Labels, Packaging and Design

From Homebrews to Homeruns: A Craft Beer Packaging Journey, Part Two

This is Part 2 of a series telling the (technically fictional but very true to life) story of David Miller and Sarah Thompson, founders of a craft beer brand. (Read Part One here!)

We invented this story series based on the experiences of our many craft beer clients. The idea is to give budding entrepreneurs a sense of what the journey of creating a successful craft beer brand looks like. The years before you actually take the plunge are full of dreaming, researching, and trying to imagine how all the pieces fit together. If you’re in that boat, we hope this series fills in some of the blanks for you.

We’re packaging people, so we’ve helped a lot of brewery founders set up elements like labels, trays, and—yup—boxes. As far as the packaging part of the journey goes, we have a lot of knowledge to share. In this series, we go from hatching a great idea to starting up the company, establishing a retail presence, to expanding the brand in a big way.

We’re just plain big fans of entrepreneurs and we like to support them however we can. If you’re about to become one, then good for you. You’re our kind of person!

Let’s pick back up with David and Sarah.

Beer Can Labels

David and Sarah are craft beer fanatics with complementary skillsets. David is a skilled homebrewer with marketing savvy to spare, and Sarah is a former chef who understands how to run food-and-beverage-based operations. At one fateful beer pairing event, they were seated together, and they discovered that their visions aligned. They created a line of craft beers based on food pairing recommendations, launched their brewery, and started making a name for themselves.

They’ve been selling out of kegs for a while now. It’s time for cans, which means figuring out labels.

Before they launched, they invested a lot of time and energy into creating a visual brand. They knew, as a Pacific Northwest-based brewery, that they wanted to proudly represent their home. Nature was a touchstone. So they created visuals with mountain ranges and a woodsy lumberjack theme. Quintessential BC!

They found a designer who could translate their visual brand into striking labels. Then, they connected with Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging to print them. They wanted to work with a local BC company that could produce all of their labels and packaging as they grew—and GLBC fit the bill.


Now, designing attractive, on-brand labels is one thing, but producing them is another thing entirely. To put it simply—beer can labels go through a lot. They get stored on ice. They get transported to so many different locations. They get immersed in water for long periods of time. GLBC knew all about picking substrates (i.e., the material that gets printed on), adhesion types, and printing processes that guarantee a label that goes the distance.

David and Sarah’s beer is now canned and labelled, and it’s selling well at the brewery. This means it’s time to move their product to retail. Cartons and trays are next up on the packaging docket. That’s what we’ll cover in Part Three.

If you’re enjoying this series and part of the reason is that you’re dreaming of your own craft beer brand, then feel free to reach out anytime. We absolutely love talking to new entrepreneurs—especially about craft beer!




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