Forest Dweller Pale Ale by Crooked Fence Brewing Co.

Label Approval by | Jul 2015 | Issue #102

The name “Forest Dweller” could inspire all sorts of imagery. Leave it to Crooked Fence to come up with a primitive-looking woman riding a bear with lightning bolts coming out of its mouth.

The scene of Forest Dweller Pale Ale, Crooked Fence’s summer seasonal, is set in “the deep, mysterious, unspoiled wilderness areas of Idaho where one can dwell alone,” says the brewery’s artist, Kelly Knopp. The golden yellows and oranges in the label conjure the blazing heat of a summer day, while “the lightning bolts coming out of the bear’s mouth represent our often offensive nature and the tartness of this beer,” Knopp adds.

“Putting a clipart image of a fish or a tent just wouldn’t be our style, so we took it further with this design.”

It’s hard to find a Crooked Fence label where they’re not taking it further, from a surfer whose skin has melted off (Sun Junkie), to a snowplow-crazed goon (Powder Junkie) and a faceless woman piloting a skull boat through a swamp (Violet’s Take). And on every label, one name: Knopp.

“The fact that I am the only artist and my personal style is reflected in the art I do for Crooked Fence makes it easy to stay authentic,” says Knopp, who incorporates the brand’s punk, folk and DIY culture into his designs. “[We] tend to thrive outside of the traditional conformist box,” he says.

“Kelly’s labels are an amazing way to showcase the creativity and craft coming from Crooked Fence Brewing Co.,” adds head brewer Adam Dahl.

Sometimes, there’s so much creativity, they can’t pick a favorite idea. When it came to this beer, Knopp favored a different design, titled “Badasser,” featuring “a mustached man on a pogo stick riding a shark.” Facebook fans voted for Forest Dweller.

“My biggest pet peeve is when a brewery uses a great beer name and does not do it justice as far as the label art goes,” says Knopp. That’s something Crooked Fence can never be accused of.