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“You can have the best beer, but a label is what sells the product,”

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by sandiego67, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. azorie

    azorie Champion (760) Florida Mar 18, 2006 Verified

    I just pour it in the glass half the time I have no glasses on and I cannot read the label anyway.
  2. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Champion (840) New York Mar 6, 2013 Verified

    I think we can agree on that it's an excellent beer so it doesn't really matter what the bottle looks like.
    azorie likes this.
  3. I'm sure it's been said multiple times, but you're getting hung up on the word "label". The packaging of Westvleteren's beers absolutely contribute to their "mystique" and reputation.
  4. azorie

    azorie Champion (760) Florida Mar 18, 2006 Verified

    they used to have a label, now they do not. I am not hung up, I was just answering the question. Besides do you not detect the humor in the end thread part? or so I have to include this everytime?:D
  5. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Advocate (505) Florida Jun 13, 2012

    US law required the Westy that was sold here on 12/12/12 to have a label (or info about what's in the bottle, a la Stone's etched bottles).

    The Westy that's sold at the Abbey does not have a label.

    Westy US Label

    Premo88 likes this.
  6. beckmn1

    beckmn1 Aficionado (145) Oklahoma Sep 26, 2003

    Mixed feelings on this one. While in a store looking for a new beer that I haven't tried, a label can catch my eye. I have bought beers based on the design of the label (assuming its a style of beer that I like).

    But in the end, a beer lives or dies by the quality of the beer itself. The core Dogfish Head beers having boring labels. So does the Chimay lineup and a number or great beers.

    So labels can help attract attention, but over the long run, it's what's in the bottle that'll keep it on the shelves.
  7. honestly labels mean nothing to me. I hear about a beer, I buy and look at the label as I'm drinking it.
  8. azorie

    azorie Champion (760) Florida Mar 18, 2006 Verified

    yes I know all that. It had a label IN BELGIUM at one time.
  9. Buzzardsuds

    Buzzardsuds Initiate (0) Ohio May 27, 2013

    Great point! Pliny and Alesmith IPA do just fine, cause of what's in the bottle, not cause of the label!
  10. BethanyB

    BethanyB Savant (355) New York Jun 20, 2013

    I've had enough good beers with "bad" labels and bad beers with "good" labels to be able to honestly say I no longer even consider the labels. Now I just shop by recommendations, knowledge of brewery quality/reputation, etc.
    GoGators likes this.
  11. BeerGreg

    BeerGreg Advocate (560) Illinois May 17, 2013 Verified

    The label would convince me to buy a beer, but the beer itself is what would make me a repeat customer. Put a naked Jessica Alba on the worst beer in the world, and I may not buy it twice, but I will damn sure ponder it every time I see it in the store, though.
    Kyrojack likes this.
  12. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    The package sells the beer the first time.

    Repeat sales are based on the product inside the package.

    So, to answer your question, pretty damn important.
  13. Roxie_B

    Roxie_B Savant (390) Alabama Jun 1, 2014

    If y'all can find me one with a kitten on the label I will buy it.
    Donkster46, Premo88 and Roguer like this.
  14. ChugLife

    ChugLife Savant (295) Colorado Aug 13, 2012 Verified

  15. Hendry

    Hendry Advocate (500) Vermont Mar 8, 2013

    It is more the self aggrandizing descriptions on the bottle the have drawn me in than the artwork, and I've learned that the description of "balanced" IPAs are generally ones to avoid: give me hops till I drop!
  16. Vogt52

    Vogt52 Advocate (605) Maryland May 25, 2014

    I've had plenty of beers with boring/generic labels that are amazing, and I have found that some breweries spend more time on their labels/marketing than the quality of their beer. Don't judge a beer by its label haha.
    Shroud0fdoom likes this.
  17. Biff_Tannen

    Biff_Tannen Savant (365) Missouri Dec 8, 2013

    I agree with Dominguez
  18. Karibourgeois

    Karibourgeois Advocate (505) Texas Jul 28, 2013 Verified

    Jester King...great beers and really cool labels. The best of both worlds.
  19. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Savant (385) Pennsylvania Apr 1, 2009 Verified

    The problem is beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. Not everyone is going to agree which labels are visually appealing, so creative labels may get attention, but not always positive attention. The best labels, for me at least, are often pretty simple. Too much attention paid to the label makes me think they are overcompensating for not enough attention paid to the beer itself.
    foundersfan1 likes this.
  20. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poobah (1,135) New York Aug 25, 2010 Verified

    I don't think you need a great label to sell beer or for a beer to be great. Westy 12 has no label, for example. And some beers with awful labels are fantastic, and it won't stop people from buying them. I mean, heck, we're pouring it into a glass anyway, right? :p
  21. turbotype

    turbotype Advocate (540) California Nov 5, 2013 Verified

    Its funny that the guy says a label is what sells beer, but Lost Abbey labels leave a lot to be desired. The fancy writing and artwork on the bottle means nothing. They might fool people into trying their overpriced beer, but that label wont keep them coming back. Meanwhile Russian River has the most boring labels ever and their beer sells out within hours. Lost Abbey just collects dust. It's what's in the bottle that matters. Nothing more.

    PS. Sorry if I'm a little salty, but that marketing mentality is rather irritating. :mad:
    PS PS. I just realized this thread is a zombie thread! Good topic for newbies to read and laugh at. :cool:
    TongoRad and IPAandGreenChile like this.
  22. Lazhal

    Lazhal Savant (465) Michigan Mar 13, 2011 Verified

    I always thought Short's beers were a joke, from the stupid labels and beer names they put out. One day I decided, hell, I live in MI, I'm going to try them all. I eventually realized that a bunch of their seasonal beers were fantastic, and although they might not rank #1 in their category, they represented the style incredibly well.

    Props out to Short's for being able to sell beers with both terrible labels and names. I mean, come on, who thinks a beer named "Dan's Pink Skirt" with their flagship cartoon label of some idiot in a skirt is going to be awesome...but believe me, it is.
    Billydoughnuts and hopnado like this.
  23. floridadrift

    floridadrift Advocate (645) Florida Oct 24, 2014 Verified

  24. BrewMan13

    BrewMan13 Savant (315) New York Apr 22, 2004

    It depends. I admit, I have bought some of beers based purely on the label; in my early craft beer days the Unibroue labels piqued my interest; nowadays I'd buy a beer with a viking or metal related label in a heartbeat. However, it's certainly not the case a majority of the time. But I'd be lying if I said it never had an effect on my purchasing.
  25. Pahn

    Pahn Champion (840) New York Dec 2, 2009 Verified

  26. Pahn

    Pahn Champion (840) New York Dec 2, 2009 Verified

    The blurbs on their bottles outright annoy me and i still buy mad stone beer. They are far from a media machine; they just have a point of view and style. I enjoy Greg's boisterousness in person at events but i could do without the labels... And thankfully i do, given that i generally pour their delicious beer into a glass.
    Donkster46 and otispdriftwood like this.
  27. Scott17taylor

    Scott17taylor Advocate (610) Iowa Oct 28, 2013 Verified

    I would say that it is kind of true, most beer drinkers aren't interested in craft beer, but many are willing to try something new. If you didn't know what was good you could just pick up the coolest label. For people who know more about craft beer no this isn't very true but the majority of people aren't like us they don't know what to drink.
  28. SierraJosh

    SierraJosh Savant (440) California Aug 13, 2013 Verified

    You know when I look at The Brown Note label all I say is damn that is beautiful, creative art. I need to drink that beer...nope, never.
  29. Dravin

    Dravin Savant (255) Indiana Apr 27, 2014 Verified

    I will say that a bad label will keep me from buying product. Though in my case bad means uninformative rather than not the spiffiest art and graphic design. Catchy art or graphic design does make a beer stand out on the shelf, but it's all for naught if it's missing critical information.
  30. Akerstache

    Akerstache Aficionado (215) Germany Feb 20, 2015

    I did pick Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde solely based on the label looking like a Summoning LP cover art and the fact that it translated to "the end of the world". Turns out, I chose wisely.
    mwa423 and Donkster46 like this.
  31. Derranged

    Derranged Advocate (535) New York Mar 7, 2010

    I agree. Craft beer geeks could take over the world if they weren't half in the bag most of the time. ;)
    mwa423 likes this.
  32. Has there ever been a better label than Pliny the Elder?
  33. fearfactory

    fearfactory Savant (485) Massachusetts Aug 12, 2012 Verified

    I would love to hear if he still feels this way. Imagine how many times he's been burned by a pretty label since 2012?
  34. djsmith1174

    djsmith1174 Advocate (540) Minnesota Aug 21, 2005 Verified

    I admire nice artwork for what it is...artwork. And it's certainly not exclusing to beer packaging. A pretty label does not make a well constructed beer. I'm willing to give anything a try regardless of it's packaging and let my nose and taste buds do the judging. I'm certain it works or is perceived to work based on data or no manufacturer would make the investment in it.
  35. DannyS

    DannyS Advocate (530) New York Sep 20, 2007 Verified

    I'd say this applies to a lot of beers, but definitely not all:

    If you garner a reputation for a whale or some specific beer that people go way out of their way to get (Heady, Other Half cans, Julius, Hill Farmstead, Dark Lord, Huna, etc.) then you could put frickin' goatse on the label and the beer geeks/snobs will still fight over it.

    But if you're like the majority of breweries who are putting their stuff out through distributors and have to compete with the countless others on the store rack, then yes, a good label is probably a benefit.

    P.S. - Please don't actually put goatse on your label...unless you're just trying to troll Kent Martin or something. In that case, totally do it.
    Akerstache likes this.
  36. This is a difficult thing to discuss as humans struggle when they have to consciously address what their brains do on the unconscious level. It's even more difficult when they think that they can consciously address what their brains do on the unconscious level.
  37. hopnado

    hopnado Advocate (585) Michigan Aug 13, 2014

    only a few thousand
  38. 1ale_man

    1ale_man Savant (290) Texas Apr 25, 2015 Verified

    First sale yes. Second: Product inside! I've said this beforeso forgive me. Coke could be written on a silver can with a black marker and those that love would still buy it! Same goes for Bud Light and Coors. Folks love the drink inside. You can't stay afloat on first sales.
  39. Akerstache

    Akerstache Aficionado (215) Germany Feb 20, 2015

    That is pretty much what other people have noted in regards to brand loyalty. That doesn't really apply to checking out new things which happens a lot more often in this subculture. Like, when I'm checking for new stuff to try out - which stuff do I go for? It would be foolish to assume that labels and aesthetic makeup are irrelevant in this context. I mean you can look at scores and reviews beforehand but even that may not help you much.

    E.g. I generally like triples and Tripel Karmeliet is generally regarded as one of the best out there. I had one this year and I disliked it so much I gave the other bottle to my flatmate because I couldn't have drank a second one. I generally like Stouts, I had my issues with Schönramer's Imperial Stout. I barely ever had an IPA that I hate but Flying Dog's Raging Bitch was terrible.

    Long story short: At some point in those considerations - whether knowingly or unknowingly - aesthetic appearance will factor into it.
  40. I guess you're not, like, into that whole simplicity thing, man.
    hopnado likes this.