The Beer is a universal drink that many people enjoy—so much so that they want to immortalize a bottle of it on their skin for the world to see. Interestingly, these tattoos have lots of interesting symbolism or meanings depending on how it’s depicted.
Beer tattoos generally indicates the obvious: a person really likes beer. Oftentimes, a panel with smiling faces, clanking mugs, or other vices are depicted to indicate that the wearer likes to have a good time with friends and loves to party.
As one of the most popular drinks in the world, it’s no surprise that some people choose to incorporate their favorite beverage into a tattoo. The rest of this article will discuss the history, meaning, and designs of beer tattoos.
What Is the History of Beer Tattoos?
Beer is one of the oldest drinks humans have ever produced, with the first confirmed barley-based drink being produced in modern-day Iran around 5000 BC. With the advent of modern inking technology allowing for realistic depictions of objects and scenes on the skin, many people have been expressing their love of beer through tattoos.
Historically, these tattoos have been used to mark a person’s identity as someone who loves to consume beer. With today’s world being so hectic, beer tattoos are a way to externally represent something that helps the wearer relax.
What Do Beer Tattoos Symbolize?
These tattoos can have varied meanings, but in most cases, a beer tattoo symbolizes exactly what you’d think it would—someone just really loves the stuff. One of the most consumed beverages in the world, beer comes in all shapes and sizes, from cans to bottles to draughts, and that diversity is represented in the depictions of the drink in tattoos.
Such tattoos often symbolize a person’s love of beer and, to a lesser extent, how they like to consume their drinks. Sometimes, these tattoos are accompanied with a bunch of other alcoholic drinks, indicating a person’s love for indulging in alcohol.
Depictions can also be somewhat humorous, such as the representation of a person sitting on a couch in front of the TV with a six pack nearby. This symbolizes that the wearer loves to enjoy their drinks while they relax.
What Do Beer Tattoos Mean?
In general, beer tattoos indicate that a person is always ready to have a good time. They are enthusiastic about good-quality drinks and are reflecting that appreciation in tattoo form.
Some tattoos have a depiction of a frothing mug with the chemical formula written above, emphasizing their knowledge of and enthusiasm for a good drink.
Some people choose to have the beer in their tattoos marked with a brand name, indicating their preferred brand or their loyalty to the brand in general.
Another common depiction of beer is a tattoo with two hands clinking draughts of beer.
This often means that the wearer is enthusiastic about meeting new people and enjoys hanging out with friends at the bar.
An overflowing draught of beer also symbolizes abundance and decadence, indicating that the person enjoys treating themselves and spending time indulging.
Some beer tattoos are humorous takes on a person’s enthusiasm for the drink, such as tattoos around the thumb and index finger saying “Beer goes here.”
Beer is not just depicted positively in all kinds of tattoos. In fact, many tattoo designs feature it in a negative light, seeing it as more of a vice and an addictive and venomous drink. For example, a bottle may have a skull and crossbones image or XXX on the label. Surrounding imagery may be more somber than cheery and is often accompanied by resolute text such as “Never again” or “No more.”
These are often people who have struggled with alcohol addiction in the past and are decrying any form of alcohol by publicly denouncing it on their skin.
Beer is also often depicted in the Man’s Ruin theme of tattoos. In these tattoos, alcohol, scantily clad women, and gambling are all displayed under the text “Man’s Ruin” to indicate that participating in these vices is part of a man’s road to despair.
Characteristics and Styles of Beer Tattoos
These tattoos are often quite similar in style. Generally, they feature a can, bottle, or draught of beer drawn to scale with a real drink of beer.
As mentioned before, many people choose to mark their skin with their favorite brand of drink to indicate their preferences. Other tattoos are much more stylized, featuring a beer bottle overflowing or a frothy draught spilling out onto the hand. Hops is often also added next to the mug to signify its inclusion in a good beer as well as adding a splash of color to the tattoo.
Some creative designs feature a frothy mug of beer with the contents of the mug showing other enjoyable activities for the wearer, like spending time on the beach. Some also choose to depict famous people or fictional characters in their tattoos as well. In these depictions, the characters are often holding mugs of beer and celebrating together.
Where Do Beer Tattoos Usually Go?
These tattoos can be pretty versatile in their placement. From a simple line drawing on the wrist or calf to a panel covering the entire upper arm or back, beer tattoos can be scaled to go anywhere. Usually, people like to put these tattoos on their upper arm or forearm so that it can be displayed while they are out at the bar drinking.
Similarly, tattoos on the thumb, hand, or wrist are visible and clearly distinct, making them a popular location choice for these kinds of tattoos.
Beer tattoos are used to celebrate a life of abundance and the enjoyment of good things. Many people choose to outwardly show their favorite brand of drink or to depict their love of a good party with overflowing mugs clinking together.
In contrast, some people use depictions of beer in their tattoos to remember how it used to be a vice for them and as an internal commitment to never drink again.