10 Breweries With Brilliant Beer Packaging

Categories: Hops to It!
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We hate to admit it, but we've all been known to judge a beer by its label. (Well, hipsters more so. Do you really think they chug PBR because it's delicious?) 

With a dizzying kaleidoscope of beer bottles and on today's shelves, standout packaging is more important than ever. Here are 10 brands and breweries that have teamed up with the right designers to create products that beg to be seen. 

10. Bard's Beer  
   
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Hunt Adkins
Packaging by ​Hunt Adkins 
The niftiest thing about Bard's Beer bottles aren't the labels, as simple and sleek as they are, but the bottle caps, which are printed with weird questions that are perfect for pondering and discussing over a beer. Would most ninjas also excel at dancing? What kind of sweater would Genghis Khan have worn? Can ducks laugh? New York-based Bard's, by the way, makes America's first gluten-free sorghum beer.

9. Red Brick 
label-red_brick.jpg
22Squared
Packaging by 22Squared
Love the charming, down-home labels and carriers of Red Brick, a craft beer made by Atlanta Brewing Company. The description of its Dog Days Ale is, "Like jumping into a swimming hole lips first." Thirsty yet? 

 8. Hell Yeah Beer 
label-HellYeahBeer.jpg
Dirk Behlau for Hell Yeah Beer
​You would just feel hardcore while drinking this beer. Its ingredients: "water, hops, malt and rock ´n´ roll."
   
7. Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
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Packaging by Tenfold Collective 
Damsels aren't so distressed in these goth-inspired labels for the Colorado-based brewery. 

6. The Bruery 
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​OC's The Bruery makes some of the classiest, eye-catching, most elegant labels out there. 

5. Pembroke Craft Brewery 
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Packaging by Gary Head
Okay, this just appeals to the girl in me. You can reuse the bottles as flower vases!   

4. Left Hand Brewing Company 

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These intricate illustrations could be collector's items. Each tells a trippy story.  
3. Rush River Brewing Co.
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Oh Beautiful Beer
​Packaging by Westwerk Design
Again . . . so pretty!
 
2. Great Divide Brewing Co. 
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Always bold, distinctive and statement-making. 

1. 21st Amendment Brewery 
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​Heads will turn the moment you pop the top on these iconic cans. 
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35 comments
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Stephanie
Stephanie

Great Divide is by far the best.

Megan Powell
Megan Powell

great list... although, as many said, Flying Dog should def be on this list!

Mike
Mike

A few of those listed are some of the worst labels that I have ever seen... especially the Pembroke.  I agree that Flying Dog definitely tops the list.  Also, although the beer is sub-par and commercial at this point, Kona Brewery has some of the best labels out there.  

JoySpirits
JoySpirits

 I think the worst is Red Brick and then the Pembroke....Flying dog is good,but it is not a top, Grimm brothers and even Kona Brewery is much better... And what do you think about Aviator Ales beer labels??

Zhengdaidai
Zhengdaidai

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Karl Oestreich
Karl Oestreich

http://www.arrogantbastard.com...

The prose on the label alone is worth buying this beer.

Jeff Potter
Jeff Potter

I agree, Karl, the Arrogant Bastard label prose is good humor.  Imagine this: first time I had the Ale was in San Diego and our server (in very broken but obviously proud) English attempted to read it all aloud to me!  Took him about ten minutes and I thought my children were going to wet their pants trying not to burst out laughing.  I think of that trip and dinner every time I see any gorgeous @StoneBrewing label. There's just something really classy about screened on labels.  Drink on!

Alfortyeight
Alfortyeight

I'd have to say that Victoria's has one of the nicest packagings. It's simple and sleek.

Gerry
Gerry

That is a decent list of packaging design. I personally like Shiner Beer's packaging, well done.

Jason
Jason

Grime Brothers have nice designs but that is all that they are. Those beers are on tap only and not bottled. They only have bottled two beers. I can speak for the first one but the second one in a bottle was just bland. Name of beer only with no art work.

Nick
Nick

Rush River Beer is by @Westwerkdesign

Iris
Iris

I'm a girl too so I'm gonna have to go with Pembroke Craft Brewery as well.  Not only are those bottles gorgeous, but Strawberry and Sweet Pear Cider?  That sounds absolutely delicious!!  I'm going to BevMo now to look for that LOL!

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

I think they need to bring back pull 12-pack sized photograph labels, a la Billy Beer.

http://c3south.files.wordpress...

What more do you need than a color photo of some rednecks enjoying the beer in the middle of a field, right there on the 12 pack case?

Bill T.
Bill T.

That lable is too scary, man,  he he.

Bill T.
Bill T.

I note that the title is "10 Breweries With Brilliant Beer Packaging". NOT the ONLY brilliant packaging, not even the ten BEST,  just Michelle's pick of 10.

Obviously we're all going to have our favorites, mine are Sierra Nevada's, basically for color scheme and clean labling.

Flying dog, as Medusa notes, have great graphics but I buy them for the brew, best domestic Hefeweizen (that I'm aware of, if you know a better I'd appreciate the tip), "In Heat Wheat" and ya just gotta love the name.

I've been known to buy a beer for it's lable, but not often. Oh, and no canned beer, I'm much too arrogant for that.

I need to make a field trip to the O.C. country to get some Bruery, dieing to try some.

Bill T.
Bill T.

This was intended to be in response to Mikey, I must have selected the wrong link.  sigh.

Flkghflkd
Flkghflkd

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Mikey1969
Mikey1969

What a crappy list... You fail to put either Stone Brewing OR Flying Dog on the list? How can I take you seriously?

Stone Brewing labels are screen printed on the bottle(No cheap label to peel off), and they have intricate variations on their gargoyle mascot on the bottle. A different one for every brew. On top of that, their 'About Us' copy on the back is the funniest thing I've ever read on a beer bottle.

Flying Dog? All of their labels are drawn by Ralph Steadman. 'Nuff said.

I see some clean designs that I really like(Great Divide, Rush River, Pembroke and Red Brick), and I see some really cool ones(Grimm Bros. and Hell Yeah), but without either one of the two I mentioned, possibly both, I can't take your list seriously. Sorry, do your homework next time, don't just go down to the nearest liquor store with a good selection and pick the 10 best you see on those shelves...

gustavoarellano 40 minutes ago in reply to Mikey1969

And with your whining, we really can't take your criticism seriously!

Oh, did I hurt your feelings? Sorry if I made you cry. Just for the record, I put a lot more detail into MY reason for dissatisfaction(with the article) than you did(With my post). If anyone is whining, it's you, since you basically posted a 'neener-neener, my Daddy can beat up your Daddy' post, and not much more. I hope you're able to recover from the trauma my post seems to have inflicted upon you.

EDIT: @Michelle Woo Sorry, the link to the story called them the 'best', your headline only says 'brilliant'. That's understandable, sorry for the tone, but there is a big difference between 'best' and 'brilliant', you DID pick some good ones, just not the best. Once again I apologize. I hate this thing where the link doesn't match the headline, website administrators for newspapers need to get this fixed, causes all kinds of confusion.

Michelle Woo
Michelle Woo

I never claimed to be an expert in beer art curation. (Though that would be a pretty rad job.) The list is based precisely on . . . whatever I thought looked awesome.    

But, yes, Stone and Flying Dog -- good picks! 

Greg
Greg

Curating a beer art exhibit was a pretty rad job.

Look, your picks would not have been mine, but none were bad design and all are fairly successful brands. For obvious reasons, there's some good stuff on the East Coast missing. You focused more on design than art, which to me was why Steadman's labels wouldn't have fit, and Stone's gargoyles are more aggressive than your choices. 

Mostly, I'm just happy to see people taking beer art/design seriously. Cool post.

For the art side: Check out Lee Verzosa's stuff from Stillwater, Adam Forman's old work for Jolly Pumpkin, and the stuff by Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project.

Cheers!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

And with your whining, we really can't take your criticism seriously!

Siege
Siege

I know ive seen great divide, the bruery and some 21st amendment, but most of the others, I haven't seen anywhere...are those all available locally?

Medusa
Medusa

You missed Flying Dog's labels as done by Ralph Steadman.

1000Steps
1000Steps

On a beer tangent.. Do not get the Kennebunkport Brewing IPA at Trader Joes. It just may be the worst beer ever brewed.

Jeff Overley
Jeff Overley

Trader Joe's needs an intervention to stop adding bad beer generally and IPA specifically to its shelves. There are only a handful of good brews in the entire store, and way too much space is devoted to IPA. Tried the Kennebunkport last week, and it's just making matters worse.

As for labels, very much agree on the Bruery and Great Divide selections. I'm also a fan of Franziskaner's belly-rubbing monk mascot.

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