Cheers to the Holidays: 10 Award-Winning Beer Packaging Designs

Ah, the holidays. The most wonderful time of the year; perfect to spend time with family, share gifts with loved ones…

…and drink heavily because your father-in-law keeps making accidentally sexist comments and you’re terrified of what that January credit card bill is going to look like after buying all those gifts for your nieces and nephews and siblings and…

Whoa.

But before you totally lose it (or just run out of cash), make sure you say “Cheers!” to the Holidays with one of these brews whose label earned a win in PRINT Magazine’s Regional Design Annual. These beer packaging designs are the cream of the crop. We can’t vouch for the flavor, but we sure can promise they’ll look good in your hand, by the menorah or under the tree. No matter how you celebrate, everyone deserves a cold drink by the end of (or during) the holiday season.

Cheers, y’all.

1. New Belgium

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Images courtesy of Hatch Design

Everyone had heard of New Belgium’s “flagship beer,” Fat Tire. But not enough people were indulging in their 18 additional flavors. So to amp things up, San Francisco based design firm Hatch, created a “portfolio-wide redesign to deliver a consistent visual experience with a growing, admirable audience.”

2. 1Kick Canned Mule

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Image courtesy of Think to Make

“Tiny can. Big kick.” 1Kick Canned Mule isn’t technically a beer. It’s more like a tasty little cocktail in a can. Think to Make had the opportunity of building the brand for 1Kick from the ground up—including the name, packaging, website, social media. All of it.

3. Brooks Dry Cider

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Images courtesy of Hall Design

Brooks Dry Cider boasts a unique flavor, especially for a hard cider. How else could a brew, born in California, show off its singularity other than with a grizzly bear logo? Designer Tosh Hall’s inspiration came from the historical California Republic and its notorious Bear Flag. Brooks the Bear connects the cider to its West Coast roots and remains approachable by depicting him in sweet and silly illustrations.

Check out more impressive brew packaging in the book Cool Beer Labels by Daniel Bellon and Steven Speeg.

4. Deck & Donohue

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Images courtesy of Weekends

Weekend design firm wanted to tell the sincerely fascinating story of Deck & Donohue. Thomas Deck and Michael Donohue met a decade ago around a campfire where they shared stories and soon realized they also shared a love for good beer. One thing led to another, and Donohue left his job at a US brewery and moved to Paris to work with Deck. The results? A serious craft beer with an awesome brand to tell the tale.

5. Kaiju! Beer

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Image courtesy of Mikey Burton

Kaiju! Beer comes from the Australia based South East Brewing Company. The colorful illustrations that grace this brew’s bottles are not only eye-catching, but also represent the wheat and hops within. For example, look at that double IPA with the twin monsters. Or the psychedelic hop plant for the metamorphosis IPA. Cute, clever and creative.

6. Texian Brewing Company

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Image courtesy of Oak Interactive

The Summer Sandia is the technical RDA winner for Oak Interactive and the Texian Brewing Company. Regardless, you should check out all of the beer labels Oak has created for Texian because they’re all incredible. The sans serif typeface and the vernacular style really links this brew to its Texan roots.

7. Good People Brewing Company

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Images courtesy of Lewis Communications

Good People Brewing Company asked Lewis Communications to refresh their entire canned beer lineup. Lewis Communications accepted the challenge and centered their work on creating an “easily recognized brand family,” while making sure each beer had its own identity. Their result was brighter colors, bolder personality and driven typography.

Read more about Roy Burns, one of the designers who worked on this project with Lewis Communications—and an award-winning poster designer.

8. Shiner Beers

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Images courtesy of RBMM

Shiner Beer has been brewing since 1909 out of the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. The little brewery ships more than 6 million cases across the US. To promote the home-style feeling of Shiner and its small town (population 2,069), RBMM focused the beer’s branding around a homegrown feeling by using a natural color palette and typefaces that shout “We’re Southern and proud!”

9. Real Ale Brewing

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Image courtesy of The Butler Bros.

Real Ale Brewing is an independent brewery that has been creating craft beers for nearly two decades. Similarly to the Fat Tire and New Belgium story, Real Ale was known mostly by their Firemans #4 brew, and not as a brewery that boasts 19 unique flavors. To fix this, The Butler Bros. took the original labels sporadic characteristics and brought them together as a family.

10. BrainDead Brewing

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Images courtesy of Matchbox Studio, Inc.

Sam Wynne and Jeff Fryman of BrainDead Brewing came to Matchbox Studio with the challenge of branding their new brewpub. They wanted a look that would challenge the craft beer scene in Dallas. And they got what they were looking for. Matchbox gladly accepted the challenge and used bright colors and wacky illustrations to show off the pub and its beer’s out-there style.


Enter Print’s 2016 Regional Design Annual!
Print’s RDA, the industry’s most lauded graphic design annual for more than 35 years, is now officially accepting 2016 entries. Enter by Feb. 5 for the best early-bird rates.

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