Craft Beer Label Design: A Beer Brand Owners Guide
With the U.S. craft beer market exceeding sales of $19.6 billion per annum (in 2014) and growing every year, craft beer is certainly a lucrative business opportunity for those with a passion for the fizzy stuff.
However, creating your own craft beer business takes a lot of thought and effort.
Not only do you need a winning beer formula (i.e. something at least comparable to the big brands in terms of sheer quality and taste), but you also need to create a brand, deal with regulatory issues and production problems, and successfully get your beer on the shelves of stores/bars/pubs.
Most craft beer entrepreneurs tend to focus on the aforementioned issues without much persuasion, but there’s one other issue that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves: the bottle label.
It might sound crazy, but your bottle label has the potential to make or break your business – it’s the number one aspect by which purchasing decisions are made.
Here’s a guide to getting craft beer labelling right:
Stand Out from The Crowd
Perhaps the most important – and often overlooked – ingredient in the perfect craft beer label recipe is the idea of uniqueness.
Not only is this important from a branding perspective (there’s no point being another “me too” brand in a super-competitive market like craft beer), but it’s also important from a visual perspective.
When customers are looking for a beer to buy in their local supermarket, they’re greeted with an abundance of choice, and they don’t have time to carefully peruse every bottle label on the shelf and make a super-informed decision.
Instead, they look at the few bottles that stand out to them.
This means that if your bottle label is similar to the rest of the beers on the shelf, it’s probably not going to get a second look.
Therefore, you need to do your research and look at the competition.
You should look at:
- Material (e.g. paper, clear adhesive label, etc.)
The easiest way to do this is simply to head down to your local supermarket and look at the craft beers on the shelves.
Your aim is to notice similarities so you can then buck the trend with your craft beer label, thus allowing you to stand out from the crowd.
For example, if there are a tonne of beers with paper labels, it might be best to use a clear/wood label for your beer. If most of the labels are red, use a completely different colour.
Even if you hire the greatest graphic designer on the planet to design your bottle label, he/she won’t be entirely free to do whatever they want in terms of the design.
There are a number of pieces of information that must be included on any beer label, and there are also pieces of information that should be avoided.
Here are a few that MUST be included:
- Brand name (e.g. “Ted’s delicious beer”)
- Class designation (e.g. “ale”)
- Name + Address (e.g. “Ted’s delicious beer, 12 beer road, London…”)
- Net contents (e.g. 1 pint – there are strict rules here)
And here are a few things that you shouldn’t include:
- Flags (e.g. U.S. flag)
- Coats of arms
- Words such as “strong”, “full strength” or anything else that may be a statement of alcoholic content
How to Design the Perfect Craft Beer Label (INFOGRAPHIC)
Here’s a nifty infographic – created by the bottle label printing company, FastLabels – that goes into a lot more detail (and also offers some research) about craft beer label design.
Southern Tier Brewing Company (Lakewood, NY) is breaking ground on their first satellite brewpub located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The pub is located at 316 North Shore Drive, just a short walk from Heinz Field and PNC Park. The new location will feature a smaller edition of the home brewery, plus a 10,000 square foot outdoor beer garden.
The project should be completed in time to still watch a bulk of the football games in the coming NFL season, according to brewery founder Phin DeMink.
We really feel for Lost Abbey. They make a pretty amazing beer by the name of Duck Duck Gooze. It takes a full three years to produce. Because of that, there aren’t a whole lot of bottles to go around. The problem – selling them.
Lines for beer releases are time consuming and get crazy. Then there is the proxy/beer mule situation, where folks want to stack their cellars, or trade.
So.. for the one every three years release, the brewery uses their e-commerce platform, run by Nexternal. On Tuesday, the site crashed with the fans frantically clicking and refreshing the store. That… got ugly fast.
After postponing the online sale until today, Nexternal shit the bed again. The link didn’t go live on time. Guess what happened… the “fans” of the brewery turned on Lost Abbey once again. Here is a smattering of the hatred, mean comments, and entitlement that the brewery had to deal with today. They communicated every step, and apologized profusely. It fell on deaf ears.
Lost Abbey did an amazing job despite the onslaught. Wish we could buy you a beer.
Honestly, Instagram comments were even uglier. Sad world.
Update. After three site crashes, Lost Abbey has decided to cancel all the orders, and refund everyone’s money. They are going to reset over the weekend and find a strong, fair, solution.
As you can imagine, the comments just got uglier.
I’m not getting my rare beer, so I’m going destroy everything
— Derek Alvarez (@dka67) July 29, 2016
Refresh SO HARD.
@lostabbey Do they come with a free F5 key? I need a new one
— Matthew Young (@MTYCPA) July 29, 2016
Don’t be dumb and buy beer.
@lostabbey We are the idiots, we keep buying there product. It’s like a dog you pet when they shit on your floor. They just keep doing it.
— Surfnbeer (@surfnbeer) July 29, 2016
A Internet Lesson offer
@lostabbey do you guys know how the fucking internet works?
— michael alessi (@The_Real_Alessi) July 29, 2016
Lunch on Lost Abbey.
@lostabbey you owe me lunch
— Steven Springer (@MilwaukeeSteven) July 29, 2016
Give everyone free bottles
.@lostabbey How about you get the login logs for everyone and give everyone a bottle? For their pains. And next time use BPT.
— Philip Skinner (@KayakPhilip) July 29, 2016
Heartless brewery just wants your money.
@lostabbey 3 days wasn’t enough time? Unreal. Not like you give a shit. Hype beast will sell out in seconds. Sweet business you’re running
— Jake S (@thereraise) July 29, 2016
@lostabbey ballast point is better
— sizz (@s_seifi) July 29, 2016
Then Lost Abbey attempted to use Brown Paper Tickets...
— Golden Slippers (@GSBirding) July 29, 2016
And… Brown Paper Tickets crashed. Behold the power of the beer geek.
— Sean Maisch (@SeanMaisch) July 29, 2016
That’s thinking outside the box.
@lostabbey if everyone who is complaining because they have jobs were actually working we wouldn’t be having this problem
— Jordan Shamburg (@jcshamburg) July 29, 2016
— Jon Strande (@Jon_Strande) July 29, 2016
Russian River fan.
@lostabbey seriously people have other things to do… Imbeciles… Rather wait on line for Pliny younger than deal with this shit
— Lloyd Wilson (@lgwilson305) July 29, 2016
Finally, Lost Abbey went to Eventbrite. This says it all.
LOL @lostabbey‘s mentions went from hate to pure joy in the span of a couple minutes.
— Beard Brews (@beardbrews) July 29, 2016
See!! All is well!!
Destihl Brewery is expanding distribution to Missouri in late July.
Currently, the brewery building a new, 47,000 square foot brewery in Normal, Illinois. The new production facility and increased fermentation capacity is allowing the brewery to go ahead an add the new market.
Destihl has signed a distribution deal with Bevolution Distribution. The Saint Louis market can expect beers from the Wild Sour Series including Here Gose Nothin’ and Counter ClockWeisse.
Additionally, beers from the brewery’s core lineup, including Weissenheimer Hefeweizen, Vertex IPA, Hoperation Overload Double IPA and Abbey’s Single.
Wicked Weed Coolcumber, a draft offering in the past, is now available in bottles as of today.
The beer is exactly as it sounds, a golden ale brewed with cucumber. Take our word for it – it really does smell and taste like cucumber. (Plus basil and juniper berries of course.) Face it, the South is hot. This beer is like air conditioning in a glass.
Summer in Carolina is a time when days grow long, life slows down, and friends draw near. Gardens burst with brisk basil and fresh cucumbers, fireflies illuminate the night sky, and warm days leave us lounging late, our glasses brimming with golden nectar. Summer in the South is best served cool.
Wicked Weed Coolcumber is a 12 ounce bottle offering.
Burial Beer Track 1, part of a new “Album Series” debuts on July 3rd.
A dedication to that first track you hear from your favorite album, Burial Beer Track 1 is a straight forward imperial stout.
The Album Series. We begin with Track 1 an Imperial Stout brewed in the spirit of the first track any of us ever heard from our favorite album; straight-forward, honest, the purest example of what’s to come as we leaned in to listen.
Burial Beer Track 1 is available in 750 milliliter bottles.
Style: Imperial Stout
Availability: 750ml Bottles
Just a few years ago, canned beer was limited to just a few styles. Most, if not all of those beers came from the world’s biggest breweries.
It’s a different world these days (in the craft segment, cans are 65%+ of the business. Almost daily, a new breweries is either coming online for the first time with cans in their lineup, or is making the transition to cans.
To celebrate this big business arises the Can Can Awards. The competition is broken down by style, similar to the World Beer Cup or medals at the Great American Beer Festival.
Consumers pay attention to (and ultimately buy) award winners. for the price of shipping a few cans and taking a minute to fit out the entry, your brewery can be in contention for a Can Can Award.
You’ve worked hard to bring your cans to the market. Perhaps this is a good way to get the recognition you deserve. Register here.