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A surplus of geekery by :: Fred Abercrombie

Beer Monkey Business: 21st Amendment vs Straight To Ale

There’s something in the air with beer cans and astro chimps…

but is it a ripoff?

I saw on BeerNews that Hunstville, AL’s Straight To Ale just got approval on their Monkeynaut IPA can label. While the artwork is indeed rad, it sure reminds me of a can that’s been, um, floating around for almost a year now…

Bitter American from San Francisco’s 21st Amendment has the same jettisoned space monkey subject matter.

So, same simian?

Just because 21A‘s has been around longer doesn’t mean Straight To Ale‘s Monkey is a hack job. With so many regional beers poppin’ up it’s hard to keep on top of it all. And they’ve got a couple astro-themed beers, including one for the dognaut, Laika. However, Bitter American isn’t just some local brew. Not only is it getting a decent distribution push, the design itself has received national and even international press thanks to the talents of its London-based designer—from design and packaging blogs to a nice feature in WIRED.

Knowing all this, do you think Straight To Ale would try to intentionally copy 21st Amendment? 2011 was the 50th anniversary of the astrochimp (named “Ham”, trivia geeks) space launch so it’s probably just one of those ideas that was in the air and primed to be grabbed. Or nabbed.

The more important question is, which can would Princess Leia drink?

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One Response

  1. DocBrown says:

    Straight to Ale has been brewing Monkeynaut for about two years, and they had that artwork put together back in 2010. They are located in Huntsville, AL, which has the nickname “Rocket City,” given that it was where Von Braun’s team developed the Saturn V rocket engines. So the rocket theme is a nod to the Huntsville culture more than anything.

    Until recently, STA’s beers have only been available in keg form in local bars. They are now putting their beer in cans using the existing artwork, which predates 21A’s release. That said, I’m sure 21A had created the artwork well in advance of their release, and probably around the same time that STA was creating theirs.

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