Coming up With 'Dragon’s Gold'
Flying Fish Brewing Co. founder and alumnus Gene Muller '84 has created a custom beer to celebrate Drexel's big birthday.
What better way is there to toast Drexel's 125th anniversary than with an exclusive Drexel beer?
The limited edition beverage, creatively named Dragon's Gold, will be available at select Drexel celebrations in the upcoming year. It was created by alumnus Gene Muller '84 and will be distributed by Flying Fish Brewing Co., which he founded in 1995.
Originally, members of Drexel's Institutional Advancement office had approached Muller about possibly supplying beer for some anniversary events. The partnership eventually expanded to creating a special beer just for Drexel - a first for both parties.
Muller, who had never created a custom beer for a college or university before, saw the opportunity as another great way to give back to his alma mater.
"As an alum, I've partnered with Drexel a lot for tastings or group events at the brewery. This is another way to build our relationship while sharing what we do and showing off the beer a little bit," he said.
The resulting beer, The Flying Fish ESB Amber Ale, commemorates Drexel's history of innovation by putting an American twist on the classic British extra special bitter (ESB) amber ale. The beer contains a rich, malty start featuring caramel notes that develop into a smooth hop finish.
"We wanted to make a beer that was more of a traditional style from when the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry was founded in 1891," said Muller. "We went with our ESB Amber Ale, which is kind of a session, pub-style ale. It has a nice flavor to it and a little bit of hop character."
According to Muller, Dragon's Gold pairs well with food like meats and cheeses - a perfect accompaniment to some of the spreads featured at special anniversary events this year. The beer will be on hand in 12-oz. bottles during selected activities celebrating the University's 21st birthday (104 years later).
"We like to think Anthony J. Drexel could have celebrated with this brew when he founded Drexel," the beer bottle's label reads.
Nurul Rumlan, a senior graphic design major in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, created the special-edition label as a design co-op at Drexel's Office of Institutional Advancement (IA). She brainstormed and workshopped ideas with Mary Madeira and Ola Baldych, the creative director and associate director of graphic design in the office's Communications & Marketing department.
"There's nothing more exciting than seeing your own design in the real world."
"I wanted the label to look vintage but, of course, still work within the Drexel brand," she said.
After exploring different colors, typefaces and designs, Rumlan created two different potential labels that were released on National Beer Day, or April 7. Members of the Drexel community and Drexel alumni voted on their favorite, which eventually became the final design.
Rumlan, who had never designed a beer label before, was proud to create an important part of the 125th anniversary that would be prominently displayed and used on campus.
"There's nothing more exciting than seeing your own design in the real world," she said.
You can see Rumlan's creation and taste Muller's beer for yourself during these upcoming months, either through visiting campus for an event or travelling to Flying Fish Brewing Co. in Somerdale, New Jersey.
And, above all else, be sure to toast their accomplishments, your accomplishments and everything else that Drexel has achieved in 125 years.