A decade ago, beer swag was everywhere, and it was ordinary. As enthusiasts we were eager to fly our flags, yet we were inundated with ill-conceived, exceedingly cheesy gear devoid of any sense of panache.
Yet we’ve noticed a shift over the past few years, marked by the conflux of visual social media, style-fixated beer packaging, smart photography, and wry Gen Z humor. Now, there’s a new energy in merch that more creatively reflects our passions.
It’s been years since we’ve highlighted any clothing, hats, pins, or other items that showcase a love of beer. So, we put out the call for items that we’d be proud to rock even among our non-beer-drinking friends. Here’s a quick rundown of some of our favorites so far—gear that could take you from the beach to the mosh pit, looking good while lightening the mood and occasionally making new friends:
1. We’re suckers for the sentiment. Kudos to Divine Barrel (Charlotte, North Carolina) for putting it on a shirt. Available at the brewery.
2. Fort George (Astoria, Oregon) has developed one of the best merch programs in the game, partnering with designer Aaron Draplin on the Short Sands collection. It includes T-shirts as well as this custom hammock from Grand Trunk. (If we had more space, we’d include their custom-embroidered Carhartt vest and the blow-up 3-Way IPA pool ring. Next level!)
3. From the snarky to the sublime, Pilsnerish (pilsnerish.com) has carved out an audience for their brand of social media–fueled humor. Limited merch drops, such as this Pilsner Death Crew dad hat, Side Pull Skull pin, and benefit-focused Don’t Drink Beer 4 Life pin, will tell the world you’re both serious AF and can laugh at yourself.
4. From the folks at I Heart Yakima (iheartyakima.com), a shirt memoralizes the sign that welcomes us to hop harvest every year.
5. Off Color (Chicago) made these classic Ts years ago; the back reads, “Some hills you die on.” Still one of the best brewery shirts ever, and not available online.
6. Outer Range (Frisco, Colorado) caught us off-guard with this reversible one-piece that celebrates beer and fried chicken, perfect for apres-ski hot-tubbing. Available in three sizes from outerrange.com, along with these stylish rolling papers and much more.