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  • 01.16.13

At Long Last, Pantone Swatches For Beer

Because beer comes in more colors than “yellow” or “blurry.”

At Long Last, Pantone Swatches For Beer

There is no finer nerdom than beer nerdom. As oenophiles scrutinize the nose and legs of the fermented grape, so too do beer aficionados track the bite, mouthfeel, and froth of the grain. After a few thousand years of history, sheer obsession has elevated the humblest of home brews to a nuanced beverage worthy of the world’s finest tasting menus.

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So even though they’re a bit of a joke, Beertone swatches can be taken completely seriously. In development by Alexander Michelbach & Daniel Eugster, each card represents the exact color value of a unique beer (complete with RGB, CMYK, and HTML code), along with a brief profile of the brew.


No doubt, the lighthearted project is actually a labor of love. To build their collection, the team contacted Swiss breweries and asked if they’d want to take part. A total of 202 breweries responded with all sorts of information, including SRM data (which is the standard for beer color reference) and an actual bottle of beer to double check the value in person, often with a light measure sensor for beyond-eyeball accuracy.

The result is a tonal dichotomy–a potential Spencer gift honed with a designer’s scrutiny and a brewer’s passion–that has a flat-out unethical level of stocking-stuffer appeal. The swatches will be available soon, starting at $39. Next up, the team will be pursuing a U.S. edition and a mobile app.

Buy them here.

[Hat tip: design milk]

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day.

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