Posted on February 22nd, 2017

Surly Featured Artist Q & A: Josh 'Jawsh' Lemke (2013)

Minnesota, Other

In case you missed it, Surly put out our annual call for the Surly Featured Artist, who will design our label art for Surlyfest 2017, Darkness 2017, and our 12th Anniversary beer in 2018.

As we head up to the March 10th deadline for entry, we’re going to talk to some of our previous artists about the experience, what they’re up to now, and where you can nab some of their work.

This week’s artist is our 2013 winner, Josh Lemke. He was very easy to get in touch with, as he is now a brewer at our Brooklyn Center facility.

Name: Josh “Jawsh” Lemke

Whereabouts: I currently reside in Maple Grove, MN

Year of Featured Artist-hood: I was the artist for 2013 Surly Fest, 2013 Darkness “Brewcifer”, and I designed the Surly Eight Anniversary label

Favorite Surly Beer: Honestly, it depends on season, mood, and food, but overall I’d have to go with Hell and Rye Whiskey Pentagram.  Hell is such an amazing beer, light, crisp, and refreshing, and it’s lower in ABV so I can have more than one. Rye Whiskey Pentagram, when available, is complex from the Brett character, the characteristics of the aging process in the red wine barrels, and finishing with a nice oak vanilla character from the rye barrels. There is so much going on but yet it’s super balanced.

What was the experience of being the Surly featured artist like? It was kind of surreal. Seeing your design printed up on thousands of bottles of Darkness that thousands of people line up for and hustle to get is a crazy experience. It was fun being able to talk to people about my art and the beers. To this day, I geek out every time I see someone post on social media that they’re drinking one or see someone wearing a shirt with my design on it.  I am so honored and humble for the opportunity,

What are you working on now/what projects have you worked on since? I actually don’t do a lot of art these days. Just small projects here and there. I still have a couple murals that are up around Minneapolis. My focus is on my job here at Surly. I love it here, I love the people, and I love what I do.

If people want to look at your other work and/or buy some damn cool art, where should they go? I don’t have a website anymore and I don’t sell my art … sorry fans. All of the other Surly artists are amazing artists that do sell stuff so check them out and buy their stuff. Also, brewing is art and you can buy our beers at most liquor stores or hit up the beer hall where there is always some fun specialty stuff on tap.