Can you believe summer is just around the corner? The warm Chicago summers are the perfect environment for cookouts, picnics, and beach trips. There’s also plenty of things to celebrate! Graduations are coming up, along with Independence Day and Juneteenth. Now that covid restrictions have eased, now is the time to get back out and reunite with loved ones.
Only a few things in life are better than an ice cold, refreshing beer on a hot summer day. That might even be the reason you’ve decided to start selling craft beers. Either way, the weather is heating up and so should your seasonal drink sales.
Whether you run a micro-brewing agency or a homebrewer, your business should be prepared for the summer with seasonal flavor options and unique packaging that wow customers! Be a hit at all the summer barbecues with a premium craft beer label that embodies the summer spirit.
Get your craft beers off the shelves and at the cookout with creative, eye-catching custom label designs from M&R Label. This blog covers craft beer labeling regulations and key design tips when it comes to creating premium craft beer labels for summer enjoyment.
The “Beer” Necessities
Before we dive into premium craft beer label design elements, let’s talk about the regulations regarding beer labels. You could create the most appealing label design in the history of mankind, but if it doesn’t follow FDA guidelines, then it was all for nothing. The M&R Label team is here to make sure that doesn’t happen…
- Brand Name: The official brand name should be displayed clearly in order to identify the beverage. This is often where the brand logo is also displayed. The brand name must appear on the front of the can or bottle. For containers that hold more than 8 fluid ounces, the brand name should cover at least. 2 millimeters of the can or bottle.
- Class and Type: Is your beer a lager, porter stout, blonde ale, or an amber ale? Class and type should be displayed on your can or bottle so customers know exactly what they’re getting into.
- Name and Address of Producer: The name of the beer producer needs to be preceded by “bottled by” or “brewed and bottled by”. You also need to include the city and state where the beer was made.
- Net Contents: All beer containers must have the container size on the label, expressed in American measures.
- Alcohol Content: The amount of alcohol contained in a beverage is an optional statement unless the beverage derives alcohol from added flavors. Some U.S. states have their own requirements on alcohol content statements so look into the states where you plan to sell the beverage.
- Health Warning: It’s imperative that you have the following message on your on your craft beer bottle (or can) verbatim. “(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 card or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.” The words “government warning” should always be bolded. The other words in the warning should not be bold. The entire health warning must be displayed as a continuous, unbroken paragraph.
The Great Debate: Cans vs. Bottles
As you may already know, there’s been a great beer-packaging debate brewing for some time now: cans vs. bottles. Though bottles have been a mainstay for years, cans have had a resurgence in popularity for beer and even wine. Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of cans and bottles. Then you can decide which method is best for your business.
- Cans protect beer better than bottles. Light, oxygen, and heat are beer’s biggest foes when it comes to maintaining freshness and crispness. Unlike clear, green, and blue glass bottles, aluminum cans are much better at keeping the elements from ruining your craft beer.
- A 6 pack of cans weighs 2.5lbs less than a 6 pack of bottles. That doesn’t seem like much, but if you’re selling to distributors, cans may help them reduce freight load and costs.
- Many Belgian and traditional style beers require yeast and sugar to be inserted directly into the bottle and have to undergo a second fermentation process. Bottles are also able to hold more CO2 volume than cans. If your beers fall into this category, bottles are the way to go.
- For fancier beers there is something special and tactile about uncorking a bottle. Ditch the twist-off caps for a corked bottle if it fits your brand’s style. Corked beer usually comes in 750 mL bottles and has the benefit of the anticipatory “pop” sound for the most premium of craft beers.
Most craft beer experts seem to agree that cans are the best option, but M&R Label can help you make the best choice for your business!
Key Big Picture Questions for Your Brand
Your answers to all of these questions will guide your brand strategy. Keep them at the forefront of your creative process when designing your premium craft beer labels.
- Who is your customer? Consider who your beer is being marketed to. Are you seeking the craft beer connoisseurs that understand how to interpret bitterness units (BU) or to a young audience simply wanting an easygoing, social beer?
- How do they buy your beer? Is your target customer purchasing your craft beer on tap at a local pub or are they ordering online and having it shipped? Are your craft beers found on display in gas stations or at upscale breweries? These are critical decisions that will affect the label creation process.
- What kind of beer do you sell? Are you selling a lager or an ale? Did your beer originate in Germany, America, or England? What is the taste profile of your beer? Do you have a creamy stout that’s perfect for dessert, or a refreshing summer beer?
- What story or message are you trying to convey? Tell the story of your brand. If your beer is locally produced and locally distributed, let your customers know! Display your location proudly. Making a summer-inspired beer? Feature beaches, volleyballs, and sunshine on your label.
Premium Craft Beer Labels: It’s All in the Materials
For beer bottle printing, you can use the roll type or cut-to-size labels. The roll-type stickers would have the individual stickers packed in the roll. Tear them from the roll to use it on your bottles. In the case of the cut-to-size labels, you have the liberty to opt for different shapes for your bottles. You can get the ready-to-use labels from M&R.
Specifically for the bottles, you might need labels for the bottlenecks, front & back, and wrap-around labels. Each sticker can differ in size based on your bottle size and requirements. M&R Label can help you design and print all of these stickers. The labels for beer cans are different from bottle labels. But you can rely on the experts at M&R label to produce the right label size and shape that would fit your cans, including the must-have FDA regulations for alcoholic beverages.
Whether you’re printing bottle labels or stickers for cans, one thing is certain: your craft beer label design must be unique, colorful, and speak to your target demographic. When you partner with us, we’ll work together to develop the perfect beer label your business desires. As for finishing touches, we offer a wide range of paper options and finishes, including matte, gloss, high-gloss UV, and vinyl high-gloss UV. Each of these papers can work perfectly on your product. So you can choose based on the design, texture, and price of the paper.
With over 30 years of experience in the beverage labeling industry, we are experts in this field. M&R Label has provided custom labels for flavored waters, coffee, beer, soda, tea, wine, and energy drinks…You name it! Let us help your business with label design, label printing, and material selections. We can also manage your label inventory so you’ll never run out of labels for your best-selling products. We understand how challenging it is to make noise in the craft beer industry and we are here to help!