Tap into these brilliant beer trends

Oktoberfest is in full swing, so we thought there’d be no better way to celebrate than with a refreshing look at the world’s best beer packaging trends. Breweries have long been revered as a space for creative experimentation – both in flavor and design.

And with the growing popularity of the craft beer movement, there’s no better time to get in on the game. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the eye-catching styles that make us want to pull a six-pack off the shelves.

1. Kraft paper

The hipster staple has finally made its way to the table. Beloved for its industrial style and unique canvas, this type of packaging blends vintage authenticity with a modern boldness that we absolutely love. Try not to feel cool sipping out of one of these.

Kraft paper beer label
This is a present we’d love to unwrap! Alter Brauch gives a nod to German brewing history with rustic colors, wrapping and twine. By Elena Pavlova (via The Dieline)
Kraft paper beer label from 99designs
Marina Cerveza combines vintage style with a pop of color (by g ideas)
Brew By Numbers label design
London-based Brew by Numbers keeps their beer minimal and modern

2. More authenticity

While some have championed a sort of sterile minimalism in packaging design, with clean white space and crisp curves, others are turning that look on its head.

Scrawled typography, stamping and handwritten notes are giving packaging a raw, personal feel that beer fans are loving.

Ah yeah! beer design trend
Spanish beer, Au Yeah!, has a playful, cowboy-inspired spin for their American Pale Ale
Kriek limited beer release
Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s limited release beers feel extra special after being hand-stamped, hand-labeled and signed by the bottler (via Jim Dore)
Saskiskiu Alus DIY stamp beer labels
Small-batch Lithuanian brewers, Saskiskiu Alus, create a set of DIY stamps for each beer produced (via Retail Design Blog)

3. Geometry

We’ve mentioned it before, but geometric patterns and designs are fast growing in popularity. They’re the perfect combination of symmetry and minimalism, taking a more mature approach to the hipster aesthetic. The straight lines and sharp angles dynamically draw the eye through the label in a clean and pleasing way.

With a dash of whimsy and punk rock, these brews are a grounding reminder that beer can be anything but serious.

Evil Twin beer labels
Evil Twin Brewing instigated this beer packaging trend with bold geometric designs on all their labels (via Oh Beautiful Beer)
Penrose Brewing geometric beer packing
Penrose Brewing uses a mosaic style for all their packaging (via The Hop Review)
Fort Point - Minimal, geometric beer labels
Fort Point Beer Co. keeps their geometric style beautifully minimal (via Manual Creative)

4. Throwback

Vintage and retro styles are nothing new, but they do seem here to stay. The trick now is standing out from the crowd and finding relevance in a sea of throwback typefaces and kitschy cartoons.

It’s interesting to talk about evolution with a trend that’s trapped in time, but it’s happening over and over – giving the look a new perspective and tying in new, unique elements each time.

Hilliards beer can design
Hilliard’s beer gives their retro beer a ’70s slant (via Mint)
Malt 79 beer packaging from 99designs
Designer WORKK makes Malt 79 a classic (via 99designs)
Art Noveau inspired beer label
Siris Cellars Handcrafted Beer draws its inspiration from Art Noveau (via 99designs)

5. Wine-like elegance

The comparisons between craft beer and wine culture aren’t lost on designers. Many breweries are ditching the anti-establishment rhetoric in favor of a simpler sophistication that demands respect. This is for the beer served in finer glasses, with tasting notes and loftier prices.

Goose Island beer labels
Goose Island Belgians stand out from the breweries’ other labels with a refined design (via Draft Magazine)
Beautiful beer packaging design
The artsy packaging design from Mateo & Bernabé and friends is chic and polished.
Maine Beer Co bottle design
Maine Beer Co plays with minimalism and white space in a way that’s always been reserved for wine.

6. Crowlers

The love of canning grows stronger by the minute for breweries. And why not? Cans keep your beer tasting good (less oxygen and light pollution) and the planet happier – not to mention, they’re a heck of a lot more fun to crush at the end.

They’ve become so popular, that Oskar Blues’ proud invention – the Crowler – is making it into the mainstream. It’s an 32-ounce aluminum alternative to the traditional glass growler and a whole new way to approach beer design.

What’s next? Well… maybe a beer shot or two.

Oscar Blues' Crowler
A look at Oscar Blues’ crowler (from the article “The end of the glass Growler? The “Crowler” just blew our minds“)
Dry Hop Brewers - Crowler beer trend
DryHop Brewers crowler can by Jack Muldowney (via Facebook)
Crowler
Cuvee Coffee has their Sharpie ready for these recyclable crowlers at their Sputnik release party

Have your eye on any other beer packaging trends? Share them in the comments!

Featured image:Microbrasserie Alchimiste. (via Oh Beautiful Beer)

The author

Kelsey Bryant
Kelsey Bryant

Kelsey is 99designs' Designer Marketing Manager. Born and raised in a small town in Connecticut, she moved to San Francisco in 2009 with a degree in Strategic Communications from Elon University. When she’s not running the designer blog, you can find her exploring the city, taking weekend road trips, and soaking up that California sunshine.

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