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Trider’s in-house label designs offer a unique, personal touch

Trider’s Craft Beer co-owner Laura Parker and her brother-in-law Ken Potter work together to create the fun, unconventional labels found at Trider’s Craft Beer. She pitches concepts to him and he brings them to life through his drawings. Laura is holding Ken’s painting for the Hibrrrnation Winter Ale, and Ken is holding his drawings for the Maccan Maple and Mean Joe Bean beers. The shed depicted in the Maccan Maple label is located on Trider Road in Maccan where Trider’s began brewing beer before moving to their current facility in Amherst.
Trider’s Craft Beer co-owner Laura Parker and her brother-in-law Ken Potter work together to create the fun, unconventional labels found at Trider’s Craft Beer. She pitches concepts to him and he brings them to life through his drawings. Laura is holding Ken’s painting for the Hibrrrnation Winter Ale, and Ken is holding his drawings for the Maccan Maple and Mean Joe Bean beers. The shed depicted in the Maccan Maple label is located on Trider Road in Maccan where Trider’s began brewing beer before moving to their current facility in Amherst. - Dave Mathieson

AMHERST, N.S. – Trider’s Craft Beer labels are wildly diverse and offbeat, but there’s a sensibility that ties them together.

His name is Ken Potter.

“There’s no reason to hold back on the artwork,” said Potter, who has created artwork for 13 Trider’s labels since they began to brew beer in Amherst in 2016.

Ken’s brother, Joe, the brew master, and Joe’s wife, Laura Parker, own and operate Trider’s Craft Beer.

“I really appreciate the fact they never limit me on the labels,” said Potter. “They just say, ‘work your magic.’”

Creating magic is easier when it’s a family business.

“We like Ken’s style, so it seemed like a no-brainer to have him do it, and we’re very family oriented, so it’s nice to keep that connection,” said Laura. “And it’s nice to be able to call Ken at three in the morning and say, ‘I’ve got this great idea for a label, why don’t we make this happen.’”

Creating labels is a meeting of the minds between Ken and Laura. She comes up with a concept, and Ken brings it to life.

“The work is fun, but I take it seriously because I want the labels to look good.” said Potter. “Also, if it doesn’t look relatively close to what’s in Laura’s brain or my brain, then it’s not good enough, and I’ll do the drawing over and over. But sometimes it just works.”

Potter takes 10 to 20 hours to produce artwork for each label.

“It can turn into a long process, especially if there is somebody’s face, because you need to have the likeness.”

One face he recreated came out on Trider’s second beer, Rod’s Red, named after their father, Rod Potter, who passed away close to four years ago.

“That image is our father. He had a recipe for his own type of beer, so it’s a shout-out to him,” said Potter.

Potter is a self-taught artist.

“Like every other kid, I started drawing when I was three, and I happened to have a knack for it and kept with it.”

He starts each Trider’s label by drawing free-hand on canvas or paper.

His favourite label is Mean Joe Bean, modeled after his brother, which depicts a bean-shaped musician playing an upright bass.

“It wasn’t Joe’s idea, we pushed it on him,” said Potter. “We said, ‘you have to have a little vanity in there somewhere.’”

“And he drinks a lot of coffee and plays stand-up bass, so it seemed really fitting,” added Laura.

Trider’s makes changes to their labels over time.

“We’re constantly changing, so we’ve tinkered with the labels and are in the process of changing a lot of them,” said Laura.

“There’s always critiques, added Potter. “It’s craft beer, so it’s a thoughtful place.”

Potter is passionate about creating art, having a to-do list of about 100 paintings he would like to create.

But for now, Trider’s is keeping him busy making changes to old labels and, also, drawing up a new one, which won’t be revealed until the beer hits shelves.

“They’re really putting me to work now. There’s a lot of things I need to catch up on,” he said.

The full lineup of Trider’s beer can be purchased at 46 Anson Avenue, Unit 3, in the Amherst Industrial Park.

Trider’s beer is also available at NSLC outlets, Harvest Wine and Beer Spirits in Dartmouth, and at Liquid Assets at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

“And we are very close to getting into New Brunswick,” said Laura.

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