The Best Craft Beer Label Designs of Iowa
There is no denying that the popularity of craft beer is spreading like wildfire both in Iowa and throughout the United States. In fact, about 12.2 million barrels were produced and sold from January-June 2015, up 15% from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014. While the beers coming out of these amazing Iowa breweries are the topic of conversation for many, their custom beer bottle designs are what set them apart. Let’s take a look at a handful of our favorite craft beer labels!
When looking at the beer label designs of Des Moines’ Exile Brewing Company, the first thing you may notice is the vintage look. The Des Moines brewery does a brilliant job of making each beer label distinct and individual while also ensuring the designs flow together with a similar vibe. Most of the beer labels (or at least their classics) involve women with a mid-century look within an oval shape. Additionally, most of their beer labels include a ribbon with the name of the beer.
The Knoxville-based Peace Tree Brewing Co. has been making a name for itself the last few years. Peace Tree has not only trademarked itself for its delectable beers, but its unique beer label designs. What we take note of right away when looking at their beer labels is the handwritten typography as well as the colorful illustrations for each beer. We love the bright, bold illustrations that bring the name of each beer to life within the label’s distinct border.
Launched in 2012, the Des Moines brewery Confluence Brewing Company has made a name for itself with their diverse assortment of craft beers and unique beer label designs. What we love right away when looking through their roster of brews is that each beer represents an iconic Des Moines landmark with the skyline and their logo positioned right around the design. All of the beer label designs stick to the same color pallet with the name of the beer always capitalized.
Located in the Iowa River Landing of Coralville, Backpocket Brewing is an Iowa craft beer treasure with beer labels that pop out at bars and supermarkets. Backpocket goes for the distressed look with the same color pallet throughout every design. What we found the most intriguing is that each design has an outlined stitch around the main images, giving a unique and rustic flare. Between the same logo placement for each beer and the prominent, all-caps name of each beer, there’s no confusing a Backpocket product for a beer from any other brewery.
Ames’ Main Street has a lot of character, and the long-standing Olde Main Brewing Co. fits right in with its crisp beers and distinctive designs. What sets Olde Main apart from its Iowa brewery cohorts is the detail-oriented beer label designs. Each design is as intricate as the beer itself. With a vintage look overall, each image tells a story about that particular beer. As for the design colors, they’re all over the pallet. Overall, we give Olde Main an A+ for beer label creativity.
You can’t beat an Iowa brewery that provides delicious craft beer and a witty sense of humor. Located right outside of Iowa City, in Kalona, IA, is Kalona Brewing Company. Above the great beer coming out of this local brewery is the rare and uncommon beer label designs. What stands out right away when looking at their is the modern design. Each design incorporates an image with a transparent color over it and then the name of the beer in all caps and the same serif font. The amusing beer names, like Sheer Madness, Brew Wit and Sucha Much help make Kalona beers stand out even more.
Years before craft brewing became the big trend, the 1996 opening of Court Avenue Brewing Company helped put Des Moines breweries on the beer map. But what sets this brewery apart from the rest is their beer label designs. Each of the beers celebrates the history of buildings and brewing in Iowa through their design. And making each design even more unique is the fact that each label is a spin on defunct Iowa breweries that didn’t make it after prohibition. Every label is eye-catching and intriguing in its own way with no two designs looking the same.
Craft brewing and bicycles have a rich history together, which the Cedar Falls-based Single Speed Brewery plays up in its name. Known for producing beers that are “built for the venturesome beer drinker,” this local brewery will have your tastebuds clicking into a higher gear. Their circular beer label designs catch our eye with clean, modern and minimalistic design.
Now located in Des Moines, this fun Iowa brewery originally got its start in Newton, IA back in 2009. When you initially look at Madhouses’ beers, the first thing that comes to mind is that each design is very similar. All beer labels display the design within a circle, and each tends to have one base background with the text at the top. One detail that sets this Des Moines brewery apart is the prominent placement of the Madhouse URL at the bottom of the beer label, making use of a space that other Iowa breweries aren’t utilizing.
This diverse and in-demand Iowa brewery is located in Decorah, where they have been brewing Iowa craft beer since 2009. While every one of their craft beers stands out from the growing crowd, what really sets them apart is the uncommon and extraordinary beer label designs. What we notice right away is that each design goes with the name of the beer and is illustrated with background patterns that are enhanced through a bold color pallet.
BONUS: Want to Enjoy all of Your Favorite Iowa Craft Beers in one Place?
Look no further than the Iowa Tap Room, located in the historic East Village of downtown Des Moines! You can check out many of these great designs and taste the beers that inspire them. With 120 Iowa craft beers on tap, you can’t go wrong.
Blue Compass Beer Label Designs
After seeing all of these exceptional Iowa brewery beer label designs, we wanted to take a stab at it ourselves and design our own beer labels! Check out the designs we came up with that represent each of our teams here at Blue Compass.
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*Special thanks to Blue Compass’ amazing designer Kayla Davison for her help with this blog.