Last September, I clicked through a tweet to read about Hired Guns Creative, a boutique agency that designs craft beer (and other libation) labels. I was blown away by their work, and intrigued by the mention of the label “love story” they wrote for every Driftwood Brewery release.
I’m a writer who loves beer, you see. This wasn’t the first time I’d daydreamed of crafting copy for bottles and cans, but Hired Guns’ work impressed me enough to daydream in public. I tweeted the story myself, praised the agency’s artwork and design, and noted that I’d be thrilled to write beer label copy.
Then I went on about my day.
My phone interrupted me a bit later; I’d received a direct message on Twitter. From @HiredGuns. Whoa. I swiped straight to it, eyebrows high and hopes low.
They’d seen my tweet, and, as serendipity so rarely would have it, actually needed someone to write their Driftwood “love stories.” Was I interested?
I couldn’t respond fast enough.
The brewery preferred poetic, evocative blurbs on their bottles. Was that okay?
Holy crap, I was obsessed with prose poetry in college!
This beer label concept centers on an unknown object in the solar system, and we’re imagining it carrying beings that created the human race. Can you work with that?
Are you kidding me? Aliens is my favorite movie!
Yes, I was jazzed. (I’m still jazzed; I’m employing exclamation points!)
And now that beer, Oumuamua Milk Stout, is out in the world. Presumably hundreds (thousands?) of bottles are in cold cases and on shelves bearing words that I wrote. Bearing a damn sci-fi quatrain (which hints at the beer’s qualities) that I wrote.
Sure, it’s a Canadian brew, so I won’t find it at the local bottle shop, but it’s real. It's beautiful. (And there will be others!)
The only thing that would make this story sweeter: my dad holding a bottle and reading the shimmery little all-caps rhyme that his son wrote. He would grin. He would shake his head, just a little bit, in appreciation. His eyes would gleam.
He wrote and loved beer, too, you see. Prose. Poetry. Dark stuff. Hoppy stuff.
So I’ll raise a glass of this special stout to Dad. I’ll tell him he’s sorely missed, and thank him for believing in me.
I’ll keep daydreaming, too.
Forever caressed by blackest space, the hurtling megalith returns—
Earthlings' prodigal creator in dense, velvet-wrapped disguise.
Its secret pilots seek adulation, sweet desolation, eternal cold burn;
Sapiens' myths rewritten when revealed the cosmic truth inside.