Best/Worst Beer Label Removals!!!

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by GeckoPunk, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. TheBeerologist

    TheBeerologist Nov 20, 2011 Rhode Island

    Looks like I need to start using Oxiclean.
    I have the worst time with Founders/Lagunitas.

    Mayflower Porter (and I assume other beers) along with Cambridge Brewing Co. labels come off with pretty much no effort though
     
  2. gtermi

    gtermi Apr 21, 2010 Texas

    Sierra Nevada are the easiest to me and Brooklyn is the hardest
     
    psnydez86 likes this.
  3. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    GI Sofie falls off in warm water, don't even bother with St. Peters stickers. Pretty sure they use yellow cake to make their labels.
     
  4. ItsLaTrappe

    ItsLaTrappe May 15, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I collect labels and drink a lot of Founders. I dont have a single Founders label in the collection.o_O
    Also, as mentioned earlier, DFH labels fall off in the fridge which turns drinking into mystery beer hunter if ya got a mix.
     
    GeckoPunk likes this.
  5. GeckoPunk

    GeckoPunk Jul 29, 2012 Connecticut

    T
    Thanks for the "head's up" with the Southern Tiers... I saved one from Halloween and haven't got around to de-labelling it yet. Will take extra precaution when soaking that beer longer.
     
  6. tjkinate

    tjkinate Jan 13, 2011 Nebraska

    New Jester King labels are very difficult to remove due to lamination making it really tough for the hot water to get in there. Their old bottles, on the other hand, were very easy to remove.
     
  7. bigfnjoe

    bigfnjoe Oct 22, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Dark Horse labels are awful. Not even worth trying.
     
  8. Tschnab

    Tschnab Aug 21, 2010 New York

    Brooklyn Brewery ones are really tough.
     
  9. GeckoPunk

    GeckoPunk Jul 29, 2012 Connecticut

    I whole-heartedly agree with everyone who voted for Dogfish Head as one of the easiest labels to remove... I just peeled their 120 minute label off in less than 5 seconds! :D

    I soaked that along with some other beers since last Friday, and just took them off (Sunday). I am pulling my hair out trying to de-label some Hennepin (Farmhouse Saison) - Brewery Ommegang ... ~*~Pure Evil.~*~ :mad:
     
  10. AndyAvalanche

    AndyAvalanche Jun 16, 2008 Massachusetts

    Everything Jack's Abby are really easy to take the label off of. I have a tough time with Duck Rabbit and Terrapin bottles.


    A wet "magic eraser" I find to be the best for taking label gunk off after soaking.
     
  11. danedelman

    danedelman Apr 3, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Amonia mixed with the water works wonders!!

    I find Great Divide and Weyerbacher (not brewer select) are easiest and I toss the DFH and of course Stone are all doomed;)
     
    GeckoPunk likes this.
  12. danedelman

    danedelman Apr 3, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Anything Belgian or German just need a soak in hot water. Plus the bottles are thicker as they re use them there and even bottle condition.

    Cantillon is the exception. No luck for me.
     
  13. Whimpers

    Whimpers Dec 17, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    another vote for Dogfish...I find myself fidgeting with their labels all the time and trying to peel them off in one complete piece.
     
  14. CubsJedi

    CubsJedi Jun 8, 2012 Michigan

    Shorts are very difficult. No success yet. Agree on the oxyclean. That's what I use... Magically stuff. Lol.
     
  15. SirWalkAbout

    SirWalkAbout Dec 6, 2011 Texas

    Magic Hat come off easy. I soak all mine in a sink of hot water and baking soda and that usually does the trick.
     
  16. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    easiest = kuhnhenn

    hardest/most pain in the butt = Hair of the Dog, Shorts, Maine Brewing Company
     
  17. modern

    modern May 31, 2012 Ohio

    I recommend soaking the bottle in a cooler all day, and just trying to peel it off with your hand a half dozen or so times.
     
  18. Offa

    Offa Feb 6, 2008 California

    I find Aecht Schlenkerla labels exceedingly easy to remove - just get them wet and they basically slip off.

    Pretty much all British beer labels give me a devil of a time.
     
  19. unclekeith

    unclekeith Sep 4, 2012 Alaska
    Beer Trader

    Midnight Sun used to be paper and glue (easy to remove). About a year ago they switched to a sticker which is a bit of a pain, but the Most Wanted Series (i.e. Berserker and Brewtality) is a whole other beast. Fought through one and recycled the rest.

    Can't stand painted bottles Rogue: instant recycle.
     
    BrewBoone likes this.
  20. Wreckoncile

    Wreckoncile Jul 19, 2011 California

    Some unmentioned:

    Easy: Fuller's. Slips off with a soak.
    Hard: Unibroue. Both the labels and the foil at the top require a long soak and then scrubbing with a brillo pad to get off.
     
  21. mporter13

    mporter13 Jul 13, 2011 Oregon

    The last time I was removing labels after a long soak, Sierra Nevada labels easily peeled off, but the lagunitas labels were a bitch!
     
  22. treyrab

    treyrab Aug 26, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    Surprised nobody said Troegs. I soak these and after an hour all the labels are floating on the water. All other brewery labels still on and need a gentle scrub.
     
  23. GeckoPunk

    GeckoPunk Jul 29, 2012 Connecticut

  24. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    By far, the easiest labels to remove are the ones found on the bottles that homebrewers send in to competitions (typically a little Avery label with a number written on it). These bottles are frequently offered to judges and other volunteers at the end of each competition to save the organizers the trouble of disposing of them. Already delabeled and ready to fill, yet again. I often bring home a case or two of unopened bottles - those that didn't advance to Best Of Show (even among those, the quality has improved dramatically over just the past five years or so). Get involved! it's fun, you spend the day drinking free beer with a bunch of like minded people, and you get to bring home all the delabeled bottles you can fit in your car!
     
    Hotmetal1 likes this.
  25. Swampworks

    Swampworks Jun 1, 2010 Louisiana

    Exactly what I was thinking. Why even bother with clear bottles? I really don't care if they secure them with industrial epoxy. Might as well try getting the ink off the label so you can reuse the paper while you're at it.
     
  26. good_gracious

    good_gracious Aug 19, 2012 Maryland

    Flying dog beers are all a biatch
     
  27. JustinQ

    JustinQ Nov 24, 2011 California

    my 2 cents, I hate taking the time to remove labels. So I usually just buy new bottles. Little expensive, but my time is worth more to me
     
  28. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I once tried to remove southern tiers pumking label from a bomber and after a 24 hour pbw soak I had to physically rip the label off with a scalpel and forcep and then the bottle stuck to my hand and I haven't been able to operate my own zipper since....
     
  29. beercity_chris

    beercity_chris Oct 6, 2012 Michigan

    Bells are great. I dont even use any cleaner, just hot water for 15 minutes and they slide right off. Grolsch are about the same, great because there is hardly any label there.

    Russian River is the worst for me. North Peak is up there, which is unfortunate because they changed their labeling last year. They used to be a glue-on and they switched to a peel-and-stick. I really like their bottles but those new labels are practically impossible. Oxyclean will actually remove all the ink from the label but the label will remain.
    Founders is something people seem to have problem with. I tried to get a Bolt Cutter label off this weekend, I didnt have very good luck, but a 1-2 hour soak in HOT water with oxyclean seemed to separate the top part of the label from the paper backing. Didnt come off perfect, but for saving labels it worked ok. I put the bottle back in to soak the paper off, and today it just slid off. So I might try some more Founders with a long soak in strong oxyclean.
     
  30. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Though opening them is a bit like Russian roulette. For me, about 20% are instant drain pours, 20% more merit a few sips, 40% are decent and about 20% are really good. And I accumulate so many bottles that I give the major portion of them to other brewers.

    Yes, competitions are fun. Anyone who doesn't want to take any tests can be a steward - they are always in demand, it's really easy (like being a waiter with only one table to watch) and most judges will encourage you to taste the beers. My wife and I go to competitions together; I judge and she stewards. It's always fun, you meet some great people and drink some nice beer. It is embarrassing when she corrects my arithmetic mistakes though.
     
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.
  31. koopa

    koopa Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    My experience...

    BEST: Most eu imports
    WORST: Russian River (wow that is probably the one and only time I called them the worst at something)
     
  32. runner72

    runner72 Oct 7, 2009 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

    I've found Sam Adams labels to come off pretty easily. Soak in hot water for 5-10 minutes and use a scraper. I've never tried the oxiclean but will in the future. A lot of Belgians (Chimay, Orval, etc) come off with just hot water.
     
  33. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    on second thought, the worst are those sole comp labels. they are like newspaper so as you are trying to remove them, the label rubs off on your hand. REALLY tough to get one in good shape.
     
  34. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Sierra Nevada, bells, and dog fish head are by far the easiest I've encountered.
     
  35. beercity_chris

    beercity_chris Oct 6, 2012 Michigan

    Just an FYI if anyone ever actually has a problem with Bells labels. They do sell label sets on their website.
     
  36. dcgunman

    dcgunman Jul 1, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Pliny bottles for sure are the worst to get off. I use Oxiclean with HOT water soaked in ice chest overnight. Then use brillo pad while inside the ice chest scrubbing the hell out of the bottle. Most other bottles the label will slide right off or a little elbow scrub. But the Pliny labels are the worst. I just toss the Pliny bottles away now.
     
  37. pweis909

    pweis909 Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    Most of my bottles come from New Glarus. I soaked them in oxyclean or similar overnight. By morning, most of the labels were floating and the remaining glue comes of with a dishbrush in a stream of hotwater.
     
  38. beercity_chris

    beercity_chris Oct 6, 2012 Michigan

    Heat gun on Russian River bottles worked great. Took about 3 minutes per bottle, heat a little, peel a little, just work your way across. I set mine to 650 F. Have a piece of heavy paper ready to stick the label to when you get it off.
     
  39. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Does anyone else just not bother? I think it's a bit of nostalgic fun to see beers gone by as I'm drinking the homebrew.

    Do you cork them? My Autumn Maple bottle had the wrong size mouth for my caps.
     
  40. tennispl

    tennispl Dec 28, 2012 Washington

    I find it odd you say Great Divide as easiest because I was just about to post that they were the worst for me. I don't even save the labels I just take them off for brewing so I don't care how they look and Great Divide is still far and away the worst. Avery brewing comes off nice and easy though. Soak for a few hours in hot water in a cooler and most things just fall off.
     
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe