Would You Get a Tattoo for Free Beer for Life?

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Would you get a tattoo for free beer? That's the challenge from Oskar Blues Brewery. (Credit: Oskar Blues/Twitter)

Would you get a tattoo in exchange for free beer? The answer to that question was a rousing “Yes!” for about two dozen of Oskar Blues Brewery’s biggest fans.

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The special edition Dale’s Pale Ale cans feature McBess’ artwork. (Credit: Oskar Blues Brewery/Twitter)

This summer, the brewery is celebrating 15 years of its iconic cans of Dale’s Pale Ale. Oskar Blues is a canned craft beer pioneer, setting a model that other independent breweries would eventually follow.

As part of the (can)niversary, Oskar Blues Brewery is launching new 16oz. Dale’s Pale Ale Draft Cans. Oskar Blues turned to illustrator McBess to create special artwork.

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“What I love to do in my work is try ways to put a puzzle challenge to it. There’s lots of levels of details and back stories,” McBess says in a YouTube video.

He designed three separate cans for the project. Each can features standalone art — but when you arrange them side-by-side, they also tell a larger story.

“They create a single larger image that depicts Oskar Blues’ unlikely and irreverent journey from mountain town brewpub to craft beer pioneer,” the brewery’s website explains.

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About That Free Beer Tattoo …

The can is part of the brewery’s overall “disregard for status quo” ethos — and that’s no doubt where the idea of tattoos and free beer was born. Find a Craft Brewery

During two of its initial can release parties, Sharky’s Paradise Tattoo set up a mobile tattoo parlor (which, by the way, looks like a shark). Oskar Blues said anyone who got a tattoo of the weasel — plucked from McBess’s can artwork — would get a free beer.

The brewery tells CraftBeer.com 26 people were game. They’ll now get free beer at Oskar Blues breweries and Tasty Weasel Taproom locations (at least in the locations where free beer is legal).

The free beer tattoo event is over, but you can still hunt for the special 16 oz. Dale’s Pale Ale cans. You can find the exclusive cans at the brewery’s taprooms in Longmont, Colorado, and Brevard County, North Carolina. They’ll also pop up in a small handful of bars and restaurants across the U.S.

So now my question to you: How far would you go for free beer?

Jess Baker walked into a beer fest in 2010 and realized beer had come a long way from what her dad had been drinking since the 70s. She served as editor-in-chief of CraftBeer.com from spring 2016 to spring 2020, bringing you stories about the people who are the heartbeat behind U.S. craft brewing. She's a runner, a die-hard Springsteen fan, a mom who is always scouting family-friendly breweries, and always in search of a darn good porter.

CraftBeer.com is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on CraftBeer.com do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.