In 1997, Stone Brewing co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner brewed a West Coast-style IPA that would give rise to generations of hop fanatics. And the mystical, fearsome gargoyle which adorns the label has become an icon inspiring the Guest Art Series.
Stone IPA is one of the most well-respected and best-selling craft beers in the country. Tropical, citrusy hop flavors balance perfectly with a subtle malt character in this IPA.
And Stone’s famed gargoyle has become an icon in its own right, becoming something more than just a beer logo. “It represents everything we stand for,” says Stone’s Senior Marketing Specialist David W. Pope. “In the same way people placed gargoyles on buildings to ward off evil spirits, the Stone gargoyle watches over us and our fans – protecting us from cheap ingredients, chemical additives and general mediocrity, the modern-day evil spirits of beer.”
If you know anything about Stone Brewing, it’s that they’re constantly innovating and dreaming up new ways to engage with the fans of their epic and innovative beers. Recently, while scrolling through Instagram, Koch noticed how many amazing Stone-inspired illustrations fans were creating and posting. “He was so impressed, he decided he wanted to see what they could do in terms of re-designing the art for our flagship beer,” says Pope.
And so, Stone’s Guest Art Series was launched. Pope and his team put out a call to artists on social media asking fans to submit their own rendition of Stone IPA’s label. As the unique labels rolled in, it was up to Koch and his team to select six artists whose illustrations would grace cans of their iconic IPA.
The final six designs show off a wide-ranging and sometimes zany interpretation of Stone’s protective gargoyle. “The sheer enthusiasm from [these] folks can be understood in the stories they tell about what our brewery and beer mean to them,” says Koch. “And we’re stoked to be able to share those stories on each of the cans.”
The limited-edition cans have been inserted in random 6-packs and 12-packs to be discovered by unsuspecting Stone fans. If you come up short searching for these unique cans, fear not! More Guest Art Series interpretations are on the way. “We actually just closed submissions on our second edition,” says Pope. “This time we asked fans to show us their own designs for three new beers: Stone Delicious IPA, Stone Tangerine Express Hazy IPA and Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA.” Look for these new, utterly unique designs to hit the shelves in 2021.