Duck Foot Brewing Company’s Goofy Regular IPA

Label Approval by | Jul 2019 | Issue #134

In its Hop-On series, Duck Foot Brewing asks one of the great questions of the ages: Do ducks hop?

“I know they waddle,” says famed surf artist Andy Davis. “But I could swear I’ve seen one hop.”

If they hop anywhere, it’s at Duck Foot, where co-founder Matt DelVecchio—who was an artist before becoming a brewer—is “always trying to push things conceptually.”

The prolific makers of gluten-free beers, like Duckzilla Double White IPA and Coconut Contender Coconut IPA, have been collaborating with artists on their branding since they launched in 2015. For DelVecchio, featuring original art on cans “is so the opposite of what we grew up with, where everything was just about building a brand and getting everyone to know about it.”

The San Diego brewery’s latest beer, a 7.4 percent ABV hazy IPA called Goofy Regular, works in the origin of the brewery’s name, which stems from the angle of DelVecchio’s snowboard bindings: 15 degrees in front, negative 15 degrees in back, making the snowboarder’s (or surfer’s) toes turn out in a stance resembling a duck. “People always say to that, ‘Oh, is that goofy or regular?'” explains DelVecchio, referring to whether the rider’s right or left foot faces the front of the board. “Well, it can be either, which then blows people’s minds.”

To play on that double meaning, Davis drew a sinewy figure surfing a geometric-patterned wave in a similar stance. The movement of the waves adds energy to the image. But Davis points out that it’s not the wave energy, but rather “your own, and how you find the balance between calm and chaos” that he’s capturing in his illustrations. “There’s something special about navigating those two things with style.”

Art is about finding an equilibrium—like surfing, where “it’s always changing, no two waves are ever the same,” says Davis. “There’s so much happening at once, it’s bizarre. You almost need to be zen-like and completely let go, but balance that with being laser focused.”

Comparing that balance to the haziness of Goofy Regular, which was released in mid-October, Davis says, “It’s not so much about the details as it is the overall experience.”

For DelVecchio, that holistic perspective extends to every aspect of his business, like the gluten-free brewpub Duck Foot opened n San Diego’s East Village in September.

“Duck Foot is a creative platform not just for beer, but all that we do,” he says. “We try to approach everything through the lens of an artist. Andy’s art, through his exaggerated, loose characters, embodies the soul and hip laid-backness of Southern California.”