Apanas Beer Menu

A grid system for beer nerds
  • Role
    Illustration, Wayfinding, Woodwork
  • Team
    1 Experience Designer/Illustrator, 1 Woodworker
  • Timeframe
    July 2016 - August 2016


Create and install a menu system for a local small business specializing in coffee and craft beer. Their beer menu offered local beers on tap, from sours to stouts. The menu had to be discernable from a distance, tiles had to be easily swapped or taken down, and the type pattern repeatable by any staff member.


The client/owner noted customers in his north location were walking by the beer menu without noticing it. This inspired the idea for a beer icon set with bright colors. I also added the clear "Craft Beer" labeling on either side of the grid to increase visibility. Wood chalk panels were utilized for their hardiness and easily replaceable chalk lettering.

Visualizing the Data

With such a wide-variety of beer offerings, Apanas needed a way for patrons to quickly identify their favorite styles. An icon set was conceived based on the beer glass associated with that variety. Bright colors were added to the final icons to further assist customers in speedy beer identification (see below.)


The tiles were installed in a meticulous grid to contrast the hand-drawn elements of the project. The holes in the back of the tiles were drilled up at 45 degree angle, thus allowing busy employees to quickly snag a tapped beer off the wall on a slammed Saturday night.


After installation was complete, the "Craft Beer - on tap" type was hand-painted on either side of the menu. After a bit of coaxing, a red soap dispenser at the bottom left of the menu was swapped with a beige one. With this finishing touch, customers were sure to notice the menu and quickly identify their favorite beverage.

6 Months later...

New Apanas Menu

Apanas Tile New Electric Jellyfish

Apanas Tile New Heisenberg

Six months later, I dropped by the installation to view the evolution of the menu. I was delighted to see the creative Apanas crew flex their illustration muscles when updating the beer menu. The Electric Jellyfish is my favorite by-far. The typographic pattern had stayed rather solid, with variations in font-style but a maintaining of the overall grid structure. The staff got creative with the font styles as well, showcasing their individuality as well as elements of the beer through typography.