Anatomy of The Perfect Label
For a while now I have kept a list of what would be included on the perfect beer label. Recently, I saw the label for 5 Rabbit’s 5 Vulture beer. Leave it to Randy Mosher to create the perfect label. Randy is an esteemed beer writer who has published both mainstream and very technical beer books. His day job as a graphic designer for many craft brewers led into launching 5 Rabbit. I have no doubt when he finally designed a label for a beer he had a role in he just went to town with a grin on his face.
The government requires the following on every beer label:
- The Term Ale or Beer
- The Beer Name
- Government Warning
- Brewery Name
- Bottle Redemption/UPC Codes
What does the 5 Vulture label include that made me so excited? Well everything a beer drinker ever wanted to know.
Let’s check this beer label out from left to right. In the top left corner is a short description of the beer. This description allows consumers to check out the beer before purchase and provides bars a description for their menu. 5 Vulture is brewed with Ancho Chiles which may not be for everyone. If a consumer who does not like chili beer and picks this beer up he may tell everyone how it is a bad beer. It is much smarter to have a customer not buy your beer than to buy and hate it. A proper label allows customers to avoid beers they will dislike.
Just below the description of the beer is the history of both the beer and name. History allows the drinker to have something to remember besides the name and flavor. I also believe these stories give character and context to your beer.
Below the history 5 Rabbit included food pairings. With the trend of food and beer growing by the day 5 Rabbit has positioned itself to be accessible for consumers to take home and pair with dinner. I often hear people say they do not know how to pair. If the pairing is on the bottle the pairing suddenly makes sense.
I have discussed proper temperature and glassware in previous articles. 5 Rabbit took the time to explain that 5 Vulture’s proper temperature is 45F and in a snifter or wine glass best suits the beer. Already 5 Rabbit is changing the experience for me. My thought was this beer would have been served a bit warmer.
When you look at the front of the label several things jump out at you. Besides the beer’s name a logo of the brewery is also prominent. The front also puts the ABV, style and “Ale Brewed With Ancho Chili”, these statements give the customer a clear indication of what they are picking up.
The far right side of the label contains the standard government boilerplate warnings, and instructions to keep the beer refrigerated. Finally, there is a statement that gives great credibility to the ownership: “Brewed for 5 Rabbit Cerveceria by Argus Brewing”. An upfront admission they are contract brewing. Not that contract brewing is a bad thing, and many breweries started off like that. However, an upfront statement that they are gives them points in my book. I remember another local brewery that operated out of Milwaukee, but walked around telling everyone they were Chicago’s hot new item. In that brewery’s case it took me a long time to start regularly drinking their beer. Honesty in brewing is a key ingredient.
Like I said above Mosher knocked one out of the park on this, and I wish 5 Rabbit all the best. If you think he left something out of this label drop it in the comments, and make sure you try 5 Vulture it is a great beer.