San Jose's Biggest 'Simpsons' Fan Now Has His Own Signature Beer

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a hazy IPA beer can design features original artwork of The Simpsons characters on a beach
Kevin Tran custom designs everything for San Jose Simpsons, including this beer label for Camino Brewing Co.

Fans of the timeless, iconoclastic characters of The Simpsons are endlessly creative in the ways they express their appreciation for the show.

For Kevin Tran, the founder of San Jose Simpsons — a fan page and custom design business dedicated to everything Simpsons– and San Jose-related — beer seems like a fitting way to celebrate the cartoon’s cultural humor. This week Tran will debut his label design for a new Pineapple Hazy IPA that he created in collaboration with Camino Brewing Co., one of San Jose’s stand-out craft breweries.

Though the beer can won’t resemble the iconic Duff Beer served at Moe’s Tavern, the label design will reflect Tran’s lifelong fandom of The Simpsons, with a few subtle Easter eggs (shout-out to Blinky and Bleeding Gums Murphy) as well as more obvious allusions to Simpsons lore.

Sideshow Bob, the murderously misunderstood sidekick to Krusty the Clown, appears on the beer’s label as a palm tree, with his signature hairdo re-imagined as green fronds. “Die Hops, Die” (a pun on Sideshow Bob’s infamous hatred for Bart Simpson) should also ring clear for any Simpsons head. Hand-drawn by Tran with the help of his friends — tattoo artist Justin Pantaleon and illustrator Courtesy of the Bay — the beer is a reflection of community, comedy and a connection to American pop culture for immigrant kids.


“My parents were working a lot, so growing up I was left home with my younger sister,” Tran says. “I grew up watching The Simpsons. My [Vietnamese] parents weren’t really around or didn’t understand it, you know? Now it helps me to connect with people all over the world, it’s dope.”

Tran was highly involved throughout the beer-making process, helping to select and even add in the ingredients, while taste-testing trial batches along the way. (Homer Simpson would be proud.) He credits Camino Brewing and its brewer, Kim Pollock, for an open, collaborative process. The beer includes fresh pineapple and, according to Tran, is neither too sweet nor too hoppy. “I just told them I wanted a pineapple hazy, and they knew what  to add,” he says.

In true fanatic fashion, the event will feature a Simpsons-inspired  burger — the “Krusty” cheeseburger served on plates that resemble the clouds from the show’s intro, courtesy of the Mexican food pop-up Cajeta — and doughnuts. In addition, San Jose Simpsons and other local vendors like onndawn and Bag Dad Goods will be selling original Simpsons merch, illustrations and other paraphernalia such as sling bags. Tran notes that they have sold everything from crocheted plushies to 3D-printed models and epoxy resin toys at past events.

“I always open it up to homies who do art but haven’t always been in a show before,” he says. “It’s cool to see everyone’s take on The Simpsons. It’s completely free-ranging.”

Camino Brewing Co. (718 S. 1st St., San Jose) will debut San Jose Simpsons’ Pineapple Hazy IPA on Sat., Aug. 26 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with live music. San Jose Simpsons and friends will showcase original art and collector’s items. Food and desserts will be served by Cajeta, DVS Sweets and more.