greater philly craft beer trail

illustration, painting, art
art direction, implementation, project management

illkya acosta, artist & project manager
brianna branco,
collaborator & assistant
sindoor shah, design director, visit philadelphia
will horrocks, liason, our people entertainment

visit philadelphia
our people entertainment

The Craft Beer Trail of Greater Philadelphia is a map, comprehensive guide, and a homage to the area’s bustling and devout brewery rennaisance. This region is home to 90+ craft breweries with more than 110 locations across 5 counties. I had the pleasure of stylizing a giant thrifted 7-UP bottle into a piece of art that reflected this area’s diverse lineup of breweries and brewpubs.

I was commisioned to be the artist to carry out the execution of this project towards the end of May 2022 by Will Horrocks of Our People Entertainment. I invited Bri Branco, a talented illustrator and designer, to assist me in taking the bottle from blank slate to an elevated focal point. This piece features a bunch of playful and eye-catching names, doodles, and trivia of all the breweries of Greater Philadelphia which encompass 5 counties: Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.

The 10-ft tall beer bottle premiered as part of the Oval XP in mid-June 2022, greeting guests and standing pretty for photo-ops at the entrance of the beer garden which concluded in mid-August 2022.

I had to take the bottle from its bland grey primer coloring and coat it with a flat white spray paint for a uniform look— this took about 2-3 days to get a nice even finish with drying time in between each layer. I had to wait about a day to start to sketching and mapping out the artwork placement before painting the work in.

The right shows myself mapping one of the important elements— The Greater Philadelphia Craft Beer Trail logo using carbon transfer paper.

Adapting a flat design to a round surface definitely proved to be a challenge for myself as a non-math enthusiast. Thanks to Bri’s prior experience with mapping and scaling from flat concepts to 3-d object, she established an extremely helpful grid system (vs. the idea of using a projector or freehanding it). This grid system was a rough placement map— it also allowed us the flexibility to wrap the illustration around the giant beer bottle in an organic fashion— it was a very forgiving method if we had to add, remove, or enlarge certain elements.

Bri and I worked together in making the expressive typography and illustrations as close in spirit as it was in the provided sketch from Visit Philly’s design director. We kept in mind to have fun while trusting ourselves and each other our own special touches and interpretations.

Here is a snippet of Bri and I’s gargantuan efforts to ornament a bottle twice as tall as us on TikTok.

Shoutout to Visit Philly’s Rob Rabena for recording us in action.

* (ill-🗝️-ah)