As the craft beer industry has exploded since the late 90’s the craft distillery industry is rapidly catching up. “Craft,” means a lot of things depending on whom you are asking, but it’s generally agreed upon that it is associated with a small, independently owned, company. It is also related to the amount of product that is produced by the craft brewer/distiller.

A craft brewer is defined by the Brewers Association as, “a company that has an annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less, and less than 25% of the company is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not a craft brewer.” According to the American Distilling Institute certified craft distillers must be: independently owned; small-scale (less than 100,00 proof gallons/year); and have “hands-on,” on-site production.

Craft distilleries are dotting the American landscape more and more every day. They can be found in Kentucky, Texas, and Charleston, Tennessee, South Carolina, NY and beyond. Craft distillers have carved out a niche in the distilled spirit industry and opened a partnership door for bottle manufacturers and label printers with the right equipment. However, having the right label is every bit as important as the right bottle, and in many cases more so. The right label design, quality, texture and adhesion can make, or break sales.

A handful of label printers have invested in the right equipment and have the necessary experience to produce quality, showcase labels that perform. The digital press has given printing and packaging companies the opportunity to provide affordable labels for shorter craft distiller runs as opposed to the higher volume runs of the major distilleries. Set up time is easier and printers can get really creative.

While quality beer labels need to be able to stay in ice and under-water for up to a week, distilled spirit labels do not. The beer label has to be appealing, but function is even more important so the label adheres to the bottle surface in a tougher, wet environment. Distilled spirit labels must endure the spillage of alcohol down the label, but they are not subjected to the water and cold temperatures like craft beer. This opens the door for even more creativity in terms of layout, design (look and feel) of the distilled spirit.

At Century Printing & Packaging our Digital One Press enables us to help the craft distiller consider a wider variety of label material as well as creative, eye-appealing designs. The Digital One press enables us to use a tactile, velum, velvet, and more kinds of finish/feel. The digital press allows for unique shapes, special inks and different textures so your distilled spirit can stand out on the shelf since over 60% of alcohol purchases are done so in store.

Standing out from the crowd is a big deal when you’ve only got 8-10 seconds to make an impression. At Century Printing and Packaging we design and print labels that stick and stand out!

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing and Packaging, Inc.
Greer, SC 29651