what you need to know about beer labels

The beer industry is fiercely competitive, with a global market value of $610 billion in 2023 and growing! The more beer brands there are, the more your brand needs to stand out from the crowd. First impressions matter, and that’s where custom-designed beer labels come into play.

Whether you’re a seasoned brewmaster or an emerging microbrewery, understanding the diverse label options available can be your ticket to success. This blog delves into the four types of beer labels — printed labels, keg collars and hang tags.

Flexographic Printed Labels

Flexographic printing, also known as “flexo,” is a rotary in-line process used on beer bottle materials, creating vibrant, detailed labels for memorable packaging.

Benefits of Flexographic Printed Labels

Flexographic printed labels offer numerous advantages for beer products:

  • Vibrant graphics: Flexographic printing allows for high-resolution graphics and vibrant colors, ensuring your beer label catches the eye of potential customers.
  • Durability: Flexographic beer labels withstand tough conditions, including moisture and temperature changes, while maintaining quality.
  • Cost-effective: Flexographic printing is cost-effective due to its efficiency when producing labels for beer bottles in larger quantities.
  • Customization: Flexographic labels can be customized to suit your brand’s unique style, ensuring your product stands out on the shelves.

When to Use Flexographic Printed Labels

Flexographic printed labels are ideal for various beer label scenarios:

  • Large label quantities: Flexographic printing becomes a cost-effective option for producing significant beer quantities due to its efficiency and lower per-unit cost.
  • Consistent label design: Flexographic labels are perfect when you require consistent design across a large batch of beer bottles, ensuring uniform branding.
  • Durable labels: Flexographic labels excel in challenging conditions like moisture and extreme temperatures.
  • Vibrant graphics: Flexographic printing can effectively capture these details if your beer brand requires vibrant graphics and high-resolution images on labels.

Ways to Utilize Flexographic Printed Labels for Beer Bottles

Flexographic printed labels offer creative opportunities for beer branding, like the following:

  • Seasonal brews: Change labels seasonally to showcase special brews or holiday editions.
  • Limited editions: Highlight exclusivity with unique labels for limited-edition beer releases.
  • Thematic promotions: Tailor labels for events like Oktoberfest — featuring themed designs.
  • Collaborations: Partner with other breweries and print joint labels for collaborative beers.
  • Collector’s series: Create a collector’s series with striking label designs for dedicated beer enthusiasts.

Digitally Printed Labels

Digitally printed beer bottle labels use advanced technology for vibrant, detailed designs. This is ideal for breweries needing quality, customizable digitally printed labels with quick, cost-effective production.

Benefits of Digitally Printed Labels

When making your beer bottles truly stand out, digitally printed labels offer various advantages:

  • Cost-effective: Whether you’re a small craft brewery or a larger operation, digital labels are cost-effective for both short and long runs.
  • Customization: Tailor labels to different beer styles and promotions easily, maintaining brand consistency.
  • Rapid turnaround: With quick production times, digital labels are perfect for meeting tight deadlines.
  • Efficiency: Breweries looking to combine quality and efficiency often choose digital labels.

When to Use Digitally Printed Labels

Digitally printed labels offer distinct advantages in various scenarios within the beer industry:

  • Small batches: For limited-edition or seasonal brews, digital labels are cost-effective for shorter print runs without compromising on quality.
  • Rapid turnaround: When time is of the essence, digital labels can be produced quickly, meeting tight deadlines for product launches.
  • Customization is key: If you require unique labels for different beer styles or promotions, digital printing allows for versatile design options.
  • High-quality graphics: Digitally printed labels are perfect for craft breweries, offering intricate designs and vibrant colors.
  • Variable data: When you need labels with unique information, like batch numbers or QR codes, digital printing allows for easy incorporation.

Ways to Utilize Digital Labels for Beer Bottles

ways to utilize digital labels for beer bottles

Digital labels offer a canvas for creativity in the beer industry:

  • Storytelling: Share your brand’s history, brewing process or the inspiration behind a particular beer on the label, engaging consumers.
  • Promotions: Use digital labels for giveaways, contests or collaborations to create buzz and enhance brand loyalty.
  • Personalization: Offer customers the chance to personalize labels for special occasions or gifts, turning beer bottles into cherished mementos.
  • QR codes: Enhance customer engagement with QR codes linking to exclusive content, promotions or brewery tours.

Keg Collars

Keg collars are circular tags on beer keg necks, displaying brew info like name, style, alcohol by volume (ABV) and brewery details. They are crucial for keg identification and serving accuracy.

Benefits of Keg Collars

Keg collars serve as a powerful branding tool for breweries:

  • Instant identification: Keg collars help taproom staff quickly identify and serve the right beer, reducing errors and customer dissatisfaction.
  • Brand visibility: Custom-designed collars enhance brand visibility, making your beer stand out among competitors.
  • Promotional space: Keg collars provide space for promotions, releases and event communication with customers.
  • Compliance: Keg collars can include important information, ensuring your beer meets regulatory requirements.

When to Use Keg Collars

By using keg collars strategically in the following scenarios, breweries can maximize branding and customer engagement opportunities:

  • Brewery events: They excel at brewery events, like tap takeovers and tastings, for brand display and sharing beer details.
  • Rotating brews: Keg collars are cost-effective for changing selections and easily updated for new brews.
  • Special releases: Keg collars build anticipation and communicate exclusivity when launching limited-edition or seasonal beers.
  • Bar and restaurant service: Keg collars simplify beer identification in busy bar settings, ensuring customers receive the correct order promptly.

Keg Collars for Streamlined Brewery Operations

While keg collars may not have a direct customer-facing role, their importance in ensuring the right beer reaches consumers cannot be overstated. They may not engage customers directly, but they are a behind-the-scenes hero in delivering top-notch brews. Here’s how they streamline brewery operations:

  • Inventory management: Keg collars often contain vital information such as brew name, style, batch details and keg number. This helps brewery staff easily identify and manage kegs efficiently, ensuring the right beer is served.
  • Quality control: Keg collars can include essential data like ABV, brewing date and safety instructions, which are crucial for quality control during production.
  • Production logistics: They play a key role in tracking the movement of kegs within the brewery and during distribution. This is especially important for large-scale breweries.

Hang Tags

Hang tags are small, typically rectangular pieces of cardstock or paper. They often hang from beer bottles with a hole at the top. These tags serve multiple purposes, like branding and communication.

Benefits of Hang Tags

Hang tags for beer offer a versatile tool for breweries and beer businesses, providing several advantages:

  • Marketing opportunities: They provide an additional platform for promotions, limited-time offers and unique selling points.
  • Eye-catching design: A custom hang tag for beer bottles can be designed to be visually appealing — attracting customers.
  • Practical information: Hang tags can include serving suggestions, food pairings and other valuable information.
  • Convenience: Easy to attach and remove, they offer a convenient and reusable labeling option.

When to Use Hang Tags

Hang tags for beer bottles are exceptionally versatile and can be strategically employed in various scenarios:

  • Special edition releases: When launching limited-edition brews, custom hang tags help create a buzz, emphasizing a product’s exclusivity.
  • Promotions and discounts: Hang tags are perfect for highlighting deals, promotions or special offers on beer, attracting budget-conscious customers.
  • Gifts and souvenirs: If your brewery offers beer as gifts or souvenirs, custom hang tags add a thoughtful touch to these items.
  • Product information: Choose hang tags for added product details, like pairing suggestions or serving instructions.

Ways to Utilize Hang Tags for Beer Bottles

Harnessing the creative potential of hang tags can set your beer brand apart through the following:

  • Collectible series: Design hang tags as collectible items for a series of beers, encouraging customers to collect and display them.
  • Promotions and discounts: Highlight ongoing promotions, discounts or loyalty programs on hang tags to incentivize repeat purchases.
  • Event reminders: Promote brewery events, tastings or festivals. A well-designed hang tag can serve as a handy event reminder.
  • Sustainability statements: Show your eco-commitment with hang tags, promoting sustainability and responsible brewing.

Elevate Your Beer Brand With Red Oak Label

In the ever-evolving beverage industry, standing out is essential. That’s where we come in. With over 40 years of label manufacturing expertise, Red Oak Label offers various options to make your beer bottles shine. We have you covered, from vibrant hang tags for beer bottles to custom keg collars and printed labels for beer.

With competitive prices, speedy turnaround and a dedicated team, Red Oak Label is your partner for success in the beverage industry. Request a quote online and explore how our high-quality labels, lids and tags can elevate your product presentation.

elevate your beer brand with Red Oak Label


View Archives