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Heidi Geist: Brewing Up Opportunity

Photo credit Miguel Rivas / "The Beer Trekker."


by Eric Taubert

Her name is Heidi Geist and she’s a self-confessed “Art Punk in the Craft Beer Sphere.” To her legions of adoring fans, she’s more familiarly known as ‘The Geist.’

Her paintings are colorful and loose, like a psychedelic liquid light show from a 1960s-era rock concert. They hint at the fluidity of consciousness, especially as it drifts towards the state of sleep, often with a glimmer of hope or wonder, and sometimes with a bold feminine edge. Alternately, her pen-and-ink drawings dazzle with their dizzying level of intricate detail. Sometimes the two styles merge into a tattoo geometry that evokes dark wonder and tickles the mind with the complexity and depth of its illusory patterns.

Perhaps you’ve seen her distinctive work gracing the sides of your favorite 16-ounce can of Bissell Brothers beer — but if you haven’t, she may be heading to a brewery near you soon.

ERIC TAUBERT: Heidi, your artwork has been printed onto the beer labels for over 18 different breweries to date. How did this journey begin?

HEIDI GEIST: I’ve been making art professionally for over a decade, in all forms, including large works of wall art, mural art and various commissioned work. My start in the “professional” art realm began with designing sets for live music performances and music videos — all which led into my doing black light art exhibitions and events — which then led to custom painting musical instruments with UV-responsive fluorescent paints. That was where I started to craft a name for myself, locally.

Fast forward a few years, I was working as a beer buyer and manager of a local craft beer and wine shop. It was at this time when Pete Bissell (co-founder of Bissell Brothers Brewing Company of Portland, Maine) reached out to me, having seen my work on social media, and asked what I would think of designing a beer can label. From that point, the beer labels just blew up. I’ve been working full-time as a freelance beer label artist since then.

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