Atlantic IPA Artwork

Nautical doodling at BrewDog

Atlantic IPA Artwork


I'm Johanna Basford, BrewDog's resident doodler, Paradox Panacotta maker and one half of the 'we've lost our Boyfriends to BrewDog' support group. Last year I designed the Anniversary Paradox label which we have since tweaked to become the graphics for the hotly anticipated Zephyr. More recently, I've been working on a new project for the brewing duo.

The boys at BrewDog have spent the last few months messing about with hops, casks and boats and are now ready to launch their Atlantic IPA, the first IPA to be traditionally matured at sea since Snuff was all the rage. In true BrewDog style, they didn't want some lame attempt at nautical inspired graphics, so I whipped out my fine liner pens and sketchbook and got doodling.

To catch up on the story so far, take a peek at the BrewDog Video Blog (watch out for the rope snapping incident!).

Chapter 1 - The Great Launch

Chapter 2 - Adventures on the High Seas

Ocean Quest

Thankfully, the casks didn't get swept away in the North Atlantic storms, or swallowed by passing killer whales, or stolen by swashbuckling pirates who had grown tired of rum. They made their way back to Fraserburgh onboard the Ocean Quest and are now awaiting the bottling line.

Atlantic Sketch

As with most of my drawings, there wasn't really a plan. I began with the image of the boat, then the rest of the flotsam and jetsam just sort of evolved from there. Hidden amongst the billowing waves are abandoned anchors, compasses, a treasure chest and giant squid. As a nod to the fate of Cask Number 1, which plunged into the North Sea during loading, there is a second source of sunken treasure on the seabed - the now barnacle encrusted cask.

Atlantic IPA Artwork

Atlantic IPA Artwork 2

And in a change from my signature style of black and white, I colour matched the blue to exactly the same colour as The Ocean Quest's paint work (little details like this make me happy...). So, something very different from Zephyr and Paradox, but still inherently different from anything else you'll see in Beer packaging - no tacky watercolour paintings of Steam Boats or slightly disturbing Mermaid erotica like some lesser Breweries may turn to. As you'll notice, there's no text on the label, its purely pictorial which makes it even more unique and heightens the intrigue as to what delights lie within.


The boys will be back soon with more details and photos of the finished beer, as well as the all important info on how to get your paws on this ocean travelled treasure.

To see more of my inky artwork, be sure to take a peek here. (Best viewed with a bottle of Punk IPA)

Shiver me timbers.


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Comments (9)

Lizz 6th April, 2009 3:33pm
This is awesome! I cannot wait!
Kyle 3rd April, 2009 9:27pm
That is fantastic! Wow.
Mark 31st March, 2009 8:20pm
This is the coolest beer label Ive ever seen (Zephyr is a close second), awesome design! And I cant wait for the beer.

And Paradox Pannacotta sounds ace, I made a beer pannacotta this weekend and they are really good :)
Ally 29th March, 2009 2:40pm
Oh wow. Johanna I love your work.

I want to frame this and put it on my wall, or wear a teeshirt of it.

Andy mogg 28th March, 2009 3:20pm
Simply stunning
G Dunbar 28th March, 2009 1:27pm
Very nice work! I think I prefer the second version...
David 28th March, 2009 1:00pm
Very cool indeed, im guessing this wont be available to buy off the shelf though? Otherwise it would be as confusing as hell to the everyday consumer, with no actual words on the label.
magicdave6 28th March, 2009 12:55pm
That is such a cool label, cant wait to try the stuff!
craig garvie 27th March, 2009 10:07pm
can a rathe rdrunk craig, say that tthast a rather cool albel.