Your labels provide an important opportunity to communicate your brand story and distinguish your beer from the competition. You can do this through creative names, bold patterns, colorful designs, custom artwork, a stylish typeface, or humor—but whatever you choose to convey, be sure it’s consistent with your overall brand identity.
When it comes to beer can labels, there are 3 main ways for a small business owner to get the job done: DIY, hiring a freelancer or crowdsourcing your label design through a contest. While the DIY route might seem like a cost-effective option, it’s best for most people to leave the design work to a professional.
The Art of Beer Can Labels: A Visual Journey Through Craft Brew Design
The government requires certain things from beer labels, and it’s vital for your label to be compliant. The TTB, or Alcohol Tax and Tobacco Trade Bureau, needs to approve any label before it goes into production. This is done by issuing a Certificate of Label Approval, or COLA.
You’ll also need to state the alcohol content of your beer. This must be stated in a legible manner, and the statement should warn that drinking alcohol may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.
Other government requirements include a health warning statement that informs women of the risks of pregnancy or birth defects and a statement that informs consumers that consumption of alcohol is not recommended for minors. You may also opt to make voluntary disclosures of allergens on your beer packaging—milk, egg, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, and soybeans.