Brewpub Slate Signs with Dog Artwork

Knowing that the heart of chalk artwork started in pubs throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, we were looking for inspiration close to home. While on a visit to a local microbrewery for a growler refill, we picked up a “passport” to New Hampshire breweries.  Just that spring we discovered roofing slate here in New England. Brainstorming on how they could be used, brewpub slate signs kept floating to the top.

Brewpub Slate Signs

One of the first stops on our New Hampshire Brewery road trip was to Throwback Brewery. It was an early spring day and unusually warm – especially since this old converted farm is so close to the seacoast.  While all the excitement and energy was outside, inside we were slapped in the face with what we saw.  Old roofing slate, likely from an old post and beam barn, was being used for brewpub slate signs of all the beers on tap.

Neatly formatted on the wall, they hung from hooks and as a tap ran dry, they would be removed and replaced with the next craft beer.  What an outstanding concept!  So we thought, “How could this be made better?”  The idea fermented as we continued our tour of more than 20 breweries and brewpubs during the summer of 2016.


Brewpub Chalk Art Slate Sign closeup of a Microbrew Label Dog

In an act of kindness, our daughter and her wife bought us a tour to the only brewpub in Manchester, New Hampshire.  While we had our passport “stamped” at this venue, the visit was not memorable.  It could be that we were fatigued from other visits at that point, or just not paying attention.  But everything happens for a reason, and Stark Brewing Company was going to get a second chance.

Stark Brewing Company

Researching the brewpub brought a surprise about the label designs on the cans.  We knew the original name of the famous venue down by the Merrimack river in Manchester was Milly’s.  What we did not know is that it was named after the owner’s favorite German Shepherd.

Stark Brewing Company new Can Lineup featuring images of dogs

With still no idea where the project was going, the path was going to be full of surprises.  Looking to another local business, “The Lazy Dog Beer Shoppe” in our hometown of Londonderry, New Hampshire, the call went out.  Well actually, in today’s modern world, the tweet went out.  We needed the can with Milly’s picture on it to create a brewpub slate sign.  The goal was to create a chalk art replica of the new labels used by Stark Brewing.

Zipping over to the beer shop, they had some of the oatmeal stout in stock.  Honey, the owner’s dog, gave us no more than a lift of the head, sunning herself in the front window that day.  They had singles, but we opted for the full 6 pack since, well, since we had to do a full review.

Our Budding Chalk Artist

Milly's Brewpub Slate Signs in production at the Cohas studiosWhen selecting interns here at Cohas Chalkboard and Marker Systems, we look for a broad set of skills. Often this includes an interest in the arts.  Melina Kae has done a number of chalk art projects for us including our popular pineapple welcome sign.  We know she loves to draw dogs. Though this was an adult beverage image, she had to be the one assigned to it.

Melina is a senior at our local high school with plans to attend a school for the arts next fall.

Working for the afternoon, Melina brought the Stark Brewing Company label to life on the slate.  “The thing I find amazing about this replica of the Milly’s Oatmeal Stout can label is that it was all done with chalk markers. Other than of course the fact that I love dogs, but everyone here knows that,” said Kathy Wagner in the studio while Melina worked. Melina had fewer words for us when asked about the project, “This has to be the most fun thing I have ever had to do here!”

Back to the Brewpub

Brewmaster Peter Telge believes in giving back to the community. As something we can appreciate, it is one of our primary goals here at Cohas Chalkboard and Marker Systems.  Each year Stark Brewing Company holds “Sip for Strays”, with the proceeds going to saving puppies. This is something we thought about while sipping our flight of Stark brews after our tour.

First Bottle of Stark Brewing Company Vodka Our tour would have ended then but one of the brewmasters was “taking the day off” and in house.  He had to show us the new distillery operation making vodka using distilled grain from the brewpub.  Made right here in New Hampshire, this was smooth but powerful when splashed over ice and sipped.  Truth be told, the fragrance of the aromatic still with a steady “drip, drip” may have made most of the impact on our palate.

Stark Brewpub has been in operation since 1999. If you are in southern New Hampshire looking for a good brew and a bite to eat, seek them out.  They even have a function and catering operation where they can seat 10-100 in a private area of the brewpub.  Looking to try your hand at chalk art on slate?  Be sure to order some markers and slate here on Cohas today!

While those vodka labels did not have the impact of the dogs on the company’s beer cans, we expect soon they will come up with something to capture your imagination.  If not, we are sure a young budding artist like Melina would be happy to help out.

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