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Byrne makes his mark on beer label

JOHN Byrne, the celebrated Scottish artist and playwright, has designed the label for a limited run of the latest brew from Edinburgh's Barney's Beer.

SKULLSPLITTER: Artist John Byrne, with his label for the Extra Pale ale, one of 200 he did for Barney's Beer.
SKULLSPLITTER: Artist John Byrne, with his label for the Extra Pale ale, one of 200 he did for Barney's Beer.

Byrne, writer of critically-acclaimed play The Slab Boys and cult television series Tutti Frutti, has hand-drawn the label for 200 bottles of Barney's Extra Pale.

Up to 100 of the bottles, marked by a skull design created using a print technique, will be hidden in cases of Extra Pale beer bound for specialist off-licences.

Andrew Barnett, who founded Barney's Beer in July 2012, said: "The closest thing I can compare it to is the golden ticket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

The Extra Pale brand has become a permanent addition to Barney's established line-up, which comprises Good Ordinary Pale Ale, Red Rye and Volcano IPA. The beer is made in a microbrewery at Summerhall, a creative hub and business incubator close to the city's Meadows parks.

It also home to the distillery behind Pickering's Gin.

Mr Barnett said the link-up with Byrne came about "by accident".

He stated: "Being a small brand we are always looking for opportunities to promote the business. John is a common figure at Summerhall - he is friends with the owners - and I just happened to get chatting to him and asked if he fancied doing the label.

"I feel really privileged that such a well-respected artist such as John - who has paintings in the National Portrait Gallery -agreed to work with our brand."

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