Imperial Pumpkin Ale by Reuben’s Brews

Label Approval by | Oct 2015 | Issue #105

The sleek and simple “r” on each Reuben’s Brews label has become a seal of excellence in the three years since Adam Robbings launched the Seattle brewery with his wife and brother-in-law. And like the Halloween special of your favorite Saturday morning cartoon, Robbings’ Imperial Pumpkin Ale mixes it up as one of the brewery’s first labels featuring art.

“We wanted to keep true to our bottles with our ‘r’ logo being prominent, but also show the richness of fall,” says Robbings. “The label still is clean and uncluttered, like all of our labels. This helps represent what we do—we only focus on the beer.”

“The specialty release of this Imperial Pumpkin Ale was deserving of an illustration,” says label artist Oceania Eagan, of Blindtiger Design. A nod to Tim Burton and the spirit of Halloween, the “foggy autumn night sky at a pumpkin patch” is a departure from the minimalist look of other Reuben’s Brews labels.

“It was challenging to apply a more complex illustration style and concept to the clean and graphic system, which all other beers have followed,” says Eagan, who’s worked with Robbings since his homebrewing days.

In fact, the Imperial Pumpkin release calls back to the brewery’s origins, when Robbings’ brother-in-law moved his family halfway across the country to help start Reuben’s Brews. “His gateway beer was one of my pumpkin beers back when I homebrewed,” says Robbings. “So pumpkin beers are a big reason why we exist, and they’re close to our heart.”

These days, Robbings is looking ahead—the release comes on the heels of their expansion into a 15-barrel brewery, a bigger taproom, and some national and international awards. “We want to get better, brew more different styles including lagers and sours,” says Robbings.And from sharing a pumpkin homebrew to pouring 28 original beers at their third anniversary party, Reuben’s Brews seems to be on the right track.