‘Hues of Brews’ is a Photo Series That Celebrates the Color of Beer

Hues of Brews Photo Series

The idea for Hues of Brews was actually started by Clarkson, Hammond, and May and my love of old Top Gear. If anyone had a car that was remotely close to brown, they were relentlessly mocked. Always.

Then one day I heard Jim Gaffigan’s voice in my head saying, “Hey fella, I like brown.” From a gold flake vintage Triumph to a rusty 70s shag carpet to my old beige Volvo 240, I’ve always loved the humble color brown.

Later on, I read that my beloved Guinness is actually “dark red”. Skeptical as I was, I wanted to bring a Guinness into the studio and investigate. Life got in the way, but it was always in the back of my mind.

Years later I stumbled upon Brittany Wright’s fantastic Wright Kitchen work with vegetable and food gradients. She took a simple idea and executed it very well. I thought it was just so cool and inspiring. Suddenly it all flashed back: My love of brown, Guinness being “red,” beer being brown, tons of different browns, bubble similarities, bubble differences: then a light flashed:

“Wouldn’t it be cool to photograph as many beers as possible and line them up all on one page to compare?” I thought.

And so, Hues of Brews was born.

Closeup photo of beer, dark
Guinness #7
Closeup photo of beer, light
Warsteiner #34
Closeup photo of beer, light
Two Pitchers Radler #11

With countless beers in the world, we started with what we could get our hands on (namely the most popular selling brands). We shot for months, enduring many side-eyes from shop clerks glaring at my cart overflowing with nothing but hundreds of bottles of beer (but I always brought my six-year-old daughter along, so I had a modicum of respectability). The work was very time-consuming, with a yield of probably two good shots out of 150 taken (if that). So many beers shot and then dumped down the sink, all the fish in Santa Monica must have been drunk. Editing was intensive and slow, but the good shots were coming out beautifully.

Closeup photo of beer, light
Stella #13
Closeup photo of beer, dark
Fat Tire #7
Closeup photo of beer, amber
Sam Adams #20

All images were shot at f/8 with a Zeiss 100mm Milvus Macro lens. The shallow depth of field combined with the Zeiss qualities produced outstanding results.

Once the first volume of images was done and the website built, it was exactly what I had in mind and very exciting to see it all come together. We’ve had a great response so far and things are growing steady.

Closeup photo of beer, amber
Sam Adams #9
Closeup photo of beer, light
Pabst Blue Ribbon #11

Going forward, we aim to keep on shooting anything we can get our hands on. We’re open to work with any brewers and happy to create bespoke fine art of their handiwork. As long as brewers keep brewing, we’ll keep shooting.

In my job as a photographer, I work with people, kids, and animals a lot. I love it, as you never really know what you’re going to get (this is especially true with kids and animals, which in the studio are pretty much the same thing). That’s a big part of what makes Hues of Brews fascinating to me as an art project. Sometimes we get a simple yet elegant gradient of bubbles and color, while other times faces, shapes, and galaxies appear, all to be gone in a flash. It’s so much fun and I sincerely hope others enjoy the work as much as I do.

Closeup photo of beer, light
Miller High Life #4
Closeup photo of beer, light
Heineken #4

Schoenemann’s Hues of Brews series is available in prints made to order on Fuji Chrystal Archive Maxima paper. Schoenemann says that after many tests, he found that the Fuji paper had the most consistent results and was the best at rendering color, depth, and clarity.

The full series of beers and pricing for each print can be viewed at the Hues of Brews website.

About the author: Jared Schoenemann is a photographer, writer, and artist in South Pasadena, California. He began his career in video after studying video production in art school and cinematography in film school. He now specializes in images of people, kids, and animals for commercial and editorial clients, while still creating personal work. When not shooting, he writes a children’s book series that helps kids cultivate common sense and critical thinking skills, adventurous screenplays and is a partner at Hues of Brews. He spends the rest of his time running around with his daughter, tending the plants in his jungle home, cooking and washing endless dishes.