With 5 year-round, 3 seasonal, and another 2 in their Insurrection series this brewery takes its all-can designs very seriously. Whether it’s an astronaut monkey laying a hammock, a stylized Mt Rushmore, or a chocolaty-brown can of Hog Island stout, these designs should spark a conversation.
Providing five specialty beers in their Noble Star collection in unique bottles with champagne cork closures, the small labels on a large bottle are stark and eye-catching. All their remaining products are provided in long neck standard beer bottles, with more complex and colorful labels.
Buffering their collection in both cans and bottles, this brewery maintains a simple can-design identical to every other can except for the colored bar showing the individual brews name. Their bottles on the other hand feature full-color graphics featuring elements of seagoing life.
With 10 year-round ales and lagers, four seasonals, 19 different drafts, and 24 barrel-aged and limited edition brews that requires a lot of distinctive artwork to separate this company from the crowd. The bear and racing themes do the job for them.
Breckenridge favors the red collar ring and the distinctive red circle to make their brand instantly identifiable. Their new nitrogen-charged cans (available this year) bear the famous red dot, but sport the name “Nitro series”, to make them even more memorable.
While the Cigar City Brewing logo appears on every product, whether in glass or cans, each container is distinctively colored so there is no confusion among products.
The CBA includes Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Kona Brewing Company, and Omission Beer. They’re the fifth largest craft brewing company in the United States and customers know how to find them by looking for their logo:
This organization includes Gordon Biersch brewing Co., with their highly stylized GB bottle labels & diagonal neck collars, with Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, and Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom. The latter two are largely draft beer manufacturers, so their promotional materials include monogrammed glasses, and pump handles for their beer engines.
Yuengling’s claim to fame seems to be that they’ve been brewing since 1829, purportedly the oldest brewery in the United States. With the exception of their Lord Chesterfield ale, all their products bear the Bald Eagle as their identifying symbol.
Aside from the New Glarus moniker on each bottle, they also sport clever names like Spotted Cow, Moon Man, Serendipity, etc., with distinctive graphics that quickly identify each particular type. They have six year-round, two seasonals, and three additional beers in the Thumbprint Series with the entreaty to “Drink Indigenous”.
This company seems to have availed itself of high quality graphics of hawks, falcons, and herons on it’s a bottles to represent itself including names like Red Tail, White Hawk, Talon, Eye of the Hawk, Peregrine, and so on. The four-bottle carriers are done in solid colors like stark black, ruby red, and royal blue, or graphic natural and rugged images.
With their brand name SARANAC in large, friendly letters across each bottle, there’s no mistaking this product for anything else. As an added bonus the neck collar label points out that the company is celebrating 125 years of business. In the mind of the public, duration equals quality so this is a wonderful marketing technique.
Long Trail has just introduced new labels designed to remind of the 25 year journey just completed and inspire for the journey still ahead as they continue to provide craft beer in the state of Vermont. 19 of 23 products are offered in glass bottles with distinctive graphics. Three of the remaining four products are offered in cans with illustrations of the forest, and the last is uniquely decorated with a rocket ship under the name Space Juice (with the notation “does not contain juice”).
With 38 products available, five of which are draft-only, it calls for some distinctive graphics so people can identify the products they like. Some have a distinctive voodoo characteristic, with skulls and snakes, while others have animal themes, or masked warriors. No fears about mistaking one for the other.
This company uses the neck collar with the word KARL to make identification easy for their customers. Their holiday series contains six beers that reference the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” (Parrot in a Palm Tree, Four Scowling Owls, Five Wee Heavy Bells, and so on).
GLB uses a stark black collar label saying “Great Lakes” and then has “Great Lakes Brewing Co” over graphics that are strongly reminiscent of 1950s movie posters. Quite distinctive and not easily confused with other brands.
This brewery seems intent on having its dog themed and illustrated names remembered because in some cases they’re quite outrageous (Raging Bitch, Doggy Style, Pearl Necklace, Tropical Bitch, Horn Dog), mixed in with some more mundane names like Gonzo, Kujo, Naughty, or The Fear. Whatever else you say about them, they’re memorable.
This company generally likes large labels comprised of variations on a single color theme for its year round ales. The neck of the tall glass bottle is casually undressed with no collar. Its seasonal ales sport lumberjacks and tattooed women.
OBB delivers all its products in cans, specifically tallboys. Each can has a mountain graphic within a notch-cornered frame, which displays the name of the individual product. The over-printed colors leave a lot of the shiny aluminum exposed, making it easy to identify.
Rogue provides its ales in both the bottle and draft form. For bottles, the labeling is painted on or fused to the glass, and is generally in bright primary colours to attract the eye. While generally using dark brown glass, they also incorporate black, pink, and bright blue bottles which make them very distinctive.
Shipyard brewing has been around since 1994, but the styles of their labels seemed to reflect the 1880s, making them look like a much older brand, and consequently endowing them with respectability. Your packaging can directly affect your sales.
SWB uses a stylized rainbow trout behind an unfurled ribbon banner bearing the company name on its neck collar. The image of the primary label on all bottles is the same, with only the color of the surround changing to help ease the identification of each product.
3Floyds seals some of their barrel-aged stout with distinctive wax that is allowed to drip down the neck of the bottle. At 750 ml (approximately 25 fluid ounces) these are quite shareable, or will last a single person for a very long time.
Favoring uninvolved graphics, this packaging design is memorable for its simplicity. Available in bottles, cans, and draft, choose your favorite lager or ale, sit back, and enjoy.
Featuring several simple straightforward graphics illustrating a single item for their WYLD product, (a tent), BABA (a black sheep), SUM’R (a Muskoka chair) MONKSHINE (beer glass with a halo) makes it easy to identify their Organic line of products. The Classic line uses 1960s style illustrations, while their Crooked line relies more on cartoon style illustrations.
VBC uses a variety of styles varying from ink-on-woodgrain, to 1970-Groovy, to 1980s LP Record Cover style. Find the beer you want, and you probably won’t forget what the packaging looks like.
The winery exchange is not a brewery per se, but rather a supplier dealing with craft brewers in the USA, Latin America, and Holland. They supply a large segment of the market with premium beers.
Allagash tends to prefer a large field of background color and contrasting writing on top as part of its beer packaging design. For its larger bottles, their closure is reminiscent of champagne, with the cork & cage seal.
BFB utilizes the longneck beer bottle, without a collar, instead preferring a stark white label with large black text identifying the product. Each bottle has a pencil-style drawing with a reference to the contents.
This company has cleverly used a technique similar to hand-painted advertisements on natural wood that was familiar in the 1940s. The graphics of penny whistles, wooden nickels, and slingshots only add to the effect. Very memorable.
Bell’s Brewery has elected to go with photo-realistic imagery in some cases. This is certainly a more expensive process, but consequently very rare, and remarkable. As a marketing choice this is probably very effective.
Labels which are largely purple, orange, lime green, red, yellow, or magenta have a way of standing out from the crowd. This is particularly true when most of the rest of the information on the label is the product’s name in a contrasting color. Excellent design choice!
Sometimes a plane, square, paper-foil label doesn’t get much attention. Blue Pants decided to deal with that by pricking some of its labels in the shape of a sideways eye, or in the shape of a shield as used by ancient knights. Different enough to make somebody look twice! Their six-pack bottle carriers are monochromatic, entirely in shades of blue, or gold, or red.
BBC made an interesting choice by having a very busy looking label. There are lots of little eye-catching details in this packaging design sufficient to make you stop and look at it and study it for a while. Psychologists tell us that if you study something for more than 30 seconds it starts to enter long-term memory. Maybe that’s what they had in mind.
Diamond Bear chose to go with many shades of pale blue accented with gold for its Southern Blonde Lager in cans, an uncommon choice, and all the more notable for it. For its bottle line, the focus is more on attractive six-pack bottle carriers, two of which have red and white stripes with a blue border that is reminiscent of the United States flag. Clever marketing!
DBC is very focused on getting its name out there to the extent that fully 50% of their bottle label area is dedicated to their company name. For their six-pack bottle carriers almost 100% of the packaging is dedicated to their product name.
Exile chose to go with 1920s—1960s hand-drawn sexualized females for their Wheat, Weisse, Gold Lager, and Dark Lager. The remainder of their large selection of products includes psychedelic 1970s illustrations, Andy Warhol-like illustrations, animals, and graphics. Up to 75% of their six-pack bottle carrier is dedicated to the company name.
In a clever bit of integrated packaging design Funky Buddha made the right side of their bottle labels only about ¾ of the height of the left side of the label. This naturally inspires you to turn the bottle to look at the entire label. This design was duplicated in their six-pack bottle carriers, not just to match the bottle, but to inspire you to read all the information on the outside of the packaging. Well done, FBB!
Unlike Drake Brewing Company mentioned above, Great Divide Brewing elected to dedicate practically no space to their company name on their six-pack bottle carriers, instead focusing on the names of the individual brews. If you want to buy HOSS, NOMAD or YETI, you won’t have to remember who makes it; it will be very obvious where your favorite beer is.
Hangar 24 uses an airplane motif to identify their year-round products. Their bottle labels generally have a pale beige background that includes the sky as well as an airplane in the foreground. Their seasonal beers are identified with balloons and airships. Their Local Fields Collection is illustrated by food items such as oranges, lemons, grapes, and raisins. This diverse selection could attract many individuals.
HBC makes a point of identifying itself thoroughly with its iconic bagpipe-wielding Scotsman image. Millions of people around the world identify themselves with a Scottish heritage. By combining those two aspects, half of your advertising is already accomplished.
Marble Brewery utilizes a large amount of white space on their Classic bottle labels with monochromatic background scenery. Their cans use the same color scheme, against a blank and shiny aluminum finish. Their Special collection often uses several colors.
The possibilities for beer package design are endless and antiquated big beers are having a hard time standing up against these innovative brands. Need help beautifying your brews and making a name in the increasingly crowded craft beer world? InteractonShelf can help push your packaging into the hands and hearts of customers.
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