Our recent trip to the London Craft Beer Festival opened our eyes to the innovative ways beer companies are branding themselves. One thing we’ve found particularly inspiring is the creative approach many breweries take towards the design of their beer bottle labels. Here are six of the best.
1. Partizan Brewing
Some of the better looking beer bottles out there come courtesy of Bermondsey’s Partizan Brewing. Every single one of their brews is enlivened with an eye-catching label designed by illustrator Alec Doherty. Alec’s characterful compositions cleverly incorporate the name of the beverage into the design, alongside playful interpretations the brewing process and references to the raw ingredients. Our personal favourite is the label found on their bottles of Stout, which uses big men and bulging biceps to illustrate the strong, stocky flavour of the beer.
2. Brew by Numbers
Partizan’s neighbours Brew by Numbers (BBNo.) take a different, but no less effective, approach to their label design. As the name suggests, each of the beers brewed by BBNo. is awarded a unique four-digit number in lieu of a title. The first two digits denote the style of beer (for example 01 is a Saison and 02 is a Golden Ale) while the second two relate to a specific recipe. The focus of BBNo.’s labels is on these numbers, which are set in a strong and sophisticated serif typeface. Straightforward? Yes. Stylish? Definitely.
3. Fyne Ales / Brewdog
Glasgow-based branding agency Freytag Anderson (whose work we’ve previously featured in one of our weekly favourite things lists) recently designed a label for Fyne Ales’ one-off collaboration with Brewdog. The limited edition Black Ale was dubbed 48 Miles Later, so called due to the distance between the two breweries. It is this journey that in turn inspired the artwork on the label. The team at Freytag Anderson visually recreated the route using ink and a roller onto textured board, a process which yielded an abstract yet satisfying result.
4. Hopothesis Beer Company
There’s a science behind brewing good beer, something that’s acknowledged by the Hopothesis Beer Company. Each of the Chicago-based brewery’s beers (or ‘Formulations’) reference great scientific discoveries and milestones on their label designs. Their Drafty Window Farmhouse Ale depicts the godfather of gravity Sir Isaac Newton, while their Fallin’ Oats Oatmeal Amber features an image of the universe itself. But we’re big fans of the original Hopothesis IPA, which sports a blackboard-inspired label covered with chalk-drawn formulas, equations… and a robot!
5. 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
One state over, in the brilliantly named town of Munster, Indiana, you will find the 3 Floyds Brewing Co. In addition to producing an astonishingly wide variety of beers, the brewery has also turned a few heads with its arresting label designs. Soaked in psychedelic colours, the intricately illustrated artworks that adorn their ales are more akin to screen printed gig posters than beer bottle labels. We’re particularly taken with the nightmare-ish, Masters of the Universe-esque label for their Stack n’ Stabb Belgian-style Pale Ale, created by Zimmer-Design.
Bottles of Adnams’ Jack Brand beers come branded with a contemporary take on an historic design. The inspiration for the simple, woodcut-style illustration came from a crate of dusty old beer bottles that was unearthed in a dark corner of the brewery’s basement. The antique brown glass containers were emblazoned with Adnams’ mascot Southwold Jack (a more modern interpretation of the character can be seen on bottles of their Southwold Bitter) rendered in cream-coloured paint. The motif was updated and set in different colourways for each of the beers in their Jack Brand range. Our favourite is the hot pink and pale blue combo created for their Mosaic Pale Ale.
At ICON Printing, we like to pay close attention to what’s going on within the world of design and share some of our more inspiring findings here on our blog. Be sure to check back for more!