Creative Collaborations Make Dock Street’s Brews Uniquely Philadelphian
“We’re all about local,” explains Dock Street’s Events and Marketing Manager, Renata Certo-Ware. As Philadelphia’s first craft brewery, Dock Street has made it their mission to be in an integral part of their neighborhood since day one, so much so that they’ve even brewed a beer using local yeast from the air outside their location at 50th and Baltimore. But the creativity doesn’t stop there; the brewery is actively involved in supporting local artists, most visibly through their beer labels.
In a city full of inspiration and innovation, the search for creative collaborators is not a difficult one. Renata continues, “We find a lot of our artists through Instagram – either artists that we follow or by putting a call out for artists interested in label design. Luckily, it’s never been too hard to find someone talented, both because Dock Street is so entrenched in the art and music scenes, and also because Philly is so full of amazing makers and creatives!”
Dock Street works with a handful of local artists, some of which have created multiple labels for the brewery. Sarah Russell (@SarahPollyanna on Instagram), for example, designed the labels for Summer Haze and Winter Haze among others, and E. Ockimey (@OckTheWizard) designed Bubbly Wit, 50K IPA and 100K DIPA. The Dock Street team is always looking to work with new artists as well. Julie Ann St. John (@julieannstjohn) recently designed Futuro, one of their newest brews.
So, what does the process entail? After an artist is chosen, the designing begins. “We usually give them a prompt,” says Certo-Ware. “For example, for Dock Street Bubbly Wit, which is a wheat beer brewed with Champagne yeast, we asked the artist, Ockimey, to use a champagne glass to drive home the point that the beer profile is heavily driven by the unique yeast. From there, he put his own spin on the design and did a fantastic job, adding big swoops of gold and purple behind the glass to really make it look effervescent.”
As dedicated members and supporters of the Philadelphia community, the folks at Dock Street stay committed to being advocates for local artists. “In our two neighborhoods, West Philly and South Philly, we are literally steeped in creativity – painters, muralists, ceramicists, actors, musicians – and we want to give back to our neighbors and neighborhoods and keep recycling that creativity. We also specifically choose to work almost exclusively with womxn and people of color. It’s a way of helping not only use our platform to pull others up, but it quite literally puts womxn and POC artists right at eye level on grocery store shelves and in people’s refrigerators.”