Interview: Crop Artist Stan Herd Discusses his New End Of The World Project with Shock Top Beer

If the Mayans have it right, the world will soon be ending. Are you ready? Instead of panicking about it, the fine folks at Shock Top decided to commemorate the potential occasion by creating their End Of The World Midnight Wheat beer, and hiring renowned earthworks/crop artist Stan Herd to create their logo in a wheat field utilizing the same ingredients for the design as the well known beer company used for their Midnight Wheat beer. The two are celebrating the occasion at the sold out Denver Great American Beer Festival this weekend, and Stan joined me yesterday to discuss everything from what goes into his design projects to the time frame and everything in between!


Candace Rose: You’re such a talented artist, your crop art has been throughout the world. What goes into creating such a beautiful and unique work of art?

Stan Herd: “You have to start first with the right location, the right field, the right site. We like to do something off the end of the runway of an airport so we have a lot of viewers. We’re seven miles off of Denver airport. This is a wheat field. We saved the wheat and then we subtracted the image out of wheat and on this particular project it’s for Shock Top, and they’re promoting their new product called Shock Top End Of The World Midnight Wheat and it’s a wheat beer. I grew up on a wheat farm; my family for generations farmed wheat and so it was a nice tie. On this piece we actually got to incorporate some of the materials that were used in the beer, and that’s chilis, chocolate malt, and oranges and then a lot of other materials.”

Candace Rose: Can you tell us about your latest, End Of The World creation?

Stan Herd: “This piece is for the Great American Beer Festival, it’s an annual event in Denver, Colorado. It’s the largest beer festival in the United States, and Shock Top asked me to get involved. I actually created three pieces for them last year in three different states, so we decided to do something special here for the End Of The World which everybody knows is impending. We came out and found a five acre wheat field, got people involved – the ag extension agents, local farmers, the people over at Arbor Tree and we set about two months ago, carving this out and creating this design on five acres. We celebrated last night with a great party and a band. We had a choreographed group of people light up the Live Life Unfiltered at the end underneath the four helicopters, so it was a lot of fun.”

Candace Rose: How long does a particular project like this, from planning to completion usually take?

Stan Herd: “We’ve been here probably about five or six months from when we first started talking with the design folks at Shock Top and my group. We go through a lot before we ever reach the field, to try to decide how we’re going to do it, where we’re going to do it, what we want it to look like, how to make it unique. Our hope is that every time we do something, it’s a little different and a little beyond what we’ve done before. As an artist that’s what inspires me is that I want to be pushing the envelope a little bit and stepping out what I’ve done before, and I think this piece mirrors that.”

Candace Rose: Do you have any additional information you’d like to share with us?

Stan Herd: “Well, the festival is happening this weekend, and if you want to see any of the imagery – I had a great crew of guys do a time lapsed video of this, so we had a 65 foot boom in the field and these guys followed us around for the last six weeks of the project and captured the whole thing. You can go to Shock Top’s Facebook page and probably see some of that today, if not very soon. I think there will be photographs on very quickly.

Then come to the Beer Festival. We’re going to be tasting the Midnight Wheat tonight, it’s a dark beer that’s really good.”


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