Starting this week, fans of Rogue Ales & Spirits will be able to witness the resurrection of the Dead Guy Ale — the beer is now available in 12-ounce cans for the first time ever, as well as in a new 22-ounce bottle design, bringing the ol’ bag of bones off his barrel for a clearer, more modern design.
Newport, Oregon’s Rogue first debuted Dead Guy Ale in 1990, when the German Maibock–inspired ale was brewed and bottled for Casa U-Betcha, a Tex-Mex restaurant in Portland, for Dia de los Metros. Since that time, though the beer’s label has had several iterations, the bottle has depicted a skeleton sitting atop a “Rogue”-emblazoned barrel, arms crossed and beer in hand (and a beehive as a hat, which maybe has something to do with its honey color and flavors).
But Rogue’s creative team thought it was due time to freshen up the Dead Guy’s look, removing the barrel and applying a sleek black, white, and silver color scheme to replace the red and, even earlier, rainbow backgrounds featured in previous versions. The Dead Guy skeleton is front and center, sitting sufficiently as his own logo, sans “Rogue”-branded barrel.
The iconic logo, originally designed by Penny Muire in 1990, recently underwent its first true redesign under the direction of Rogue’s current creative director, Hagen Moore. “I think everybody was ready for a change after so long on that barrel,” Moore said. "There were a number of iterations, but the idea came out pretty quickly. We wanted to make the Dead Guy larger than life, and have him stand out in a simple and unique way."
Removing the beer name from the packaging was a strategic choice, Hagen said. “He’s such an icon in the beer industry. If someone knows Dead Guy, they know what it is. If they don’t know Dead Guy, they’re probably curious enough to pick it up — it works both ways.”
Dead Guy’s fresh look debuted on February 15, when the revamped brand became available in 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles as well as the all-new 12-ounce cans. Get a peek at the new cans in this video, and learn more about Dead Guy Ale’s history on Rogue’s blog.