It’s no secret that we geek out over awesome label designs, and the craft beer industry often boasts some of the best. In the past few years, small craft breweries have flourished, refreshing the market and producing tastier, more interesting brews than your typical lager. An innovative product deserves an equally creative label design to do it justice, especially in a thriving market.
We’ve compiled 10 of our favorite craft beer labels to inspire you, whether you’re looking for some design inspiration or seeking out the next brewery to visit. And take it from us, these brews taste just as good as they look!
1. Revelry Brewing Co.
We are huge fans of Revelry Brewing here. Their craft beer labels designed by Chris Kemp are always witty, charming, and employ a masterful use of metallic to highlight the important stuff. One of our favorite beer bottle labels by these folks is the nostalgic and classy label for Red 5 Standing By. The familiarity of this label design is what makes this delicious Flanders Style Red Ale so approachable. What may at first seem like an intimidating brew is brought down to Earth by the beloved reference to a galaxy far, far away. We’ve got a good feeling about this!
2. Birds Fly South Ale Project
Birds Fly South Ale Project is located in our hometown of Greenville, SC and is therefore near and dear to our hearts. One of our favorites has to be Wolves in the Piano, designed by artist Alexander Harrison. An Imperial Stout like this one should naturally have a bold label design, and BFS delivers. The moody colors are reminiscent of old horror movie posters that curl at the edges, making it the kind of beer you want to stock up on for a Halloween party, or whenever you’re feeling particularly spooky.
3. 13 Stripes Brewery
It should be no surprise that a brewery by the name of 13 Stripes would have deeply patriotic roots. Located in a repurposed mill in Taylors, SC, this brewery focuses on community and American heritage as well as making great beer. Bloody Tyrant has to be our favorite label design of theirs because it is so richly illustrated. The skillful employment of metallic elements elevate this label that much more, heightening the contrast between the rich golds and deep browns. The depiction of the revolutionist in the midst of a battle cry is so stirring and vivid, it evokes a buried desire to defend the world from tyranny–while drinking an ice-cold beer.
4. Carolina Bauernhaus
Carolina Bauernhaus is a farmhouse brewery that produces ciders, beers, and ales through a masterful blend of traditional and innovative techniques. Using Belgian-inspired brewing techniques, the brewery also relies on the plentiful agriculture of Upstate South Carolina to lend rich flavor and body to their brews. Though all their craft beer labels are beautifully illustrated, our favorite would have to be the Freehouse Jupiter Gold, a Sour Ale made in collaboration with a fellow brewery. What we like about this design is the clever nod to the god of Roman mythology from which the Jupiter grapes get their name. The hops drawn into his hair are surely the winning touch.
5. B-52 Brewing Company
It’s all about having fun at B-52 Brewing, a fact we could tell just by looking at their label designs. These folks love pop culture references, bright colors, metallic effects, you name it. The label designs are so versatile because their brews are so out-of-this-world, so it was almost impossible for us to pick a favorite. If we had to choose, we would pick Before The Internet: Mix Tape, a Hazy DIPA. Everyone loves a throwback, especially now, so the nod to an archaic form of portable music is sure to make anyone smile.
6. Southern Grist Brewing Co.
Southern Grist Brewing Co. consists of a creative, passionate team that loves to make great beer. We chose [INSERT JUICY PUN] not only for it’s a gorgeously vibrant label but also because of the wonderfully ironic name. A beer as juicy and delicious as [INSERT JUICY PUN] needs a design as bright and complex as its flavor notes, and Southern Grist did not disappoint on either count. We particularly love the symmetry and balance of this beer can label design, which again speaks to the balanced flavors of this DIPA.
7. Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co.
If any brewery out there were addicted to perfecting the craft, it would be Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. This Charleston brewery keeps things simple with clean black-and-white label designs comprised of simple typography and clever illustrations. The understated designs serve to highlight the brilliant flavors of their craft beer and provide an experience like no other. Of Edmund’s Oast’s many brews, Of Dinosaurs and Horses caught our eye with its artistic blend of classiness and quirkiness. The unassuming simplicity of the monochrome color scheme draws your eye to the wonderfully weird focal point: a dinosaur astride a rearing stallion. Creativity finds a way.
8. Prairie Artisan Ales
Everything about Prairie Artisan Ales screams creativity. Styling their craft beer cans and bottles in remarkable art is just as important to them as amazing taste. Each craft brew they produce, from stouts to sours, wears a bold and colorful label created exclusively for the brewery. Our favorite is the colorful and modern Paradise label. Instead of wrapping this Imperial Stout in dark, somber colors, Prairie chose to incorporate bright primary colors and pastels in their design. The Paradise label goes beyond the norm, a power move in the crowded craft beer industry.
9. Fat Orange Cat Brew Co.
East Hampton, CT
Located on a farm in Connecticut, Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. turns out small batch, high-quality beer inspired and fueled by local agriculture. With such an unassuming location, it is surprising that many of their label designs resemble obscure surrealist French art–until you taste their beer. Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. embraces creativity and turns convention on its head, a fact apparent by their cat-themed brewery. One of our favorite designs of theirs is All Cats Are Gray In The Dark. The cat’s Cheshire grin leers out at you in a sea of conventional cans, enticing you to find out exactly what a White Stout tastes like. The stars in his fur and the crescent moon in his eye make you wonder: Is this cat magical, or is it just the beer talking?
10. Nine Pin Cider Works
Nine Pin Cider Works is one of the most welcoming places in Albany. With a fantastic team and ciders that taste out of this world, they wouldn’t even need great labels, but they deliver there as well. One of our favorite label designs of theirs is the 2016 Cider Monster. The custom die cut works perfectly in contrast with the elegant bottle shape, and the color palette is in perfect harmony with the gorgeous green glass. The pops of gold metallic take a great label design and elevate it to legendary status. We love how the folks at Nine Pin wield bright color palettes and gold accents on their labels in general because it showcases the bold, crisp flavor of their creative (and delicious!) craft ciders.
Whether you’re feeling inspired or just thirsty, we hope you enjoyed marveling at these gorgeous designs. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to freshen up your craft beer label designs, this is it! Give us a call and ask how you can print craft beer labels as amazing as these – we’re just as excited as you are!