Do you judge a beer by its label?

Does a slick label make a beer? City of Ate describes how David Schuemann of CF Napa Brand Design explains in his new book, 99 Bottles of Wine, how making wine labels look more sophisticated or showy can capture the attention of shoppers more than the wine itself.

“Do people pick things up because it looks good?” responded Wim Bens when prodded about his beer labels. “Absolutely!” His Lakewood Brewing Company is well regarded in the local brewing scene, and his beers can be found on tap at many bars just as easily as it can be found on shelves at area grocery stores. Bens worked with his former employer Tracy Locke, a design and advertising firm, to develop a branding theme for all his products. And now he adapts that theme as new beers became available.

Each beer label is anchored by an image of wooden boards that vaguely echo the walls of the tasting room at the brewery. Each beer has a badge and a symbol that adheres to a similar style that is imposed on the wooden background. “It needed to be iconic, eye-catching and simple,” Bens said of the design concept. He wanted his labels to be recognizable from across the bar, or across the grocery store, no matter what style of beer was in the bottle.

Are you fooled by a label? I know the liter bottles often catch my eye with a flashy logo or a wax seal. Am I alone?

Drinking our way through Boston brewery tours

Our recent trip to Boston very quickly turned into our own beer tour of the city. If you are heading to Boston any time soon, check out these local breweries and bars to satisfy your inner beer nerd.

Samuel Adams Brewery Tour

Sam Adams, one of the largest craft breweries, was a must for us when we knew we would be in Boston. It is a bit of a trek outside the downtown area, but the closest T station puts you within a short walk of the brewery. Continue reading

Getting a keg up on the competition

After bottling and experimenting with the Party Pig to package and share our beer with the world, we decided it was time to take the leap into kegging and forced carbonation.

Dropping the weeks of bottle conditioning off the time required to produce a beer looks pretty good when you start brewing every other weekend or so.

But kegging isn’t something you can just jump into with ease, as we have learned. There’s a lot of equipment to buy to make sure you can fill and pressurize the kegs. So I turned to the Internet. Luckily for us, there’s plenty out there on kegging, sanitizing, and all the equipment you could ever want to find.

In prepping for our keg equipment purchase, these two videos from Brewing Daily helped get me on track. So if you’re thinking about kegging, give these a watch.

Brewing Daily has a collection of how-to videos available if there are any other topics you’d like to learn about related to homebrewing.