When Cole Hogan began brainstorming ideas for his entry in the contest to design a can for Devils Backbone Brewing Company’s Capit-Ale IPA, he initially planned to fuse the patterns of a hop with the wings of the Capitals’ alternate “Weagle” logo. Eventually, an even better idea came to him. A hop cone, it turns out, makes a beautiful substitute for the Capitol dome.

“I sort of smacked myself in the forehead when I realized how obvious it was,” Hogan, 34, wrote in an email.

On Tuesday, Devils Backbone and the Capitals announced Hogan’s design, which also features the Washington Monument and elements of the “Weagle” logo, as the winning entry based on creativity and originality. As part of his prize, Hogan will receive tickets to a Capitals game.

Hogan’s design will be featured on 16-ounce cans of Capit-Ale IPA at Capital One Arena beginning early next year and through the end of the season. It will replace the original can design, which featured the work of local artists BroCoLoco, who created one of the murals the Capitals commissioned in the D.C. area before last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Capit-Ale IPA will remain available on draft at Capital One Arena and at select retail locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

The can design contest, which was announced in July, combined two of Hogan’s passions: beer and graphic design. Ever since his in-laws bought him a home-brewing kit for Christmas several years ago, making beer has become such a hobby that Hogan’s wife, Michelle, refers to the basement of their Springfield home as “the brewery.”

Hogan, who designed his own tattoo to commemorate the Capitals’ Stanley Cup title in 2018, has brewed dozens of styles under his home-brew label “Devils Horns.” A heavy metal fan and an admirer of artist Tim Hastings, who has designed heavy metal-inspired labels for Purcellville’s Adroit Theory Brewing Company, Hogan has created homages to several of his favorite bands with his beers and custom labels.

Some of Hogan’s heavy metal-inspired home brews include “SlipKnut,” “HazelStorm,” “Metalli-Cocoa,” “Lamb of Gourd” and “Guns N Rosemary.” The last one, he noted, tasted “atrocious.” Hogan said his most popular home brew is “R.I.P. Rest in Peaches.” (The style and process are a secret, but he said the recipe involves grilled peaches and a special type of malt.)

Hogan has worked as a designer with SOCIALDEALER, a Herndon-based automotive marketing agency, for more than five years. He would like for brewing and designing beer labels to become more of a regular gig, and he is in the early stages of launching a nanobrewery with a friend. Hogan, who can now add award-winning beer can designer to his résumé, said they have a name, logo and concept picked out.

“This [contest] gives me some peace of mind that I am in fact capable of designing a professional looking beer label if my job depends on it,” Hogan said.

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