It's no secret that craft beer is making its way into the hearts, minds, and refridgerators of the American Public. So why not take a look at what is making these now commonly found brews so palatable! If you've been lucky enough to get some great beer into your routine then you probably have taken some time to look at the labels that are on the bottles themselves. The labels are just as creative as the beer that is behind them and sometimes- even more creative! Let's break down what goes into a beer label! What are the components of a beer label that make you want to purchase- other than thirst!
Are you shopping by BRAND? There are many brands for us to choose from obviously- but are you shopping a brand that you know or ones you haven't tried? If you do try a brand, like Tuckerman Brewing's Pale Ale and like it, are you apt to give their Headwall Alt a try? Most likely. Branding is key on a beer label and having some consistency across beer bottle labels in your brand can mean the difference in your customers finding other beers you craft on the shelf!
What kind of BREW are we talking about here? Are you a lager drinker? Do you prefer a Dubbel Belgium or maybe even a dark Tripel? If the beer label on your bottle isn't telling me what kind of beer I'm buying you can forget about me taking it to the register! If you're looking for me to give it a try you have a better chance of shipping it to my house- I'm more than happy to give you the address if you call Label Tech Inc.
What is the SHAPE of your bottle? If your beer is a pale ale, you probably aren't going to serve it in a champagne bottle- or are you? Bottle sizes range from short and wide to tall and thin. Are you selling one bottle at a time or a 4-pack or even 6-pack? You might want to figure it out before you start brewing. Daring to be different is what craft beer seems to be all about. Now if we can just figure out how to get Russel Stover to serve a chocolate porter in a heart shaped box maybe your girlfriend might know what to get you this February.
LABEL DESIGN is definitely a high priority! What do you want your label to convey to your audience? What kinds of color schemes are you using? If you are looking for Rogue IPA chances are your eyes are scanning for black and white. Are you more interested in color, class, or something that conveys rarity? Thanks to graphic designers you can find pretty much everything you are looking for! Take some time looking at (but not drinking) bottle labels that fall into your beer brew category and try to be different. What is going to make your label jump, or pop, off the shelf at your customer?
Are you trying to tell a STORY about your beer when a customer picks it off the shelf? The Maine Beer Company does just that on their labels. Telling a brief story about brothers David and Daniel who's beer although originally only available in DownEast Maine is now making it's way into NYC. A couple of guys that really liked brewing beer at home expanding and growing a small company. Hey! I like these guys! Who doesn't like a story that makes the beer seem that much better?
There are other things you can take into consideration on your label like alcohol by volume, adding a QR code, or whatever you can imagine creatively. Recently, we saw a label that uses hologram materials or as some printers refer to it "prism." This Company has experienced explosive growth in the last year- think it has anything to do with their label? We do too.