The craft distillery industry is booming across America. Specialized spirits are being produced from coast to coast by distillers putting their signature on a very personalized product. Just 10 years ago there were a handful of craft distillers compared to the 900+ today. Clearly there is a taste and burgeoning market for craft spirits. Craft means hand-made. Each brand is the product of individual nuances the distiller puts into his/her batch. Craft spirits have opened a door of opportunity for for printing, label, packaging, glass producers and more.

The distiller is like a chef creating a flavor, taste, and look unique to their brand. This is done by hand without the aid of mass production equipment infusing the spirit with the personality of the distiller. The varying degree of herbal, floral, sweet, smoky, or fruity notes within an individual spirit is the genius of each distiller.

Craft distillers produce way less product than the big distillery operators. Because of their size and lower production limits they can experiment, craft and tailor their product in ways that are cost-prohibitive for mass production distilleries. The low batch output enables craft distillers to use technology and ingredients to experiment until they get it just right.

Everything about the product has to be scrutinized by the craft distiller. Every bottle, every drop is critical. From appearance to color, presentation, label artwork and design, to bottle selection and packaging. Craft beer and craft spirits share one thing in common, their labels have to be eye-catching and high quality in terms of performance and durability. They need to stand out at the point of sale. An unappealing, or poorly performing label can be a major setback for craft distillers.

This is why craft distillers have to be very careful when choosing a label printer. Unlike high output distilleries, the craft distiller doesn’t require as much in terms of setup time, and supplies like ink and labels. Shorter, targeted runs make labels very expensive on a large press, but a printer with a high quality laser printer designed for shorter runs without sacrificing quality can fill the niche within this niche industry.

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.

Distilled spirits labels must endure the spillage of alcohol down the label, but they are not subjected to the water and cold temperatures of 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 cand 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