craft beer

Tips for Creating a Memorable Craft Beer Label

The craft beer market is exploding. In fact, according to the Brewer’s Association, craft beer makes up nearly a quarter of the $114 billion beer industry in the United States. Brewers who are looking to get into the business stand to get a piece of a potentially lucrative pie, but quality marketing is just as important as an outstanding product. Here are a few simple tips to inspire the creation of a successful craft beer label:

Keep Brand Personality at the Forefront

Who is the target audience? For most local breweries, it’s the fellow community members. Research supports this, as 22% of craft beer drinkers are interested in supporting their local businesses and breweries. When creating a craft beer label, the brand’s personality should be considered, as well as how it will appeal to the community. For example, Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan created a label based on a beloved cultural icon, the “Violin Monster,” who serenades community members with violin concertos dressed as a werewolf.

Choose the Right Color Scheme

The right color scheme will appeal to the target audience and will align with the brand's personality, but it should also reflect the intent of the beer itself. IPA labels, for example, may include bright greens, yellows, or oranges to reflect the intense hoppiness and citrus notes that often accompany them. Stouts, on the other hand, may have browns or darker shades of reds on their labels to reflect the deeper malt character. Label colors may also reflect the season or even the hues of a beloved local sports team.

RELATED ARTICLE: Market with Custom Specialty Beverage Labels

Consider Label Shape and Size

First, will the beer be bottled or canned? If canning, will the design be kept minimalistic with an affixed paper label? Or will a design that wraps all the way around the can be printed? There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but the main considerations should be budget, brand personality, and how much information (such as ABV, IBUs, and the variety of hops and/or malts used in production) will be included on each bottle or can.

Also worthy of consideration is the font choice – sans serif fonts tend to be more modern and require less label space, so more information can be included. Serif fonts may be appropriate for some labels and styles, especially for those trying to appear classic or traditional (Samuel Adams, anyone?)

As always, local laws and regulations should always be followed when it comes to packaging and labeling. These rules can vary greatly from state to state, so it’s best to err on the conservative side, especially if wider distribution is part of the plan. 

Century Label has years of experience in creating craft beer labels for businesses. Contact us to learn more.

The Rise of Cannabis-Infused Beer Against Adversity

The-Rise-of-Cannabis-Infused Beer-Against-Adversity.jpg

As governments slowly lift marijuana restrictions, cannabis innovators look for new ways to normalize the plant. The introduction of cannabis-infused beer faced backlash not only from the government, but from the beer industry as well. The first innovators to break ground in the market of cannabis-infused beer have straddled the line between federal and state regulation of cannabis products and alcohol, facing adversity from all angles including the cannabis industry, the beer industry and all levels of government. Ultimately, the cannabis-infused beer crafters are striving to legitimize cannabis to many different parts of society.

Problems with Public Perception

While Americans have gradually become more accepting of cannabis overall in recent years, many are staunchly opposed to the push for recreational cannabis legalization and believe the only legitimacy of cannabis resides in its medicinal applications. Others believe that cannabis is objectively less harmful than alcohol and therefore should not face such stringent legal barriers considering the legal status of alcohol.

Creating New Products in the Face of Stringent Legislation

Cannabis-infused beers present unique challenges to brewers on many fronts. Federal law prohibits the sale of any mixture of alcohol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so brewers must ensure any cannabis used in the brewing process does not contain THC. Many beverage makers seeking to create THC-infused drinks have turned to nonalcoholic beverages like sparkling water, juice, and tea, while cannabis-infused beer brewers have turned to using different cannabis byproducts in their alcoholic beers.

Some brewers, like Keith Villa, inventor of the wildly popular Blue Moon Pale Ale, have started developing recipes for nonalcoholic beer infused with low doses of THC. Grainwave, the first of its kind from Ceria Beverages, hit store shelves in Colorado in December of 2018. Other notable brewers in years past faced legal trouble for experimenting with cannabis-infused beverages, including Lagunitas, which was raided by the California Alcohol Control Board in 2005 for “disorderly house,” and Dad & Dude’s Breweria, which produced the first commercial CBD-infused beer that led to a 2016 legal battle over the beverage, dubbed General Washington’s Secret Stash in an homage to the hemp-growing first President of the United States.

RELATED ARTICLE: The History of Cannabis-Infused Craft Beer

The Push for Legitimacy is a Long Game

Some of the harshest scrutiny facing brewers of cannabis-infused beer comes from the craft brewing community. While these brewers generally strive to create beers with cannabis byproducts that can stand on their own regardless of CBD or THC content, many other craft brewers see the push for cannabis additives in beer as nothing but a gimmick. For example, the Boston Beer Company, the largest craft brewery in the US and makers of the Sam Adams brand, warned in 2016 that THC and CBD-infused beers could devastate the craft beer market and advised consumers not to support those brewers experimenting with cannabis-infused beer. However, a recent survey from the Brewers’ Association reported that craft beer brewers responded overwhelmingly that they planned to experiment with cannabis-infused beer in the near future.

Century Label understands the challenges facing brewers of cannabis-infused beer in the US. Our experience with custom label design can help ensure full compliance at the local, state, and federal level with readable, beautifully designed product labels. Contact us to learn more about Century Label’s services for cannabis-infused beer labeling.

The History of Cannabis-Infused Craft Beer

The-History-of-Cannabis-Infused-Craft-Beer.jpg

Over the past few months, the concept of cannabis-infused beer has seen some developments that place the innovative drink in a large spotlight. You might get the impression that it was developed within the last couple of years, however the concept of introducing cannabis to beer dates back at least a decade. This new beverage has an interesting history that has led to its growing rise in popularity   

What Is Cannabis-Infused Craft Beer?

A cannabis-infused beer is, essentially, a beer brewed with barley and infused with marijuana oil. This should not be confused with cannabis-brewed beers, which substitute barley with the unused parts of the cannabis plant, like stems, stalks, and roots. Both drinks are non-alcoholic and aim to create similar effects without the drawbacks of a hangover. 

Hops and Cannabis

Before formal attempts to combine cannabis and beer, there was a connection between the two from 27 million years ago. The beer-related plant humulus lupulus (hops) and cannabis sativa (cannabis) were once the same plant. They are now different species with contrasting uses that did not meet until recently. 

Lagunitas Raid

In 2005, California brewery Lagunitas was raided by the Alcohol Beverage Control agency when it found employees smoking marijuana. In order to commemorate the raid, Lagunitas created a special craft beer inspired by marijuana, though with no cannabis-related ingredients in it. This event inspired the brewery to create more cannabis beer products years later. 

Dad & Dude’s First CBD Beer  

Colorado-based Dad & Dudes Breweria came up with the first two beers that included CBD oil in them, Sativa IPA and Indica Double IPA, in 2015. Both beers had short runs in the brewery due to restrictions imposed in December 2016, which inspired the brewery to fight for legalization of cannabis. 

Wiz Khalifa Joins In

The biggest mainstream exposure of cannabis-infused beer came in April 2016, when rapper Wiz Khalifa announced a line of cannabis-infused drinks, including beer, juice, and carbonated drinks. Despite the popularity, Wiz has not released any products to this date. 

Keith Villa Announces Ceria Beverages

After failed attempts and close calls by numerous companies, Blue Moon founder Keith Villa announced the start of Ceria Beverages—the first major company dedicated to cannabis-infused beers—in March 2018. These products contain THC instead of CBD oil that provide the effects without alcohol drawbacks. 

First US THC and CBD-Infused Drinks

Cannabiniers, a California edibles company, beat Villa to the punch in July 2018 by releasing a line of non-alcoholic brews with both THC and CBD oil to its home state and Nevada. At the same time, Lagunitas, backed by Heineken, released non-alcoholic THC sparkling drinks, the first major release of cannabis-infused drinks. 

As restrictions continue to loosen and new innovations occur in the field, cannabis-infused beers will continue to evolve and reach larger markets.  

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Promote Your Cannabis-Infused Craft Beer Brand

Your Brand is Our Business - Let’s Get Started

The design team at Century Label is ready to help you take your vision and apply it to your craft beer packaging. We will take you through every step of the process, preserving the integrity of your brand and using high-quality printing techniques.

Our customer care specialists are standing by to make sure every order is exactly the way you imagined it, ensuring your satisfaction. Request a quote today to get started on your own quest for craft beer marketing success.

How to Promote Your Cannabis-Infused Craft Beer Brand

How-to-Promote-Your-Cannabis-Infused-Craft-Beer-Brand.jpg

As more and more states legalize marijuana, interest in hybrid products has exploded, fueling a significant jump in the number of cannabis-infused treats on the market today. Perhaps none of them, however, capture the youthful, laid-back vibe of cannabis itself like cannabis-infused craft beers. Companies in states where marijuana is legal have jumped at the opportunity to market an alcohol-free, cannabis-infused beer that produces the relaxation consumers of both beer and cannabis covet, without the potential for a hangover.

If you’ve created your own cannabis/beer infusion, you’ve created a unique product at the beginning of a trend. Your packaging should reflect this, while making you stand out from the others. To create the youthful, fun vibe you need, consider elements from both the craft beer and cannabis industries:

The Leaf – Consider the Standby

When most of us consider the image marijuana had years ago, nothing stands out more than the traditional green marijuana leaf. Numerous cannabis companies still use the five-pointed leaf in various styles from campy to classy. While it’s come a long way from its original place on blacklight-activated posters in college dorm rooms, you can continue the hip trend marijuana edibles have been following and use a sleek, modernized version. Or, consider hearkening back to the funky, psychedelic origins many of us are familiar with. 

Crisp White Cans

A current trend in craft beer is the all-white can with minimalistic branding and product information. Across a few different brands, the primary designator of the type of beer included in the can is a lone block of color that makes up the actual logo itself. Of course, green is the traditional color used in cannabis marketing, and a stark white can with green branding sends the “fresh” and “cannabis” messaging effectively. 

Natural Could Be Best

Natural has always been a staple of the cannabis branding community, and cannabis-infused beer is no different. In fact, primary consumers of both products tend to enjoy the outdoors. Consider a full-scale printed photo of a natural feature, the use of earth tones, and natural elements in your packaging.

Stand Out From the Sleek

A major trend in cannabis packaging right now is aimed at garnering the attention of those wishing to incorporate marijuana into the upscale luxury lifestyle they’re already living, resulting in stark, sleek packaging that almost hides the nature of the product. Using a more youthful, colorful packaging scheme can help you stand out from other cannabis products and capture your ideal audience. 

Your product is unique, and getting it to stand out among other beer and cannabis brands alike could require the use of packaging ideas from both industries. Consider where your product will be displayed and craft a packaging scheme that will draw attention your way. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Custom Bottle Labels that Stand Out from a Crowd

Your Brand is Our Business - Let’s Get Started

The design team at Century Label is ready to help you take your vision and apply it to your craft beer labels and shrink sleeves. We will take you through every step of the process, preserving the integrity of your brand and using high-quality printing techniques.

Our customer care specialists are standing by to make sure every order is exactly the way you imagined it, ensuring your satisfaction. Request a quote today to get started on your own quest for craft beer marketing success.

`