Oh! What cool stickers! If you had a similar thought when you first saw one of our 3D craft beer maps, don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone. But can we let you in on a little secret? They’re not stickers...
That’s right, every craft beer map in our inventory starts with an artfully crafted hand painted original. If you’re curious how the maps came to be in the first place, you’ll want to click here. For today, we have a little insight for you into how each map is created from start to finish.
Breaking it down state by state
After Brian created the original USA map, he got a similar request from a bar in his New York hometown of Hornell, while he was there for his daughter’s baptism. But this time, they wanted a New York state wall mural featuring its local breweries.
Brian knew that a wall mural would be tough. He wasn’t a New York state resident any longer, and he was hardly ever in town. ÅJ, Brian’s buddy (and Sadie’s Godfather), was also in town for the baptism, and he happened to be at the bar with Brian at the time. While Brian discussed the possibility of painting the mural on a piece of plywood and mailing it to the bar, ÅJ said out of no where:
Completely shocked, Brian knew it was an idea worth trying. And sure enough, ÅJ cut out the first original state for Brian to paint, and they were able to ship the map to New York when it was finished to hang in the bar.
Now, with the introduction of an individual state, Brian knew they was on to something pretty cool. Naturally, North Carolina was up next.
Selecting the breweries
What might come as the biggest surprise, planning each individual map is pretty time consuming. Once our artist, Brian Egger, decides which state is up next, he starts his research.
Every state has their own unique breweries. And some are more popular than others, so simply compiling a list of existing breweries isn’t good enough. Brian takes popularity and reviews into account when deciding if a brewery is going to make the cut.
Once he has his list of breweries, he sources each logo.
Putting the puzzle together
Ah, now it’s time for some fun. Brian drafts a true-to-scale mockup of the state map in Photoshop. He carefully layers each brewery’s logo in, adjusting as he goes. Not every brewery can land in its exact geographical location, but he does try to take it into account when he’s creating the layout.
The thing is, at the end of the day, our craft beer maps are a piece of art. So Brian keeps that at the forefront of his mind as he’s piecing everything together. It’s important to space out certain colors and images to make sure everything looks as good as possible!
Making the cut
Once the mockup is complete, it’s time for ÅJ to make the cut. ÅJ Selapack hand cuts and bevels each original map out of wood with a compact hand router. Just think about that for a second. That’s a whole lot of detail to get right. ÅJ might actually be a rock star!
Time to paint!
Montford Misfits has an awesome studio next to Bulldog Beer and Wine in Southend. And in the back left corner, you’ll find a huge easel set up with an enormous state cut out secured to it. Right now, it’s Florida. It’s during this process that Brian has to pay special attention to the dimensions in his photoshop mockup.
He sketches the mockup onto the state and gets to painting. The painting process can take months.
Off to the presses!
Once the original painting is complete, Brian takes pictures, paying close attention to angles. He imports the images into Photoshop and carefully pieces them together. From there, the images get sent off to the printer.
The printer also supplies us with prints to sell as well. But keep in mind, Brian hand signs a limited number of these and once they’re gone, they’re gone. We don’t restock unless there’s a change to the original painting, or we create a new map for the state altogether.
Pretty cool, huh? There’s a lot that goes into that interesting conversation piece hanging on your wall, and now you can tell your friends about it!
Want one for yourself? Browse our craft beer map selection here.