Hop Stimulator Double IPA by Funky Buddha Brewery

Label Approval by | Jun 2016 | Issue #113

We’ve all been there—sipping a Double IPA so packed with hops that the lupulin overwhelms the senses. Certainly Funky Buddha fans have been there. They might have even felt bigger … stronger … and more … aromatic?

“We actually had settled on the name first as something we liked—the idea that this beer is so hoppy, it stimulates the drinker somehow,” explains Funky Buddha’s John Linn about Hop Stimulator Double IPA.

“It could have gone a lot of different directions,” says Dan Bowman, chief creative director of The Brandit design agency. “We discussed a character sitting in some sort of hop electric chair, getting hop acupuncture or taking hopped-up steroids in a locker loom.” The idea of stimulation “in an adult sense” had its moment, too.

The final label features the transformation of a bearded brewer into a bearded monster, “starting with him growing larger and his clothes starting to tear away, green veins beginning to bulge out of his arms and hop leaves starting to sprout from his flesh,” says Linn. “Eventually he turns completely into a large, anthropomorphic hop, releasing a cloud of lupulin crystals into the air.”

Capturing the evolution in a single image took about three months of collaboration between the Florida brewery, The Brandit and Rubens Scarelli, Funky Buddha’s illustrator.

“The idea of a brewer as a superhero, or somehow possessing this great power, felt really like a cool homage to the trade,” says Linn.

The graphic image fits with Funky Buddha’s action-packed, often hop-themed labels, from the soaring hops missiles of Hop Gun IPA, to masked warrior-hops wielding a machete on More Moro Blood Orange IPA.

“I suppose we could have created a more template-driven, classical look to our beers. It certainly would have been easier—and less expensive,” says Linn. “But it just wouldn’t have fit the brand and the kind of colorful, fun, exciting things that we’re trying to convey.”