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Don't Hit a Snare When Making Custom Drum Labels

Drums containers are used to carry and store different kinds of often hazardous or flammable material (petroleum, chemicals, flammable solvents, oil, alcohol, paint, etc.).  There are numerous rules and requirements when it comes to the labels that must be adhered to the drums.  The United States’ Occupational Safety and Health Organization requires that all drums containing hazardous materials be labeled appropriately.  They should have a warning label that shouldn’t be removed until the drum is emptied.  Aside from the warning, drum labels include information about the content of the drum, handling instructions and the supplier’s information.  In addition to this, the Department of Transportation regulates the application of mandatory labels on hazardous materials.

There is also an international system of identifying hazardous materials.  It is called a Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and it uses the same criteria world-wide for labeling hazardous materials.  Though GHS classification is not mandatory, most manufacturers comply with its regulations, because it uses easily understandable symbols and forms called material safety data sheets that include all information on the drum’s content and handling instructions.

Since drums mostly store dangerous substances, the manufacturers are well aware their drum labels cannot be ordinary paper labels.

Drum labels need to be durable, permanent and capable of withstanding the harshest transportation and storing conditions.

Drum labels need to be extra durable because they are applied to rough surfaces: painted steel, metal or plastic containers that most of the times carry hazardous materials.  These drums are transported and stored in very harsh conditions, so labels need to be permanent in order to stick to the drum at all times.

Drum Labels

Some of the most commonly used drum label materials are:

  • Polyester - is among the most durable label materials.  It is also more expensive than most.  If you need labels that are weather/abrasion/puncture-resistant and suitable for extreme conditions, polyester is your choice.

  • Polypropylene - is less expensive than polyester.  It is durable, moisture-resistant and tear-proof.  However, it has a low heat resistance.

  • Vinyl- is one of the best solutions for rough surfaces and extreme weather conditions.  It is more flexible than other materials and is suitable for round surfaces.

Drum label materials need to be top-coated for protection against the extreme conditions drums are exposed to.  These labels can be any size you want and can be die-cut into your desired shape.

Drum label adhesive should be permanent in order to adhere to the drum’s rough surface during shipping and in extremely cold or hot environments.  It is important to know ahead of time what temperatures your drums could be subjected to.  This will help the label manufacturer recommend the best adhesive.  Permanent self-adhesive labels are designed to stick to the product in all conditions and it is impossible to remove them without tearing them and leaving sticky residue on the surface of the product.  For drum labels it is best to use aggressive high-tack permanent adhesive because the adhesive sticks to the surface quickly and tightly.  If the drum will be subjected to freezing temperatures, it is important to order labels with freezer grade adhesive.  Some manufacturers prefer removable self-adhesive labels.  Removable adhesives are also supposed to have a very powerful adhesive capacity, but they are designed to be removed from the product’s surface without tearing or leaving any glue or marks on it.  This ensures that the label will be removed without any problems upon drum recycling.

When it comes to constructing your drum label, seek out a printer that has the skill and expertise to advise you properly.  A label manufacturer that has ISO 9001 – 2008 certification will follow the most current and stringent quality standards in the printing industry.

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Topics: Drum Labels Drum Label Printer Drum Container Labels Custom Drum Labels

Embossing your Labels to the Top!!!

Embossing can give products or packaging an amazing visual appearance.

Embossing provides that "extra touch" that can take an existing label design over the top.  By adding an embossed foil label or sticker to a product, you’re making a statement that gets noticed every time.  Embossing can be used to highlight packaging and separate it from the many other products on the store shelves.  Typical applications include: wine bottle labels, cosmetic labels, health and beauty labels, vitamin supplement labels, pharmaceutical labels, candy and confection labels, food and bottle labels, anniversary labels, wedding labels, special occasion labels and custom promotional labels.

Embossing Roll

Embossing is a process that alters the surface of paper stock or other substrates by providing a three-dimensional or raised effect on selected areas.

The procedure requires the use of two dies: one that is raised and one that is recessed. The dies fit into each other so that when the paper is pressed between them, the raised die forces the stock into the recessed die and creates the embossed impression. A specific level of pressure is applied to the dies in order to squeeze the fibers of the paper, which results in a permanently raised area in the paper.

When the dies are produced, a die maker engraves the desired image into several metal plates, which are the embossing dies for use on an embossing press.  Generally, embossing is the process most often employed to attract attention or convey a high quality textural contrast in relation to the surrounding area of the paper stock. 

There are several different styles of embossing: 

1. Single level is a die that is straight and level and contains only one depth.  It is generally used for lines, borders and single-dimension images or line art.

2. Multi-level is a die that is also referred to as a dimensional die.  Several distinct levels of depth are used to add a variance in dimension to the image.  It is often used with images having unique detail, such as landscapes or feathers.

3. Beveled die has a versatile effect, creating the feeling of depth by adding highlight and shadow to layered shapes.

4. Sculptured die has a variety of depths.  The varying levels of the sculptured die create a dimensional depth and appearance for the embossed image.

Embossing is a great tool that can highlight products or packaging.  Be sure to seek a label manufacturer that has the experience and expertise when it comes to producing embossed labels.  Establish label manufacturers will have extensive knowledge and be able to recommend a suitable style for your product or packaging.

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Topics: Embossing Embossed Labels Embossing Printer Embossed Foil

What are the Requirements for UL Label Printing?

UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) is a safety consulting and certification company. 

They set standards and test products to make sure they meet their standards. UL is a private, not-for-profit, non-government company.  The company’s approval process focuses on electrical devices and components as well as fire safety products.  Recently they’ve expanded their consulting and certification expertise to broader safety issues, such as hazardous substances, water quality, food safety, performance testing and environmental sustainability.

Adopting the UL certification system is on a voluntary basis.  Federal law does not require UL approval.  UL’s popularity is due to the fact that many insurance companies will not insure a new product without UL approval.  Many companies will not purchase or distribute electronics without a UL approval.  Also, local law may prevent businesses from using non-UL approved electronics. 

UL Label Printing Company

The UL certification can be largely divided into two levels: Listing certification and Recognition certification.  UL Listing generally means a certification for a final product.  UL Recognition means a certification for a part or a component built into a product.

To establish certification, a product is submitted by the manufacturer for testing and evaluation. 

If UL decides the product fulfills all applicable requirements, it authorizes the manufacturer to apply a UL Certification Mark to the product or component. Once a company is granted approval to apply the UL Certification Mark to its product or component, the UL Label printer must submit a design layout of the UL Mark to a UL label center for review to verify that all required information is in an acceptable format.  The labels must be reviewed to ensure they meet basic requirements set by UL.   This program oversees review of labels by determining how they actually perform at the end-user level.  Numerous factors go into determining if a label will get approval.  Most important are the materials used in the manufacturing of the labels.  Among the concerns is how well the label will hold up against the wear they will likely endure in the marketplace.  Labels are often exposed to humidity, heat and oils that can damage them.  It is because of these factors that only certain materials are UL approved for manufacturing labels.  The UL label center also measures the area of labels where printing can occur and the appearance of the printing in terms of legibility and prominence. 

Once the label is approved by UL, an authorized UL label supplier must be used when manufacturing the label.  Under the authorized label supplier program, companies are required to use only UL listed labels that have been supplied by authorized companies.  These are companies that Underwriters Laboratories have approved.  They have endured a certification process that ensures they comply with various UL labeling requirements.  Search for approved label suppliers here

When it comes to printing your UL approved label, get in touch with an approved label manufacturer for guidance through the process.

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Topics: UL Certified Label Printer UL Certified Label Manufacturer UL and CSA Certified Label Printer UL labels

Scratch and Win!!!

Scratch-and-win cards are a wonderful tool that can be used as an effective advertising campaign. 

They can generate incredible excitement within your community for new products, prizes or customer rewards campaigns.  They are great motivators for employee incentive programs and can effectively drive customers to websites, increasing company revenue and promoting brand name recognition.  Scratch-off material is most popularly used with lottery tickets.  Other uses include phone cards and gift cards.

It is proven that consumers interact 10 times longer with a scratch-and-win than with any other promotion.  Industry advertising studies report that sweepstakes activity has steadily increased over the last 10 years by more than 25 to 30 percent.  Their continued popularity may be partly due to the somewhat limited number of promotional options available to marketers and an increase in the nationwide phenomenon of "Lotto Fever".  Or it may simply be the fact that sweeps, contests, and games offer certain advantages, such as fixed-budget liability (as opposed to open-ended liability situations, such as refunds and/or premium programs that, when more successful than anticipated, have the potential of "breaking the bank").

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The silver scratch-off material is known as UV ink, not the ink that becomes visible under UV light as is referred to on Wikipedia, but an ink that dries under UV radiation.  The production of scratch-off tickets is a multi-step process.  First, the variable data is printed on a substrate.  The substrate is then either laminated with a self-wound laminate or varnished with a release coat varnish.  The lamination/varnish gives the face of the material a smooth finish, allowing the scratch-off ink to come off easily.  Then a thick layer of special scratch-off black UV ink is laid down.  Then, a silver or gold ink is laid down on top of the scratch-off ink.  An optional third step could involve printing text or images over the scratch-off area, with yet another type of UV ink.

If your’re looking to enhance any promotion or advertising campaign, remember: a scratch off ticket plays upon people’s love of surprise and the unknown

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Topics: Scratch off scratch off cards scratch and win scratch cards

Static Cling Decals - How Static Are They?

Static cling decals are a popular material used for graphic displays.  Static cling is made from a thin vinyl film that clings to various surfaces.  Typically, they are displayed on glass windows and doors.  However, they can also be displayed on smooth plastic or metal.  The most popular use is the clear sticker in your vehicle reminding you to get an oil change.  Window clings are free of adhesive and can easily be removed, repositioned and reused.  The lack of adhesive means that static clings are not weather resistant and therefore not recommended for outdoor use. 

Contrary to what the name might suggest, static cling vinyl does not actually cling to the application surface with static electricity.  You’re probably thinking, “What?  No static electricity in static cling decals?  It even has static in the name.”  In some ways, static charges are like magnetic charges.  Two objects with the same charge will repel; they push away from each other.  If the vinyl decal had a static charge, then it should not stick to itself.  In fact, it should push away from itself.  It’s a similar concept to plastic wrap.  If plastic wrap were statically charged, it would repel itself, but plastic wrap sticks to itself.  Not convinced yet?  Metal is a conductor of electricity, so there is no way that something would stick to it with static cling.  Grab a metal cookie sheet and try to stick a static cling decal to it.  It sticks!

static cling resized 600

So if it’s not static electricity, then what is it?  It clings to smooth surfaces, such as glass because of cohesive forces between the smooth surfaces.  The soft, highly polished pliable vinyl is so smooth that it acts like a flat suction cup.  This also enables static cling vinyl to adhere to smooth surfaces in a wide range of humidity levels.  This same effect can be seen when stacking plates of glass on top of each other.  The ultra-smooth surfaces wants to bond to each other.

To apply a static cling decal, it is recommended to clean the surface thoroughly and allow it to dry.  Use a tape measure to find the center point at which to place your static cling.  For larger window clings, tape the top to the window.  Lift the bottom of the static cling away from the window and remove the protective backing starting at the top and pulling downward.  Spray the surface of the window liberally with water.  Lay the exposed portion of the decal down onto the window.  Continue peeling away the rest of the backing as you squeegee from top to bottom.  Once the decal is fully applied, squeegee from the center toward the outer edges to remove air bubbles.  You can cover the squeegee with a paper towel or soft cloth to prevent it from scratching the material.  Remove the tape and squeegee the top of the window cling.  Finish by wiping down the edges of the cling with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  For cleaning, a mild spray of soapy water with a gentle wipe down is all that’s needed.  These decals are easy to remove and reposition if you are not happy with the installation.  Gently remove and reposition your window cling as desired, making sure the material never touches itself.  

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Topics: Static Decals Static Cling Labels Static Cling Vinyl Static Cling Vinyl Label

Consumers Can't Resist the Temptation of Instant Redeemable Coupons

In today’s information age, consumers are used to having information readily available.  Consumer goods utilize labels to convey product information.  However, space on a label being limited, companies are always looking for ways to maximize the amount of information they can provide to consumers.  Instant Redeemable Coupons (IRCs) and Extended Content Labels (ECLs) are the perfect solution.  IRCs use an adhesive-backed liner to affix a promotional offer to a package.  ECLs add an extended printing surface folded into the final label package for an increase in content. 

According to a 2011 report by the Promotion Marketing Association's Coupon Council, instant on-pack coupon redemptions have increased by 32.6% from 2010. The recent economy has trained consumers to be more conscious of "savings opportunities,” seeking out products that can be purchased with coupons.  Coupons cause consumers to buy more than they otherwise would in a given time period, especially BOGO (buy one, get one) coupons.  IRC coupon labels are a cost effective means to attract attention to existing products. Today's consumers are drawn towards savings, more than ever.  When two products are side by side the one with the offer will move off the store shelves faster than the one without an offer. 

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Once the IRCs are applied to the product, the top layer of the coupon is removed revealing the coupon information.  Since there is no adhesive on the reverse side, the coupon can be easily peeled off, leaving no residue on the product.  The dry-release construction allows the consumer to immediately hand in the coupon to the cashier or mail it in for a discount.  IRCs can utilize 3 printing surfaces: the front panel, back panel and base.  Companies also use IRCs to bundle products or even entice consumers to try a new product. 

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Extended Content Labels or Booklet Labels are ideal for companies that have smaller labels or that would just like to have more information on their label.  Utilizing ECLs allows brand owners to: include federal and state required regulatory information at legible type sizes; provide value added product information, such as recipes, use instructions for consumers looking to educate themselves about product purchases; keep health and safety information with the product for the entire product life cycle; maintain space for brand and marketing messages; and include multi-lingual content.  Economic and sustainability benefits include reduction of SKUs, especially in the case of multiple export countries to reduce printing and inventory costs.

Because of the limited space on a standard label, IRCs and ECLs allow for companies to promote or display additional information about their product right where they need to, on the product itself, without destroying the visual appeal of their packaging.

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Topics: coupon labels IRC's Coupons IRC Instant Redeemable Coupons IRC Labels On Pack coupons Expanded Content Labels Booklets ECLs

Taking Custom Food Labels to the Next Level

Have you noticed how many choices there are for consumers today?  I was recently searching for a pasta sauce at my local supermarket.  To my dismay, there must’ve been a hundred sauces to choose from.   Every sauce I inspected seemed to use fresh ingredients and had attractive looking labels.  In today’s competitive food market, manufacturers are looking for any advantage to set their product apart from the rest.  Now, more than ever, manufacturers realize the importance of branding in an industry that has so many choices.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the techniques manufacturers are using to help their product stand out on the shelves.

Bove’s of Vermont is a premium pasta sauce company that uses only the finest all-natural ingredients and time-tested recipes.  The company recently celebrated their 15-year anniversary and they wanted to unveil a fresh new label at the celebration.  This custom food label had to represent their rich history, as well as the freshness that characterizes their ingredients.   Bove’s used sophisticated sketches of plump, ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and roasted garlic cloves to depict some of the ingredients found in each of Bove’s six varieties of sauce.  President Mark Bove said, “Our sauces have always featured illustrations of some of our ingredients.  Based on feedback from our customers over the years, we knew we wanted the artwork on our new labels to be more refined, but to still retain some of our original whimsy and fun.”  These new labels, all designed by Vermont artist Scott Lenhardt, capture the essence of Bove’s of Vermont.  Bove’s decided to use a unique technique when it came to manufacturing the labels.  Typically a varnish is laid down on top of the inks to protect the inks and the label.  The varnish is laid down on the label with a roller.  Then a doctor blade scrapes away excess varnish and ensures it is laid down evenly.  Bove’s chose not to use a doctor blade to remove the excess varnish.  This gave the label a grainy textured feeling.  The label now has an artisanal look and feel.  This production method helped Bove’s achieve a new look while still staying true to their roots. 

                Bove%27s single old resized 600                 Boves single new resized 600

                                  OLD                                                      NEW

“When we took a look at the overall packaging of our products, we also saw an opportunity to really improve the look of our company logo,” said Bove. So, the red, yellow and green oval-shaped Bove’s logo was replaced, and Bove’s products now boast a more sophisticated image of a black ladle wrapped in a scripted black “B”, positioned directly above a much bolder black font.  The new logo is further highlighted by the red sauce in the background.  This custom food label shape and construction help Bove’s of Vermont stand out on the shelves among its competitors.

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Topics: food labels Custom Food Labels Food Label food label printer FDA Approved Labels FDA Approved label printer

Beer Label Requirements

If you are thinking about designing a new label for your beer bottle, then there quite a few decisions you must be weighing.  Unbeknownst to many new beer makers are the numerous different rules and regulations when it comes to what information has to be on the label.  The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), is very strict about how producers can label and market their beer.  Navigating these rules and regulations can be quite difficult and cumbersome.  This article will help lay out the most important provisions found within these federal laws and regulations.

First and foremost the following statement is required on all beverages containing 0.05% or more alcohol by volume.  "Government Warning: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.  (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems." 

Alcoholic content must be included on the label and expressed in terms of "percent alcohol by volume." To be labeled "non-alcoholic," the alcoholic content must be below 0.5 % by volume. To be labeled "reduced alcohol," the alcoholic content must be below 2.5 % by volume.  Also, the phrase "contains less than 0.5 % alcohol by volume" must be included.  To be labeled "alcohol free," there must be no alcohol in the beverage.

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The TTB requires the name and address of a "producer/bottler" or "packer" to appear on the label.  For domestic beers, the TTB allows breweries to use either the company's name plus the city and state where the beverage is bottled or packed or the city and state of the bottler/packer's principal place of business.  If you outsourced the bottling to someone else, you don't have to say who bottled it, unless state law requires it.  You would substitute "bottled by" with "distributed by" and add your company's information.  For imported beers, the name and address of the importer must appear on the label.

If the beer contains any food allergens or the beer is bottled in a plant that has any food allergens, then it must be stated on the beer label.  These food allergens include; milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.  Also, if the beer contains sulfites, color additive cochineal extract, color additive carmine, FD&C Yellow No. 5 or aspartame there must be a statement that the product contains these ingredients.

Be sure to consult local state laws in regards to label requirements.  State laws regarding beer label requirements can vary from state to state.  For more information about beer label requirements access the BAM (Beverage Alcohol Manual) here. 

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Topics: Beer Labels beer bottle labels

Choosing a Label Manufacturer

Thinking about purchasing labels for your product or business?  There are many factors to weigh when choosing a label manufacturer.  The most important factor is their experience.  A label manufacturer that has been printing labels for many years will have a solid knowledge of the industry and the skills to properly advise you with your label needs.  There are many variables that have to be analyzed when choosing the construction of the label.  What is the surface the label is being applied to?  Will there be any temperature extremes during application or beyond?  Will the label be exposed to any moisture or humidity after application?  The construction is extremely important for the look, durability and function of the label.  A well-established company will be familiar with all these aspects and will ask you the proper questions to ensure a quality label is produced for you. 

Look for printers that have in-house customer support.  It is important for a potential print manufacturer to actually assign a customer service representative to your account so they can educate you on the label printing process.  Good communication from this representative is imperative so that you know exactly what to expect through every step of the process.  This customer service representative should also work closely with an in-house graphics department.  This graphics team should have the ability to assist with any design or digital file requirement questions that you may have.

Check to see if the print manufacturer has some type of a quality assurance program or department.  This program or department should emphasize continuous improvement, defect prevention, and reduction of variation to achieve total customer satisfaction.  An industry standard for a high level of quality assurance is ISO 9001.  ISO 9001 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization demonstrates its abilities to consistently provide a product that meets the customer’s needs, as well as applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

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Seek out a printer that has many different capabilities.  Some of these capabilities can include printing on the front and the back, Foil Stamping, Embossing, U.V. Flexo, Digital Printing, Extensive Die Cutting Capabilities, Consecutive Barcode, Arabic Numbering, Variable Date, Laminating and U.V. Varnishing.  A printer that has a wide array of capabilities will give you more choices and in provide a high quality label for your product or business.

If your still unsure of which label manufacturer to go with, ask for a sample kit and references.  The sample kit should have a wide variety of labels that showcases the manufacturer’s abilities.  Make sure you ask for references of past customers.  A reputable label manufacturer should have no qualms about providing you with these, and positive references from satisfied customers can surely put your mind at ease before you place your first order.

Label manufacturers have many tools at their disposal to prove their reliability.  Make sure they have been in business for many years and that the company has grown over those years.  An in-house customer service and graphics department will be able to communicate important information to you and ensure quality and service throughout the process.  A quality record of accomplishment and glowing references will assure you that your labels will be produced as close to your vision as possible.

 

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Topics: help me find a printer Label Manufacturers Choosing a commercial printer food label printer

Beer Goggles - Taking a Closer Look at Craft Beer Labels

If you enjoy the occasional frosty beverage, you’ve probably noticed that there are hundreds if not thousands of beers to choose from.  As the craft beer industry grows, more people are being turned on to better beer.  When you’re in the mood for something new and different, what factors do you weigh to choose the lucky six-pack that comes home with you?

So, what draws you to a beer?  Is it the logo, the name, the type of beer, or the ingredients?  The answer: a combination of all of these factors might influence your choice.  More importantly, everyone is unique and weighs these attributes differently.  Craft beer makers are very cognizant of this push for labels and packaging that stands out on the shelf, attracting new, curious consumers.  There is a reason why companies like Budweiser and Coors spend millions of dollars on design and perception testing before they release a new label.  The label on a bottle can make a huge difference in how people perceive the taste.  An enormous component of marketing a beer is crafting the perfect impression in people’s minds.  Branding on a beer bottle is going to shape a lot of how people perceive a beer.  This can create an impression of beer taste in people’s minds even before the first sip.  Then their taste buds will either confirm or deny that impression.  Of course, if the beer is not to your liking then there’s not a lot the label can do to improve the situation.  However, if the beer is great, the label can enhance the whole drinking experience.  As important as the beverage itself is, the label can be just as important for the success of a product.

Pipeworks Brewing Company

So, the logo/label design has caught your attention and you’ve moved in for a closer look.  When looking at a beer label there can be statements made to catch your eye, like “the finest ingredients” and “master brewers.”  It is more important to look for real information, such as how it’s brewed and what ingredients it uses.  Beer makers are not required by law to list ingredients on a beer label.  Listed ingredients provide strong indication that the brewer strives to or does only use natural ingredients.  The most common starch source in beer is barley. Other starch sources include wheat, oats, corn and rice. Specialty beers are sometimes brewed with wheat and oats and usually combine malted barley as part of their recipe. Corn and rice on the other hand are poor quality selections that are generally referred to as adjuncts.  Try to stay away from corn and rice, as they don’t add any flavor profiles and are used typically as a cost cutting method.

Many craft beers will have a “born on” date or expiration date. Smaller batches will even go so far as to use dynamic numbering on their labels showing the consumer that they are drinking the 82nd beer out of 200 produced.  Also, look for the birthplace of the beer.  Beers that are bottled closer to you will often taste the freshest because they haven’t gone through the rigor and temperature change of truck travel.  This is why people say you haven’t tasted a real Guinness until you’ve been to Dublin.

Rogue Ales

While ingredients and brew method will give you an idea of what to expect from a new beer, we can all agree that tasting the beer is the only way to find out if it’s the one for you.  A great way to seek out tastings of up and coming craft beer selections is at beer festivals.  An amazing opportunity for tasting fine brews will take place in Boston, MA from November 30th through December 1st.  Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest focuses on New England-made beers featuring fall and winter seasonal ingredients as well as holiday ales.  By attending, you’ll be able to sample 70+ fall and winter beers from 25 of New England’s best craft brewers!  Many of these brews are being made specifically for this event or will be released there.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m getting thirsty.  Feel free to comment about what it is about a label that draws you to it.  What do you consider a great beer label?

 

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Topics: Beer Labels beer bottle labels beverage labels bottle label
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