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September 3, 2020

Little Bang Brewing takes out inaugural GABS Can Design Awards

The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular held its inaugural Can Design Awards last month, with Little Bang’s Face Inverter taking out the title of Australia's best beer can design.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem

For years now, Stepney-based brewery Little Bang has been making some of CityMag’s favourite beers.

Dark ones, fruity ones, and surprisingly boozy ones – from the experimental to the just-plain-beery, we’ve loved them all.

We’ve also long been appreciators of the artwork wrapped around the beer, and so we were not surprised to hear last week Little Bang Brewing Co has won the inaugural GABS Can Design Awards.

The brewery’s Face Inverter ‘citrus super sour’ won the award, with a high-contrast magenta and yellow label perfectly encapsulating the vivacious and mouth-puckering beer within the can.

The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular decided to plough on with its inaugural Can Design Awards, even as it twice postponed its major Australian festivals, which are currently scheduled to occur in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney this October and November. The Auckland GABS event has been cancelled entirely.

For the Can Design Awards, breweries were prompted to submit their entries by mid-July, which were then voted on by the public from 24 July through to 7 August.

The public vote produced, from 127 entries, a shortlist of 10 designs, which were then reviewed by a panel of judges.

Little Bang Brewing’s Face Inverter was the only South Australian entry to make the top 10.

The can design comes from Little Bang’s long-time collaborator Matt O’Connor (who we profiled last year).

“A massive thanks and congratulations to our resident designer, Matt O’Connor, who takes all our crazy ideas and manages to turn them into art,” Little Bang’s Kerri Davidson said via email.

Matt was, needless to say, “massively stoked and honoured” to have taken out the award with the high-impact design.

“This beer was on the experimental side with Little Bang attempting to make the beer as sour as possible and to that end the label needed to ‘pop as hard as possible on the shelf and in the mouth’,” Matt says.

“We took nostalgic hints from sour candies and comic books for the artwork – then we pumped in 100% Yellow and Magenta to really make it stand out.”

Working with Little Bang always provides Matt an opportunity to work on a fun and engaging brief.

“So many of Little Bang’s beers come with a great story behind them meaning each brief is an adventure,” Matt says.

“There’s heaps of scope to investigate new styles and concepts, plus no idea is silly enough not to entertain.”

Matt tells CityMag to keep an eye out for the next Little Bang design – the brewery’s ginger beer.

“A monster called Zingibeer should be landing soon, plus we’re currently delving into some new technology to potentially change the whole way we create labels,” he says.

The full GABS Can Design Awards top 10 can be found here.

Be sure to stop by Little Bang at 25 Henry Street, Stepney to offer congratulations and marvel irl at Face Inverter, inside and out.

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