Labeling Innovations from Weber

Our Top Craft Beer Labels From 2020

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jan 27, 2021 10:00:00 AM

One of the coolest things about our Digital Label Department is our sample rack of labels siting in the corner. Nothing fancy. It just holds the end rolls of some of the amazing label runs that Weber prints every day.

I love to wander back to that department to check out the latest craft beer labels on that rack. Every brewery has adopted a style of artwork for their brand, and most of it is so interesting, I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.

2020, as a year, was pretty bad. I hope you all got through it safely and remain in good health. These labels are one of the true bright spots. Enjoy!

 

1. New River Brewing - West Jefferson, NC

Founded in 2016 by father Greg Hershner (a family doctor) and his son, Adam (an industrial engineer), New River Brewing started small but with a big goal: disrupt the local craft beer market by creating innovative beverages in Ashe County North Carolina.

Veteran home brewers turned pro, these two began slowly until 2018 when Adam won a NC Brewer's Cup Medal. That was a turning point for the brewers and they opened their current Taproom and Brewery in 2019. They are committed to bringing the best craft beers and pub food to their community.

One thing common to most taprooms is the ability to bring home some fresh-brewed goodness via a crowler or growler. Many breweries use plain labels and just write the name and date on it with a Sharpie marker.

New River knew they had an opportunity to showcase their brand with a great-looking label on their crowlers. The label material is our Digiflex Silver with a matte over laminate, giving it a reflective quality with a subdued reflection. 

2. 903 Brewers - Sherman, TX


Deeply rooted in originality, high quality, and community, 903 Brewers prides itself on solely offering its best to its customers.

Their labels are in-your-face designs that get noticed right away. Bold colors and striking colors are their trademark. The 903 IPA is a fruity treat with notes of grapefruit, pear, stone fruit and mild spice. They say it pairs well with hot wings, curry and tom foolery.

Acting on their dream of sharing their love of creating great beer with folks who mean the most, 903 Brewers is the product of the perfectionism and persistence of founders Jeremy (also head brew boss) and Natalie Roberts.

Their award-winning beers include the Sasquatch Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout which took home the silver in the 2015 Great American Beer Festival aged beer category.  Their Scotch Ale, Kilt Switch, took home a bronze in 2018.Cultivating its craft since 2013, 903 beer is noticeably crafted with impeccable care. 903 Brewers first made a name for itself with the beloved The Chosen One Coconut Ale and Roo’s Red Ale. Now, with an array of year-round, seasonal, and special release beers, craft beer enthusiasts are sure to find their flavor.

This label is a Flexlyte white BOPP film with a clear gloss over laminate for protection.

3. Le Chien Brewing - Denham Springs, LA


The Le Chien Brewing Company started out in 2016 and is a micro brewery in the antique downtown district of Denham Springs, Louisiana. They feature great handcrafted craft beers and sodas, along with custom food and live music. 

And, as you can see from this crowler label, they are completely dog friendly! Check out their Facebook page for some great dog pics for visitors to their taproom and patio. The brewery is built in an old oil change shop. The pit that was used to get under the cars to change the oil was converted into a home for their fermenters and tanks. You can actually see them through grates on the floor!

The label we made for Le Chien is for their 32 oz. crowlers. Beautifully designed, with simple graphics and great colors, the label has areas for writing in the beer information contained in the crowler. The label used our Digiflex white BOPP film with a matte over laminate for a low sheen writable surface.

4. Tantrick Brewing - Allegan, MI


Tantrick Brewing is named after the two owners, Tanya and Patrick who opened their taps in 2018. They are dedicated to using the freshest ingredients to deliver outstanding beer to their customers around Allegan, Michigan. They recently started canning and found Weber as an alternative to hand labeling cans from sheets. 

Their beer menu ranges from IPA's to Stouts, Irish Reds and even into a couple of refreshing ciders. And their labels are just beautiful! The design really stands out with it's trippy colors and mesmerizing patterns (see more info below). We printed these labels (above) on Digiflex white BOPP film with a matte over laminate. They are easy to spot on the shelf and a true pleasure to enjoy.

The Covid pandemic has upended most breweries around the country this past year, as so it did to Tantrick.  They have a Mug Club and all mug club members get their own handmade glass mug, which are made by Avolio Glass Werks in Kalamazoo

Earlier in 2020, local Covid regulations prohibited gathering indoors, but the move to outdoor seating was causing a lot of mugs to be damaged.  So they decided to suspend the service, and give mug club members an option of buying 16 oz cans instead.  They changed the art on their labels to reflect the unique designs of each mug. Most of the new label designs are a theme off of their Mug Club mugs. And the wood grain band across the top of the label reflects the scorched wood bar surface in the taproom. It is their way of bringing the best of the Tantrick Mug Club to their members and other customers while creating amazing label designs!

Currently, mug club members are also given a complimentary koozie to hold their prized beverages.

5. Mountain Fork Brewery - Broken Bow, OK


Established in 2015, Mountain Fork Brewery is located in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. The water for their beer comes from the pristine Mountain Fork River. They believe that from a good source, comes a good beer. And their goal is to produce easy drinking, creatively crafted beer with you in mind.

Mountain Fork is located in a shopping center that also includes a coffee & ice cream shop, a winery and a distillery! Demand for their brews have increases so much over the years that they have increased their capacity with a 20 barrel system. With a winery, distillery and brewery located so close, they have the adult beverage market covered.

And it makes it easy to get access to used bourbon barrels from their neighbor at Hochatown Distilling next door. The whiskey goes out one day and it's filled with beer the next! The above label is an example of their Stout aged in whiskey barrels. It has an 11% alcohol by volume from aging it for 6 months. 

This label was made with our Flexlyte clear film with a white underpainting and a clear gloss over laminate for protection. This is a beautiful label with outstanding colors that reflect the lake area of their location.

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Topics: craft beer can labels, craft beer label materials


Wild Onion Brewery - Great Beer Plus Environmental Stewardship

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jul 18, 2019 9:49:43 AM

What was once farmland and an abandoned quarry has become a small piece of paradise in the northwest Chicago suburbs. Wild Onion Brewery is one of Chicago’s first craft breweries of the modern era, firing up their first batch of Paddy Pale Ale in 1996. Family-owned, and located just off Route 14 in Lake Barrington, IL, this small but mighty brewer has seen steady, well-managed growth for over 23 years.

With roots going back to the Kainz family dairy business in Chicago in the early 1900’s, founding brewer Mike Kainz had always been intrigued by family brewing stories. His grandfather and uncles had converted part of their dairy to beer production on the sly during Prohibition to keep thirsty Chicagoans happy in the 1920’s. There were stories of fermenting beer in stainless steel milk tanks and rolling barrels down the alley behind the dairy at night.

As an Economics/French major in college, Mike traveled to France for school and fell in love with the Belgian and German beers. He came home and started home brewing to create beers with more flavor than what was currently available in the USA. He just dabbled in the brewing art, and became quite proficient at it.

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Topics: craft beer labels, craft beer can labels, craft beer label materials, craft beer brewers, wild onion brewery


Our Top 11 Favorite Craft Beer Label Designs

Posted by Chris Erbach

May 29, 2019 9:41:00 AM

 

I was walking through our Digital Label Printing area the other day, and was struck by all the beautiful labels we have been printing lately. We keep a special rack of label sample rolls from jobs we've completed as examples of unique materials and fantastic designs.

And it should be no surprise that many of the awesome looking labels were from our craft beer customers. I thought I would share my top 11 picks along with some info about the breweries in case you happen to be in their neighborhood with a thirst.

1. Able Seedhouse and Brewery - Minneapolis, MN

One of our favorite breweries in the Minneapolis area, Able Seedhouse + Brewery is a well-known community-active brewery in Northeast Minneapolis. They have a habit of obscure yet creative names for their brews, like references to Seinfeld or song lyrics. And the beer we're showing here is awesome.

This is an amazing label with a fantastic design. Able Brewery created their Grim Arcana beer, a double brown ale (7.9% ABV), with Able rye malt smoked by their in-house BBQ food truck Animales and packaged it in 9 oz. cans.

The label design is highly detailed with layered colors including a gold metallic that creates the outlines on the geometric designs and the calavera skulls. A matte lamination seals the label giving it a soft non-sheen look except where the metallic colors show through. Great contrast.

And one of the unique features of this label is the addition of a Spotify code on the side of the label. This code links to a playlist developed by the brewers to enhance the drinking experience when listened to during consumption. A really cool extra touch, especially if you listen to this one!

Founded in 2015, Able Seedhouse + Brewery is a community of creative, hard-working and thoughtful people dedicated to building locally-inspired and ultra-fresh beer.

Every concept, piece of art, package, design, and beer poured at Able are the result of a very curious group of people and the community supporting them.

ABLE is located in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis at 1121 Quincy St NE. Check out their taproom, active event schedule and an evolving beer menu. ABLE is also home to Animales Barbeque Company

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Topics: craft beer can labels, craft beer label materials


Urban Growler Brewing For Growth in St. Paul

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jul 25, 2018 11:13:45 AM

 

“It’s all about the community and how we bring people together through beer,” said co-founder and Master Brewer Deb Loch.

Celebrating their fourth anniversary in business, Deb and co-founder Jill Pavlak have been slowly building their brewery through quality products and local participation. Urban Growler (www.urbangrowlerbrewing.com) was opened in July 2014 when Deb and Jill combined their talents and passion to create outstanding beer, food and a welcoming space for the community.

And their brand tag line says it all: “We’re Beer For You!”

As Minnesota’s first female-owned brewery, they had many challenges getting their vision in place. But with the help of friends, family and even total strangers, Urban Growler became a reality. Their patrons believed in the founders vision and their support helped get one of the hottest new breweries off the ground. Now that spirit is being repaid with a company that is there for the community.

The brewery, located at 2325 Endicott St. in St. Paul, Minnesota, features a warm, welcoming taproom, on-location kitchen and an outdoor beer garden. There are also indoor retail spaces that can be rented for hosting meetings, weddings, and local social gatherings.

But one of the most interesting things about Urban Growler is the building itself. This century-old brick and timber space was once home to the St. Paul Police horse stables back in the late 1800’s. After that tenure, it became a manufacturing facility for wooden skis and hockey sticks (after all, this IS Minnesota) as well as other warehousing in later years. The designers for Urban Growler did an awesome job of resurrecting the true character of the old building while adding a few modern updates for comfort and accessibility.

The brewery is looking to output 2000 barrels this year, up from about 1250 last year. Their flagship brews include traditional beers like their CowBell Cream Ale, Midwest IPA and their De-Lovely Porter. They also brew an interesting Kentucky Uncommon Ale and a “West-Coast-hops-meets-East-Coast-maltiness” Golden Hammer IPA. All Urban Growler flagship beers are lovingly handcrafted in 10-barrel batches under the close supervision of Master Brewer Deb.

But one of the best things about being a small brewery is that you can brew small batches and experiment with limited releases. Last year, Urban Growler brewed over 40 different beers, some as small as half-barrel experiments! Most of these end up in the taproom where their popularity is voted on by their customers’ consumption. The more popular winners then might end up as a seasonal or limited release for distribution in cans.

Lately much of their focus has been on a concept that they call “Plow to Pint®”. They have found that people would rather drink locally and that they appreciate locally sourced products. For this endeavor, Urban Growler uses ingredients harvested from farmers in the area to create unique beers with a distinct twist. Some of the recent favorites include Blueberry Wheat featuring blueberries harvested from a family-owned farm in Princeton, MN, and an Oak Aged Imperial Ale with Frontenac Grapes that used classic oak barrels and Frontenac grapes gown outside Red Wing, MN. They are currently working with the Rainforest Alliance in Guatemala and the University of Minnesota to create a collaboration brew using the sustainable ramon nut. Not your ordinary Stout.

While most of the flagship beers at Urban Growler are filled by a Wild Goose system into preprinted cans bought in bulk, these new small batch creations are getting canned and labeled using pressure-sensitive custom-designed labels. This allows the brewery to be more flexibile while doing a small batch economically and using eye-catching designs for their new brews.

Urban Growler has been canning approximately 150 cases of their small batch seasonals every few months. But because of their success, they are now looking to ramp things up to 250-case batches of their special beers once a month. To do this, the brewery had to invest in a new automated labeling system.

After much research and a few false starts, they happened to find Weber Packaging Solutions online. They contacted Weber whose local rep came out to see what the best solution would be for Urban Growler. The brewery was growing and would need to be able to scale up to the larger brew runs at higher speeds in the future. Reliability was key to a new system and it had to be easy for the staff to operate.

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Topics: Label Applicators, Labeling Systems, craft beer labels, craft beer can labels, craft beer label materials, beer labeling system, craft beer label ebook, beer can labeling system


3 Steps for choosing the best material for your craft beer labels

Posted by Linda Roser

Sep 18, 2017 11:35:08 AM

You know what matters most about a craft beer is the tasty content inside the packaging.

But with ever increasing competition, it might get tough to rely on just the product to sell itself. Sometimes taste alone is not enough to get your craft beer noticed and moving off the shelves. Branding and packaging play a major role in the growth of your brewery and your brand.

With more craft breweries selling thousands of brands at retail, the beer choices for consumers are seemingly endless. New beer varieties are constantly entering the marketplace and shelf space is at a premium. Breweries are relying on package differentiation to grab consumers’ attention at the retail point of sale.

The importance of designing your custom beverage labels to tell your brand’s story is key, and the label design can have a big impact on shelf presence.  We are going to cover the pressure-sensitive label material choices you have and why it has a bigger impact than you might think.  Getting a perfect-looking label on a can or bottle requires some planning.

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Topics: Digital Labels, Beer Labeling, craft beer labels, craft beer can labels, craft beer label materials


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