Craft beer has been taking the world by storm! Available in just about any grocery store these days, craft beer has been taking up more and more of the market share. This has led to countless different options on the shelves. If you’re a craft beer brewer, you need to set yourself apart from the rest...but how can you do this? One of the best ways is through packaging

Some Thoughts About the Craft Beer Industry

Before we start talking about craft beer packaging, let’s talk a bit about the craft beer industry in general. What is a craft beer brewer? According to the Brewer’s Association, a craft beer brewer refers to a small and independent brewer that has an annual production of less than six million barrels of beer with less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or operated by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not a craft brewer itself.

Craft brewing companies are able to use traditional beer ingredients in non-traditional ways to create unique products that are difficult to replicate or find elsewhere. Consumers have really responded to the unique beer products offered by craft brewers. In 2019, there were 8,275 craft breweries operating in the United States that took up 13.6% of the country’s beer production value. Craft brewing has outperformed itself in terms of retail dollar sales every single year, reaching a new maximum of 29.3 billion dollars in the United States in 2019. 

Why Does Packaging Matter for Craft Beer Companies?

Clearly, craft beers are loved by consumers due to their unique taste. That being said, unique taste should also translate into unique packaging, possibly with ''fragile'' written on it, in order for craft beer to continue its upward trend of taking up more and more of the beer market. Craft beer has a great opportunity to appeal to customers through packaging and influence them to choose their products over competing products on the shelf. 

So how do you do this? First of all, people love craft beer due to local flavors and influences. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a craft beer that was actually brewed in your hometown! As a result, origin is something that you need to include and even emphasize in terms of your craft beer packaging. For example, if you’re a beach brewery in a sleepy Florida beach town, include that kind of aesthetic in your packaging. On the other hand, if you’re a mountaintop brewery, you’re going to want to go with a very different look. 

Secondly, you need to emphasize your brand and tell the story of your product and your business in general. Since craft brewers are local, they tend to be very involved in their communities in terms of philanthropy and volunteerism—these are both things that should be emphasized on your packaging in order to appeal to customers. 

Finally, you’re going to need bright, interesting, and eye-catching designs to draw people to your products amongst hundreds of other options on that same shelf. Overall, if you make your product stand out while showing what it’s all about, you’re definitely on the right track! 

Different Packaging Components for Craft Beer

Craft beer packaging refers to more than just aluminum cans, although those do play a big role, there’s more than meets the eye. Here are some of the different packaging components that you should consider when designing packaging for craft beer:

  • Aluminum cans: As we said, aluminum cans definitely reign supreme in the world of craft beer packaging. This is because cans are lighter, cheaper to ship, easier to ship, easier to carry, and easier to recycle! They are also very protective of their precious contents and are able to resist sunlight and oxygen exposure that can totally ruin craft beer. 

  • Glass bottles: Glass bottles present an alternative to aluminum cans for craft beer packaging. Glass gives off a more premium feel and is ideal for higher-end craft beers. Glass bottles are also usually used by some of the older and larger craft breweries who started using glass long before aluminum cans became the trend. 

  • Labels: Regardless of whether you choose aluminum cans or glass bottles, you’re also going to need labels for your craft beer. While the actual container is important for the beverage itself, the label is going to be very important to your customer—so proceed with caution! Make sure to include all of the information that your customer is looking for. Also make sure to use cool designs, bright colors, and high-quality printing to set yourself apart from the rest. 

  • Bottle caps: If you’re going with glass bottles, you’re also going to need bottle caps! While it may be tempting to just go with a plain old bottle cap, you should see this as an opportunity to further impress your customers and give them a unique souvenir by utilizing custom bottle caps. In fact, some customers like to collect their bottle caps and yours could be a perfect addition to their collection! 

  • Cardboard beer bottle holder: Once you have your individual container packaging figured out, you need to think about how you’re going to package and present multiple units. One way to do this is through a six pack beer bottle holder. For this item, you can use similar designs to your actual labels and utilize it as another branding opportunity to show off your brand thanks to more surface area to work with. 

  • Shipping boxes: Finally, the last piece of packaging that you’re going to need for your craft beer are bigger shipping boxes so that you can ship out larger quantities of product. This is also another area that you’re going to want to embrace branding and go custom by printing your unique designs onto sturdy and durable corrugated with trusted suppliers.

5 Examples of Awesome Craft Beer Packaging for Inspiration

If you still need some inspiration in terms of awesome craft beer packaging, check out these impressive examples:

  • Fun geometric shapes and vibrant colors on glossy labels to give the product a young, fun, and vibrant feel. 
  • Bold dark colors and straight lines on matte labels to give the product a classic, traditional, and timeless feel. 
  • Shiny metallic colors with royal accents to give the product an expensive, tailored, and high-end feel. 
  • Eye-catching abstract illustrations utilizing many different colors to give the product a psychedelic, trippy, and interesting feel. 
  • Quiet and calm pastel colors showing off nature illustrations to give the product a pure, natural, and calming feel. 

How to Choose a Packaging Partner for Craft Beer Packaging

With these amazing ideas in mind, you’re probably ready to put your own twist on them and get them on your beer! However, if you’re looking for a great design, then you need to work with a professional packaging partner. Here are some tips to follow to ensure that the packaging partner you choose is the right fit:

  • Your partner should want to help you grow your business. They should listen to your concerns and offer personalized solutions. 

  • Your partner should have a lot of experience in the packaging game. If they’ve seen it all, they’re more likely to help you solve all your problems. 

  • Your partner should offer amazing customer service through multiple channels. Their stellar customer service should be indicated by a long list of satisfied clients. 

With these things in mind, BoxGenie is definitely the right partner for you. They have been in the business for almost 50 years and have worked with over 2,000 brands—big and small—to help them meet all their needs, overcome challenges, and impress customers along the way. 

If you have an exact design in mind, you can easily upload your own content and customize your design through their user-friendly design tool. If you need a little bit of inspiration, they offer a design showcase with ideas from previously designed products. On the other hand, if you have no idea what you’re doing, you can easily reach out to them and they will guide you through the entire process. 

Final Thoughts on Craft Beer Packaging

Now you’re ready to get started on creating the perfect custom packaging for your craft beer products! Just keep in mind all the different components needed along the way and also be sure to reach out to packaging pros like BoxGenie if you have any questions or run into any problems along the way. 




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