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Blue Moon taps KC artist Scribe for limited-edition beer labels

Kansas City artist Donald “Scribe” Ross designed a label for Blue Moon Belgian White beer in honor of the Denver brewery’s 20th anniversary. The limited-edition series is available nationally this summer.
Kansas City artist Donald “Scribe” Ross designed a label for Blue Moon Belgian White beer in honor of the Denver brewery’s 20th anniversary. The limited-edition series is available nationally this summer. Donald “Scribe” Ross

Kansas City-based Donald “Scribe” Ross is known for painting colorful, cartoon-like characters. Scribe’s eye-popping murals adorn walls throughout the local urban landscape and at Children’s Mercy Hospital, where he’s the resident artist.

Now Scribe’s work is spilling onto beer bottles: The artist is one of 20 to design limited-edition beer labels for Blue Moon Belgian White in honor of the Denver brewery’s 20th anniversary.

Scribe’s design features a blue moon man with a handlebar mustache, red headphones and sliced oranges for eyes. (The oranges are a nod to the orange peel used to brew and garnish Blue Moon Belgian White beer). The moon man beams at a stream of wheat flowing out of a wide-open door in his chest.

“His heart and soul are the ingredients used to make the beer,” Scribe says. “Being able to listen to your heart is a common thing I put in my personal work.”

Scribe, who says he drank Blue Moon Belgian White before designing a label for the beer, says the brewery gave him creative freedom and paid for his initial sketch and final painting. The only stipulation: The moon man had to be more blue than purple.

Limited-edition 12-packs of Blue Moon Belgian White with artist-designed labels are available nationally in liquor stores this summer. Blue Moon is asking its customers to choose a favorite label by voting on Facebook. The 10 labels with the most votes by Aug. 31 will make it to the final round of judging; a panel of brewers and artists will pick the winning artist, who gets $20,000.

As of noon on July 30, Scribe’s moon man label was in fifth place with more than 1,400 Facebook likes.

The artist says it’s fun finding his work on beer bottles, both at the liquor store and online. Lately his Instagram feed has been flooded with photos of his moon man beer labels snapped in places such as Florida, California and New York.

“And I found it at Mike’s (Wine & Spirits) in Westport,” Scribe says.

Want to meet the artist and see more of his work? Scribe has two Blue Moon art events coming up. From 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, he’ll be at Rock & Brews, 5701 W. 135th St. in Overland Park, for a “Blue Moon Lunar Party.” Customers who buy a pint of Blue Moon beer get a free glass and art supplies. If you’re not sure how to decorate your glass, Scribe can help you with a sketch. More info here.

Fric & Frac, 1700 W. 39th St., is planning its own Blue Moon “Paint the Glass” night with Scribe at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 27. More info here.

Contact Sarah Gish by emailing sgish@kcstar.com or on Twitter @Sarah_Gish.

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