36-year-olds who love comic books are an untapped beer market

SHARE 36-year-olds who love comic books are an untapped beer market
SHARE 36-year-olds who love comic books are an untapped beer market

At this point, it seems like a craft beer has been brewed for just about everything: holidays, cities, environmental phenomena, Chipotle.

But a local brewery believes there hasn’t been one made specifically to enjoy with a copy of “The Sandman” in hand and the dulcet pings of MIDI music in the background.

That is, beer’s just not nerdy enough.

Arcade Brewery, launched last year after a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $30,000, is making all things geeky the focus of its operation. It’s produced a grapefruit IPA with an 8-bit label design and an American smoked brown ale called Archnemesis.

Now it’s preparing to take nerdiness to the next level with Six-Pack Stories, a comic that spans the labels in a sixer of beer specially brewed to match the tale.

“The average person that buys a comic book is 36 now — it’s a huge industry that’s actually all grown up. I don’t feel like there’s a beer that caters to that,” says Arcade co-founder and Threadless director Lance Curran. “Beer is an art form in itself, comic artists are huge beer fans — beer is so much a part of the art experience.”

Six-Pack Stories begins with “Festus Rotgut,” the tale of a cowboy who is unwittingly infected by a zombie and terrorizes a town. The comic was written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Tony Moore, best known for inking most of the “The Walking Dead” comic books.

Now that Moore’s art is complete, Curran and co-founder Chris Tourre, who will now brew out of Ale Syndicate at the Green Exchange in Logan Square, are looking for cues.

“It’s this like dry landscape, I’m thinking like a dark rye beer that would give a dry flavor to it,” says Tourre, himself an artist. “It’s not to say that when I drink this beer it’s going to be every pencil line. You’re highlighting the certain characteristics of what’s going on. Maybe something environmental, or maybe it’s an aroma.”

That translation from art to taste has some precedent, Curran says.

“When you see [a Three Floyds] beer label, you can almost taste the beer before you get the bottle open,” he says. “When it’s dark with a skull, you know this is going to be a high-alcohol-content beer — you’re going to wake up in the morning with a headache.”

The guys hope to make Six-Pack Stories an annual project. For “Festus Rotgut,” they expect to charge $16 at most once it’s brewed and bottled in spring. Curran and Tourre say they might be able to charge more for a collectible beer, but would rather garner repeat buyers.

“I think that’s something craft breweries have as a luxury at the moment, but as things keep growing the price is going to start coming down,” Curran says.

Plus, leaves the people with more cash for comics.

PICTURED AT TOP: Arcade Brewery’s Chris Tourre and Lance Curran.Photo by Heath Sharp. ABOVE: “Festus Rotgut” image courtesy of Arcade Brewing.


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