While we're always concerned with the liquid inside the myriad cans and bottles we drink each year, we also take note of how they look on the outside. Once upon a time, many a craft beer can looked uninspired at best (or adorned with a screaming skeleton Viking at the worst) but that’s no longer the case. Brewers are now keenly aware that to stand out in the crowded craft marketplace, you have to look your best.
Here are 10 beer label designs that we loved this year.
Banish all stereotypes of what a can of beer should look like, because this botanical-infused brew from Wild Heaven would be just as home on Grandma’s table as it would in a Instagram influencer’s carefully curated tableau of succulents and crystals. It is pretty.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Garden Beer, Wild Heaven’s Emergency Drinking Beer tells you exactly what it is, and exactly how and when you should consume it, thanks to its attention-yanking yellow and black bold design. Pack a few in a bug-out bag just in case the world goes to hell in 2020.
We’re a little obsessed with this beer. Not only was it our top-rated IPA for all of 2019, we can’t get over its eye-popping, double-vision-inducing design. It’s both a nod to Mod motifs and an expression of what it feels like trying to find your way home after three or four (or five) of these delicious hazies.
Clean, simple, and colorful, the art for this endlessly drinkable Belgian ale from Blackberry Farms equally evokes Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs and sacred geometry, but there’s no magic here—just expertly brewed beer from one of the finest producers of farmhouse ales in the country.
Maybe you’ll think it’s too plain, but the bold and sleek design of Funkwerks’ Miho bottle looks like it could be stretched across an Italian race car in the 1970s. This Belgian pale ale isn’t wrapped with dime-a-dozen doodles of hops, and that’s a very good thing, because simplicity is sexy.
We’re always suckers for much of what Omnipollo puts on its cans (although we can debate the finer points of what’s inside them). The Swedish outfit clearly welcomes our alien overlords with its can art for its citrus-heavy Aniara. Beam us up, too.
See above re: our love for Omnipollo’s design. While our reviewer wasn’t completely won over by Aon Pecan Mud, a chocolatey imperial stout, we are big fans of the silly, strangely unsettling (perhaps even malevolent?) smiley face splashed across the can. And if you didn’t know what was inside, you’d simply have to trust that maniacal grin.
The muted, minimalist label for Threes Brewings’ grisette is as clean and elegant as the beer inside the bottle. A small, lone silhouette makes its way through a series of sand dunes, or maybe snow-capped hills, destination unknown. Sip this one slowly, even alone, and enjoy the passing of time.
Bright, primary colors tell you that this can—yet another from the design-savvy Threes—contains a beer that’s just as bold. Indeed, the hazy IPA Logical Conclusion was a hit with our reviewer, but we will always give it two thumbs up when we see it standing out among the crowded shelves of the beer aisle.
Pretty, pretty, pretty. Grimm somehow manages to channel both Anthropolgie and the opening credits for Midsommar with the art for Niceties, a golden sour brewed with pineapples. The fruits are right there on the label, delicate but not at all dainty, just the same as the oak-aged ale within.