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8 Common Beer Labeling Mistakes to Avoid

8 Common Beer Labeling Mistakes to Avoid

Designing a custom beer can label is a true art form. But it’s also bound by the strict rules of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)—and violations can result in regulatory headaches and fines.

As a brewery, how do you balance creativity and compliance? Getting a handle on the TTB’s rules—and some basic principles of good design—will help you steer clear of these pitfalls and produce a label that outshines the competition. Let’s explore several common beer labeling mistakes and share some labeling tips to help you avoid them.

Why are Beer Labels So Hard to Design?

Creating beer can labels presents a unique set of challenges that go beyond the actual design. First, you have to navigate the regulatory landscape. The TTB imposes strict guidelines for beer labels, such as alcohol content, ingredients, and manufacturer details. Brewers must present this information clearly and ensure it meets specific visibility standards, complicating the design process.

Additionally, beer labels need to withstand environmental factors like moisture and temperature fluctuations, which can affect the choice of materials and adhesives. The label must also resonate with consumers, capturing the essence of the brand and the brew itself in a crowded market. Standing out requires striking the right balance of creative design, marketing insight, and technical compliance.

What Information Needs to be on a Beer Label?

The TTB mandates specific information that must appear on beer labels to ensure consumers receive essential details about the product. This includes, but is not limited to:

● Brand name
● Class or type designation (e.g., lager, ale)
● Alcohol content by volume
● Net contents of the container
● Name and address of the bottler or importer
● Ingredient declaration if the product is not made solely from malted barley, hops, water, and yeast
● Government health warning statement
● Color additive disclosures (if applicable)
● Sulfite and aspartame declarations (if applicable)
● Country of origin (imports only)

8 Most Common Beer Labeling Mistakes to Avoid

Navigating the complex world of beer labeling can be tricky, and missteps are all too common. To help you avoid costly errors, here are several product design mistakes to keep in mind as you create your custom beer labels:

Incorrect Label Material
Choosing the wrong material for beer labels can cause issues like peeling or disintegration, especially when the bottles are subjected to moisture and varying temperatures. Instead, opt for labels printed on materials like biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP), which is durable, waterproof, and rip-proof. This will protect the label’s integrity and ensure your branding remains pristine in any conditions.

Messing Up the Unwind Direction
The unwind direction, or the label orientation on the roll, is crucial for automated labeling processes. Incorrect unwind directions can disrupt the application process on the production line and result in materials waste, time delays, and added costs for adjustments and reprinting. Working with an experienced label supplier can help you avoid this common pitfall.

Choosing the Wrong Label Size and Shape
Labels that don’t fit properly can wrinkle or bubble, detracting from the product’s appearance and potentially making important information illegible. Moreover, a misfit can compromise the seal and integrity of your beer labels, leading to potential damage during shipping and handling. Before printing, always double-check that you have selected the correct label size and shape for your cans or bottles.

Noncompliance with TTB Label Requirements
Failing to include all required label information or improperly displaying it can lead to fines and other consequences. Noncompliance with TTB regulations can also damage your brewery’s reputation, causing a drop in consumer trust and adversely affecting sales. That’s why it’s important to always keep the TTB’s beer label requirements on hand.


Poor Choice of Font

Fonts that are difficult to read or too small can make critical information inaccessible and may not accurately convey your brand’s unique identity. To enhance design appeal and readability, choose a font for your label that is clear, easy to read, and matches your brand’s personality.

Inconsistent Branding Across Labels
Consistency in branding across different types of beers or product lines helps build brand recognition and trust. If your labels are inconsistent, you risk confusing customers and diluting brand impact. Maintain a uniform visual identity (color scheme, font, copy, and logo) across all products to reinforce your brewery’s professional image and strengthen consumer awareness.

Focusing Only on Aesthetics
Don’t go overboard when it comes to the aesthetics of your labels. Achieving the right mix of visual interest, functionality, and adherence to regulatory guidelines is critical. Your brews will fall flat if they don’t meet labeling regulations or fail to present essential product information. A well-designed custom beer label should enhance your brand’s image while also fulfilling all functional requirements.

Not Working with a Designer
Creating a label without professional input can often result in design flaws that affect compliance and the label’s ability to engage customers. Consider working with a designer who can blend regulatory requirements with aesthetic elements to ensure your labels are attractive and legally compliant.

How to Avoid Common Beer Labeling Mistakes

Once your design meets the TTB requirements, working with a custom label company like Stomp Stickers makes choosing the right size, material, and orientation easy. Stomp’s easy-to-use design tool enables breweries to upload labels and receive an instant proof, so you can correct any design or sizing issues before printing.

The tool’s intuitive interface simplifies the design process, making it easy to upload your artwork, add text, adjust the size, and more. Whether you need interactive Drink ‘N Peel®️ Labels or standout labels for limited edition brews, Stomp has the technology and expertise to bring your vision to life.

Master the Art of Label Design

Avoiding common labeling mistakes is crucial to maintaining brand integrity and compliance in the competitive brewing industry. By partnering with Stomp, your brewery can leverage expert services and tools to create visually striking labels.

If you’re ready to elevate your beer labels, Stomp is here to help. Start designing your custom brewery products today.

 

 

Nashira Edmiston, Customer Success Manager at Stomp

Nashira Edmiston is the Customer Service Manager at Stomp Stickers. Stomp is an e-commerce business that offers high-quality custom labels, stickers, boxes, canopy tents and more. Nashira’s passion is helping her customers brand and market their products through a variety of custom printed items. To get help with your custom printing needs, visit StompStickers.com or email our customer service team directly at supportsquad@stompstickers.com.

Stomp Stickers offers the highest-quality custom stickers and labels to fit every industry’s needs. Our production facility has been printing premium-quality stickers and labels for more than 30 years, working with a wide variety of industries: cannabis, CBD, health & beauty, corporate, weddings, breweries, craft foods, restaurants, and beverages.