Sainted suds

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Can’t you just hear the choir of angels singing, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh” over a pint right now?

I think that’s how everybody around here felt last month, when my good friends (and veteran restaurateurs) Barry & Renée Watson opened the doors of their newest business, Pint Defiance Specialty Beers & Taproom. I mean, come on—look at that heavenly glow there!

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Barry and I share a deep love of all things campy and kitschy—so when he asked me to design the identity for Pint Defiance (which in itself is a top-notch pun on Point Defiance, Tacoma’s famous city park), I think he knew he had me at “hello.” Within about ten seconds we were both cackling over the possibilities of things like faux woodgrain and vintage scout badges.

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So I put together a hand-lettered logo based on vintage script and the kind of hand-hewn wooden signs you find at summer camps and state parks.

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I knew I had hit on the right theme when I saw Barry’s collection of vintage paint-by-number pieces—which are now hanging proudly in the taproom (this, people, is the perfect illustration of why we are friends).

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Because I couldn’t resist ganging up on the Point Defiance joke, I also designed a hand-lettered t-shirt for the shop (which is kind of an inside joke for Tacoma folks, sorry—if you’ve ever been to Point Defiance Park, the place is filthy with raccoons, and there are “Don’t Feed the Wildlife” signs absolutely everywhere).

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photo by Barry Watson

Below the asterisk, the fine print reads: “Beer is okay, though.” For the record, Barry came up with that nugget, so don’t send PETA after me!

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Whenever I stop by the shop, it still strikes me as thrilling (and a little strange) to see my logo reproduced on a hundred pieces of glassware—

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—or lining the wall above the impressively massive cooler.

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Best of all, though, is the fact that whenever I stop by, Barry flashes me a smile and hands me a pint of cider (my favorite), before I get a chance to ask. And then I raise a toast to Renée, knowing that their little business is going to be a smashing success. Congrats, you two!

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