Brew Your Story
When it comes to beer, there are so many cool little things that go into the process of making it and marketing it to customers. An essential part of that process is the art that goes along with it. This includes can art, labeling, merch, murals, and creative work for advertising. When browsing through the beer section at your local grocery or liquor store, the design on the bottle or can will be the first thing to catch a customer's eye. Eric Estrada does it all when it comes to beer art. He is the man behind the scenes for Sweetwater Brewing's art. He's done murals for the brewery all over Florida, created designs for t-shirts, and designed pint glasses for the brewery's tasting room. But what really drew me to him was his latest design, the Kick Plastic Pilsner can.
As we all know, the amount of plastic in the ocean today is at an all time high. Really, it's unacceptable and we all need to do our part to help try and clean this problem up before it's too late. Well, Eric Estrada is putting his money where his mouth is. Eric's life revolves around the ocean. From his artwork, to his his hobbies, he's always been around the water. Sweetwater created the Kick Plastic Pilsner campaign in order to help with cleaning up the water in our world, saying "every year, millions of tons of single-use plastic finds it's way into streams, rivers and oceans - and the problem is getting worse." So, naturally, they reached out to Eric Estrada to work on this project with them.
Eric's work with Sweetwater brewing began about six years ago when he hosted a film festival that was part of a fishing tournament. Sweetwater was one of the sponsors for the tournament, resulting in them having a chance to see some of Eric's work. They continued to work together at the same tournament for the next couple of years, allowing them to get to know each other and build a working relationship. Soon after, Eric was creating murals for the brewery from Sanford, Florida, down to West Palm Beach, Miami and the Keys. He's also done merchandise, glassware, shirts, and he's about to launch some new headwear and shirts.
Mural By Eric Estrada at The Butcher Shop in West Palm Beach, FL
Enter the Kick Plastic Pilsner project. Eric was a no-brainer for Sweetwater when it came to selecting an artist for the design work. Eric had been talking to Sweetwater for a while about can art, and this finally set it all into motion. The process began with a quick conversation with the brewery about what they wanted. Once he had this idea, Eric got started on a quick sketch. Already being so familiar with each other, Eric knew what the brewery liked and was able to get the sketch approved rather quickly. From there, he hand painted a canvas utilizing acrylics and oil paint to create the original artwork. This was then digitized and put on the can, which you can see pictured below.
Credit: Sweetwater Brewing
Along with these awesome cans, Eric also helped design a Kick Plastic Pilsner themed baseball jersey for Augusta, GA's minor league baseball team, the Augusta Green Jackets. Although the Jackets lost a close one to the Lexington Legends, they looked awesome in the jerseys. The Jerseys were then auctioned off and all proceeds went to the Savannah Riverkeeper.
Augusta River Jackets
When it comes to being a conservationist and keeping our oceans, lakes, rivers and streams clean, Eric definitely does his part. He works with various conservation organizations, from the Chatahoochee Riverkeeper, to the Coastal Conservation Association, and the Bonefish Tarpon Trust. He has also worked with chapters of Trout and Ducks Unlimited, respectively. He enjoys helping them spread their message through films and social media as well as fundraising through his artwork.
When he's not trying to clean up the environment, Eric also enjoys fishing for Tarpon in local canals, working on some artwork and fly fishing films, or cruising around Miami in his lowrider El Camino. His favorite beers are Sweetwater 420, the original Hop Hash from Sweetwater, and Feeling Irie from Legacy Carribean Craft Brewing. His favorite piece of art is usually the newest piece that he's just completed, but some that stand out to him are his "Megalops Atlanticus" piece and his "Heads or Tails" piece. His dream project would be to do a cross country trip in a van and highlight different breweries, eateries, and fisheries throughout this amazing country we live in and showcase it all in a film series.
Currently, he is in talks with Yuengling, America's oldest brewery, to do some murals across south Florida. Keep an eye out for more from Eric Estrada as it seems he's just getting started and has big things in his future. His artwork, which he believes takes people to a better place or a moment in time that they want to remember, can be found at his website. There is some really cool stuff, so go check it out. You can also follow along with his journey on Instagram, by following @estrada_art.