was pretty much his idea and I kind of put it together. Cannonball, I don’t know if you -- have you seen that one?
AJK: Yeah, it was just kind of beforehand, you know, going through the liquid_riot Instagram and just kind of going through some of the other ones I hadn’t seen or hadn’t had yet.
Warren: Yeah. So, Cannonball, it was named after Cannonball Adderley, the jazz saxophonist and Greg is really into jazz.
AJK: See, what I am talking about -- there's a music in there.
Warren: Exactly, exactly. So, he kind of have the inspiration for that. So, he showed me like a bunch of album covers for inspiration and I kind of went for that abstracty, I don’t even know what you call it like that abstract jazz from the harpop kind of look and he was okay with it. He dug it and so, we went on with it.
AJK: Oh nice. Now, in terms of timing and scheduling which I think is a whole another art form in and of itself, what is the kind of the life cycle for when they let you know about a beer to when, you know, when the final product is kind of comes off the canning?
Warren: There’s been some small batch cans or it’s been pretty short notice, but lately I feel like they’ve been giving me plenty of notice and there’s lots of time to come up with an idea and get something pretty nice together. So, like a few weeks -- like plenty of time.
AJK: That’s good. Now how many kind of currently are you working on at one time? I mean I see mostly you’re doing other sort of creative stuff and branding for them as your other clients, so any kind of life project management recommendations for folks?
Warren: Right now, I mean it hasn’t been too bad. There were times, you know, maybe a year or so ago, or, you know, my time was getting a little dicy, but it’s more or like -- it’s more because like I want to put the time into it, it’s not like them saying it’s got to be this, we need it done now like it’s more like well, I need to put the time into this because I want it to look this way and I want it to be good. So, and of course they do too and they’re appreciative of that, but I think they would understand to that well, if you give someone only a days to come up with something then you kind of have to be open to what you get.
Warren: That’s not really the case anymore like I said, plenty of time to get these things done. Sometimes I am working on a few different labels at a time. And, yes, I have a handful of other clients that I do like totally different things for at the same time as well. , you know, this morning I was packaging some in-design documents for some case study that client needed. And I guess back to your original part of this question, we did a -- there was the barrel aged series they did last winter where I did four labels kind of concurrently. They were all sort of in the similar sort of template, and there was sort of a neck sticker. So, I wanted them to all kind of have sort of a consistent, something consistent time come together, so they just used -- they just used one color. The art work was fairly different among them but, yeah.
AJK: Which ones were those, Warren?
Warren: There is a beer called Blushing Star.
AJK: Okay, that’s what I thought it was.
Warren: The barrel age pilsner with Brett. Persuasion is a sour brown ale, barrel age with cherry and there's Cuvée Efflorescence -- blended Belgium style ale. They blend it part of it in lime barrel and part of it in bourbon barrel and then blend it back together. And then there was Vinlandic barrel aged with juniper. So, I mean, those were very fun to work on. And I think they turned out well. And so, I don’t know, there might be a couple of more of that style coming down the pipe.
AJK: Oh okay, All right.
Warren: Not sure. I think there’re like at least one, but maybe more. I don’t know.
AJK: That’s excellent, yeah. And that was a Blushing star won a gold medal, right? World cup, was a winner?
Warren: Yeah. It won the goal in the Brett category, the World Beer Cup, 2016.
AJK: That’s pretty sick.
Warren: Yeah, yeah. That’s really great for them.
AJK: Yeah. I like that one because there were other ones too, and like as you said, has the neck label, but it’s that kind of the almost, I am colorblind, so to say. It’s like an orangey like kind of red, but with like the creamy like white which is really kind of helps it standout which is really nice. I think it’s really well done.
Warren: Thank you. Yeah, I was trying to go for like the white peach kind of blending into orangey pink sort of thing.
AJK: Yeah, yeah, I think -- I am a big fan of simple. I think it’s really clean and that kind of contrast of the colors helps the text really pop. And so I think it’s really nice to have those kind of, you know, almost like a retro feel to it also with the drawing on there.
Actually that was something I forgot to mention to you like sometimes it’s nice to start with a certain particular typeface. Because typeface really, they can really set a mood if you can really give a feeling or like take you to a certain time or place. So, sometimes I like to start with that and let that sort of be the conduit to the overall design. So, I saw that -- like I knew the beer was called Blushing Star. And I started like hunting down typefaces and like saw that one. Like, that looks like retro spacy, and it just worked.
AJK: Yeah. I totally agree. It doesn’t, you know -- it really does a lot with a little and I'm not trying to underplay it, but I think that’s kind of that’s a good sign when you, you know, have this two colors and just really it’s really clean. From afar, you kind of look and you can see the more the spacy aspect to it. And for folks at home, you can see, you know, we have up on the website Liquid_Riot. You can check that. There is some great examples of Warren's work there, and then, you know, follow along with Warren as he figures out his aesthetic and he grows T-H-R-O, Thro Creative on Instagram, and then throcreative.com --- nice clean website. I really like it. And I also -- I really like the you’re doing a logo for water and beer. I think that’s a really cool logo. What’s the story with that one?
Warren: So, before I went deeper into graphic design, I worked for a company called Bloom, and I was a communications manager there. And I did a lot of the layouts and some graphic design stuff. But when I left them to pursue graphic design more, they were my first client. And I’m totally thankful for that. It’s been great. They’re still my client.
AJK: That’s pretty awesome.
Warren: And -- yeah. And then so, they do a lot of work with food and beverage processes in Ontario. So, they started -- well, they have a long history, but one of my first gigs with them after leaving was a project called Water and Wine, that’s an online web platform to help wineries better manage their water and waste water. And then after that, they did -- we did this other one, Water and Beer and same, sort of, thing. Online platform, very interactive, lots of videos, some sort of interactive web elements to help breweries better manager their water and waste water. So, sort of involved in all of the branding and design and web development design for that project, so the logo -- it’s got the water on the top, and then kind of like the barley base half in the middle. It actually, sort of, started more the Water and Wine logo because the Water and Wine logo was the same sort of water at the top but with grapes. Underneath it, kind of like sort of the shape of a Y to it and then for, you know, consistency, we just decided, well, let’s try to do this sort of thing with a beer logo too. So, that’s how that came about.
AJK: Excellent. You can check Warren’s Instagram, T-H-R-O, Creative, Thro’ Creative. And then, I noticed, are you a home brewer, or in your previous life, you were dabbling in the home brewing? You still do that.
Warren: I haven’t in the long time. No. But, yeah, I took a stab at that. Just I couldn’t keep it going.
Warren: It’s a lot of work.
AJK: Yeah, right. It’s a ton of -- look at your stuff, it’s a little more than I had. I had some -- I wasn’t doing any amount, I was doing at the kits. I made that for a few run, but you’ve got the run-offs, and you are outside with the propane. Yeah, you’re at a whole another. You’re another tier above me.
Warren: No. But you know what, I only did, I think I did three batches with that system in total. And one of them didn’t really turn out at all.
AJK: That’s the worst. Yeah.
Warren: I know. But maybe I can get back into it someday which is not happening right now.
AJK: Yeah, you know a guy? Maybe he can give you a couple of pointers over there, at the Riot for the --
Warren: Yeah. Well, I went there for -- I guess it was like a couple weeks, two or three weeks because like I was actually interested in getting more into brewing. And, you know, maybe one day like I had that dream, starting a brewery too. But -- so I hung out with them and was a grunt for couple weeks with Eric and Greg and Ross. And it’s a lot of fun, but in the end, went the design route.
AJK: They’re like, we really like you, Warren, but you are not, this is not for you.
Warren: Yeah. That’s -- they probably were thinking that but they were kind enough not to say.
AJK: There you go. I apologize. No, I’m just kidding. But you’re on the creative, the Canadian branch of Liquid Riot. So, when they branch over the border.
AJK: See. There you go, you know, start looking for some space, you’ll be good to go. I’ve always enjoyed going there grab a couple beer in Canada. It’s always a good time over there.
Warren: Let me know when you are here.
AJK: Hell yeah, I can’t wait. But I’m not sure. We haven’t been back. We went to Nigeria falls actually. It was last year? We’ll say it’s last year. No one’s really going to correct me, so I’ll say. But, yeah it was fun. The kids really liked it, but I’ve been to Toronto and a few other spots, I didn't feel it was the same -- I didn’t enjoy that as much as Toronto
Warren: Yeah, Nigeria Fall is quite a scene.
AJK: Yeah, it was like, okay, we did the falls, and then it was like, you know -- I’ve done it in the States when I was a kid and, you know, we did it in Canada then. It was like, way more toursy than I ever imagined it would ever be. I reminded me of like the New Jersey shore which is like kind of, you know, the boardwalk and like -- it was a way over the top which I -- but we did get to do some, you know, hiking and butterfly conservatory and did some more, you know, or some less touristy things which I was super psyched about it.
Warren: Yeah. Last year we went to Niagara Falls for the first time since I was a really little kid, and climbing up, it’s called Clifton Hill, cliff that through strip, just insane.
AJK: Yeah, right. It was insane like -- there was all these like arcades, and like it was just like way over the top. It was like it was -- it was like we are right there -- give are you going to give you like, you know, the falls from our hotel. I mean it was beautiful, you know, we are facing at night, and it’s great, but then like you go around the corner and it was just like carnival. It was crazy.
AJK: My funny Canada trip was like, usually when we travel, we’re going to drive or go somewhere, you know, I’d bring a couple of bottles from the cellar or whatever. And I didn’t -- I totally forgot to claim it. And I was -- it was just like during the weird time, between the two countries. And I was like, oh, shit, man, if they’d have called me, I could’ve gotten like in trouble. But I didn’t have any sort of like massive volume of alcohol, but I was just really unpacking the par. I was like, oh, I didn’t really claimed these. He was like, oh -- I don’t know. It was, yeah, it was fine. It was not big a deal. My wife thought it was a big deal. She is like, you didn’t tell me you had those. I’m like, it’s not weed or anything, it’s just a couple of bombers, and we’re all good.
Now, from a packaging perspective was during kind of, you know, getting your, cutting your teeth in those first cup of bottles, you know, with the contour of the label, you know, since you are doing, you know, the spirits and then you are doing the bigger bottles and the cans, you know. Even the cans are doing 12 and 16 ounces. So, it was -- how is that process for you, you know, working from a packaging prospective, or is that something you are pretty comfortable with?
Warren: I was pretty comfortable with it because it’s kind of like I didn’t really have anything, there wasn’t anything really before this other than, you know -- I designed like posters, documents, that kind of thing, all CD artwork too. But like I knew, that I sort of knew to create for the space whatever the ball or can is. And I also considered to wrap around, but it wasn’t too much of an issue.
Warren: Is that what you are getting out or?
AJK: Yeah, just I have my 10 questions. I’ve wrote these about six months ago. I was really proud of them and just kind of the the contour of the bottles. Some folks, it’s different, some are used to packaging.
Warren: Well, there is the whole wrap around which you take into consideration. So, that, you know, everyone has got their own thing that they do, right? So like sometimes the whole pieces of art goes around the whole thing. But with us, I guess we’ve been focusing on like the main face. And then there might be art work that sort of extends around, like Head Stash is kind of like this wrap around landscape. But, you know, the face of it is kind of it’s own thing in a way. And one of the thing we do at Liquid Riot is almost all the bottle and cans have the diamond logo kind of like top center of the face.
It’s fairly very clearly like this is the face of the label, and this is what people are going to see the most. So, it’s just -- yeah, I know what those dimensions are for that to fit right and everything.
AJK: That’s cool, yeah. And I think that -- now, those Head Stashes, are those kind of like hot air balloons? Was I correct with that assumption?
Warren: Yeah. I didn’t know what they were really going to be until I started making it. And then, like, oh yeah, these look like hot air balloons flowing over a desert of lupulant dust.
AJK: Nice. So, that is -- yeah.
Warren: Yes. It’s sort of -- it’s supposed to be like the lupulant dust is kind of like showering down from the hops in a way. I mean that detail doesn’t really matter that much, but that was sort of how the concept started.
AJK: Yeah, I’m thinking that especially the lupulant, that’s been -- that’s like the newest thing now. Like it was dry hopped for a while, and now that’s like the new one. I’ve seen that all like a ton.
Warren: Yeah, I will clarify though that is not -- this isn’t a lupulant powder beer. It was just that was the idea.
AJK: That’s All right, yeah. It is called -- yeah, or it’s called -- yeah, or it’s you can say it’s weed - Head Stash, that’s kind of like a wheat term too.
Warren: Yeah, exactly.
AJK: Yeah, yeah so.
Warren: So, it’s kind like -- I thought it works well because it is kind of like this trippy dreamscape --
AJK: Oh, yeah, it’s very lucid. It’s a very -- you can see that like be a cool animation too that it is like moving.
Warren: Oh, yeah, that would be cool.
AJK: Yeah, man. So, I think that’s cool, yes. I was just talking to someone about lupulant there like there today and kind of just trying to wrap my head around that if I fully understood it. We used them not to really understand what this mean but like, you know, keef like from, you know, like --
Warren: Yeah, keef.
Warren: Keef. That’s right.
AJK: Yeah. That was kind of our correlation to what we thought it was. And he was like, that’s exactly -- he was trying to explain it to me and getting really text mails, it’s like Keef like it was like somebodys shake box. He’s like, yes, exactly.
AJK: Excellent. Now, you know, working with a brewery has some perks. I mean, I got a couple of beer out of it. So, what is your favorite Liquid Riot? What are your go to when you’re State side?
Warren: Well, I really like Head Stash. And also I really like Zombie Bunny. They sent a couple of those to me. And I just thought that was really well done. It’s like, I don’t get to have too many amazing Helles Bock. So, it’s like a tree, you know. I feel like, you know, up here, a lot of breweries are doing pretty good job with IPAs. But I feel like I get to taste a lot of that. I know they are all different, but I thought the Zombie Bunny was just like, it’s really cool to be able to try that style made that well. And Primus, I’ve always loved Primus. Eric’s been like, brewing some version of that, basically since I’ve known them. So, I always kind of had -- I love that beer, I always going to have a soft spot for that.
AJK: Yeah, it was brother-in-law, you know. Beer is always kind of, well actually now that I say that I have my wife’s brother who, he and I’ve -- I’m the oldest of all his brother in law, unfortunately, but he and I’ve kind of -- we’ve bonded over beer and stuff. We have someone that we love. And then I’ve my younger brother-in-law who I have introduced to craft beer and started bonding. So, I kind of stepped out of that dynamic. , you know, your brother in law is brewing beer and he is deciding to, you know, we’ll try this, we’ll try that, and getting to kind of see where it all started. So, I think that’s pretty awesome. How is your family when he’s like, I’m going to start my own brewery? Like I think that’s a little bit I mean easier discussion, but I think years ago, that must have a little, you know, --
Warren: Well, I think we all had a lot of confidence in him, especially -- he’d already established Novare Res Bier Café when he started Liquid Riot. So, I think everyone knew we had the wherewithal and tried to pull it off and like I said, he’s been brewing -- I think I met Eric in 2002. And around that time and, you know, I think he brewing for probably a few years before that. Even so, I think he kind of knows what he is doing. And I think everyone else sort of saw that too, and we’d been drinking his home brewery for a few years which is actually, you know, if you put it up against like a number of beers we had available to us at the time, we would’ve gone for the home brew. Like, this is like, that’s what I want to drink.
AJK: Yeah, that awesome. Yeah, I think that’s great.
Warren: I don’t think there was any question.
AJK: Yeah, that’s approval, that’s approval right there. I think that’s awesome. I think, especially in it, I just love -- I mean Maine’s a special place for us. I mean, we haven’t gone for about five years now, but it’s just we love going out there. And so each time we go, we kind of stay in Portland, the Portland area more and more versus the kind of middle nowhere Maine. We love them both. And so I’m excited to get back up there, especially now with all the new friends we’re making and just the new beers we’re trying. So, for very selfish reasons, I cannot wait to get back up there.
Warren: Nice, yeah, I don’t get out there often enough.
AJK: Yeah, it must be tough.
Warren: Actually get -- yeah, it’s like -- yeah, I mean, you’ve got the family responsibilities and --
AJK: Yeah, the whole grown up thing --
Warren: It’s not always easy just to get up and go, but --
AJK: Yeah. You got to wait to like -- yeah, because it’s your sister, right? So it’s like, oh, I am just going to see my family. So, I mean you tie in some family to it, extend a couple of extra days when you do go. But, you just tell -- hopefully able to do a batch of, bunch of labels and some other stuff, and you don’t need to be there on site to really kind of get the full taste of everything to really do your job.
Warren: But it is nice. It’s nice to get there. Like in October, I did kind of a specific trip just for that reason, like I got to get down there and just say, hi, see what’s going on.
Warren: Also like get my name on a beer, throw some bags of barley into the mash and, hey, I’m on the -- it’s a collaboration beer now. While the rest of the brew days, in a way I’m in the restaurant on my laptop doing labels.
AJK: Yeah. Now, most recently there is a collaboration I know, we just interviewed Max Toth from Black Hog. So, that juice cup, the level of that, was that done by Max or did you worked with Max on that? How did that go?
Warren: That was all Max. I had no part in that one. Cool though.
AJK: Yes, it was cool. Before the kind of the diamond, they kind of, you know, kind to kept the diamond in the front with that which I thought was cool.
Warren: I haven’t heard that one yet. I have to admit, I haven’t heard them all.
AJK: That’s All right. I appreciate -- you are insanely honest. Yeah, so, I think I do appreciate that. There is no pretense here, and we’re just, you know --
Warren: You are quite prolific.
AJK: What do you mean?
Warren: With all these interviews.
AJK: I don’t know. I think it’s -- I am just -- like I said, the reason I started doing it and why you do you do is, it feels good to be doing something creative with these people that work really hard and doing some cool stuff. Everybody loves good beer. And so, you know, my background is in marketing and business. And so, I think the branding and art work that are on these all devices, you know, it’s amazing. So, I just think it’s really cool just to get to people. , you know, I have a sit down, I have a beer now. , you know, I look at, you know, make you appreciate it a little bit more. There’s just beers and art in and of itself and so to actually have art on the art is awesome. So, it’s pretty, I don’t know. I needed to do something creative, and when I came up with the idea, folks were really quickly responsive. , you know, I have really nothing to give back in terms of return, I guess use it for promotion in your story, but, you know, I don’t, yeah -- everything I do is, you know, it’s all out of pocket and for passion. So, I’m just happy that folks like yourself are willing to be part of it.
Warren: You’re doing us a huge favor. You’re bringing our names out there. That’s awesome.
AJK: There we go. Well, then when we meet, the first’s round is on you, then we’ll go from there.
Warren: I think it’s highly reciprocal, if not the complete opposite.
AJK: I am getting my fulfillment, you know. I’ve gotten some cool stuff. , you know, some -- I’ve got, you know, I’ve got beer and that was pretty awesome. So, I think, after they send it to me, I suddenly -- if you go to contact page, I put my address there in case others wanted to do that, I think I am kind of, it was like, this is amazing. I am like, I am just going to -- if you just wanted me to send me stuff, somebody call me and asked me recommend artist for like they are trying to make labels. So, that was pretty cool. I haven’t heard from the guys. I haven’t heard from the guys since, but it was pretty cool and we talked. So, yeah. So, well thank you, Warren. I guess it’s a two way street and it’s really just kind of -- it’s really nice to be doing this.
And I guess we have a -- I think we are about 40 -- I think we have at least 38 or 9 already confirmed. So, I think it’s really exciting. I think it’s cool. So, I am glad to have you be part of it, you know, keep promoting what you’re doing and see where it goes. I like the fact -- you know like I said, I like your answer about your esthetic is evolving, you know, I think that’s really kind of really cool. I think, you know, people are at different point at their career. And if you take all your cans and put them next to each other, they are unique and differently. They’re not just kind of, not the same style which is cool. And it’s interesting, you know, you kind to keep pushing that. , you know, you look at Head Stash, and you look at the, you know, the -- what the hell was the one we were just talking about? The star, the one with the, you know, the Blushing Star. Like they are pretty different looking cans, you know. Even Tropical Storm has got more of a, like a photo type of look to it. So, it’s really nice, man.
Warren: Thanks. I think any artist or designer would no matter sort of how far they are long, like I know some of the other people you talk to is part of this. They very much do have kind of consistent style. But even they would probably, you know -- we are all evolving. It’s just sort of like at what degree and like what nuance are you changing into.
AJK: Yeah, even doing the program. I think they’re just -- I’ve learned a lot from each --, you know, I try to take stuff away or, you know, how the questions go, or just different, you know. I always try to learn. So, I just love, I love that aspect of it, you know. I think that the show will continue to evolve over time, you know. If I can find a producer, then that’d make my life a lot easier.
Warren: Yeah, I am sure there’s a lot of work.
AJK: It’s All right yeah, --
Warren: Yeah, I even -- yeah, I dabbled in audio production myself even. So, --
AJK: It’s cool, yeah. Yeah, it’s great. Little garage band action, yeah, just some editing. I have a software that multi-tracks this call and so it’s good. Well, thank you so much, Warren. I am glad I was able to coax you. I know at first you weren’t really, you know, sure if you should do this, but hopefully you enjoyed yourself and, you know, it’s nice to kind of talk about yourself a little bit, and look at all the hard work you’ve put in, you know, see what the next chapter brings for you.
Warren: Thank you. I really appreciate it.
AJK: All right, man. We will be in touch soon, and don’t be a stranger. And if I hopefully get to Liquid Riot, I’ll meet your brother in law and thank everybody up there in person.
Warren: Yeah, let me know.
Warren: I’ll let them know you are coming.