Making Your Own Beer Labels

The Personal Touch!

photo courtesy of voresoel.dk

Photo courtesy of voresoel.dk

Personalized beer bottle labels are a simple, easy, and highly enjoyable activity for any home brewer. Right from the start of your brewing journey you can dream of that next beer, still bubbling away in its fermenter while you lovingly continue making your own beer labels.

Today I want to share some resources with you, not only on how to make your own beer label, but also some resources on where to find good images, templates, and even printing if you want to go for the truly professional touch. If you make your own beer label using the resources below, leave a comment and let me know how your product turned out!

Finding Images

This can be the tricky part for professional brewers – if you are going to sell your beer, you need to own all the images. For home brewers, though, you can use any image you want – after all, they are your private, personalized beer bottle labels. Here are some places to get started.

  • designers

    fiverr.com

    Google Images

  • Your own personal photos and artworks
  • Wikimedia.org or Sxc.hu for images you can use for free
  • I personally love using Chinese and Japanese characters
  • Graphic Designers (available cheaply on fiverr.com)

Templates

I always used to use labels which fit on an A-4 sheet of paper and then print them myself. This still works, but there are a couple of drawbacks. First, the neck-labels never really fit on my bottles properly. Second, the labels were never meant to actually get wet – so once liquid was in my bottles, the condensation tended to ruin all my hard work.

Eventually I discovered that you can use label templates from professional home brew label maker companies, which streamlined everything. You might like these ones:

Of course, you are under no obligation to buy labels from them. It just gives you a great starting point for custom beer bottle labels. You might also decide to use a home brew label maker!

Grog Tag

Grog Tag

Bringing it All Together

By now you probably have all the right ingredients: A description of your beer, the graphics you’ll use, and a template that fits your bottles nicely. Now, just put it all together! When I was still printing labels myself I would usually use Word and Paint as I am really no good with Photoshop.

Later, however, I decided that the time taken was too great. If you have a few extra coins in your pocket and you are time poor, or if you will be giving your beers out for a special occasion, try a professional home brew label maker like the ones below:

For a small fee, they will produce as few as 25 beer-proof labels for you to stick directly onto your beer bottles.

beer clingsBetter Than Labels?

For a really slick option, you can use Beer Clings. You will need to get them professionally made, but they are reusable and seriously awesome. Get your concept together and check this out.

Cheers!

By now you should have everything you need to make your home made beer stand out and impress everyone you know. You’ve found your images, produced a template of your design, printed it (or had it printed), and it are now proudly announcing your beer to the world, begging to be drunk.

Show us your label!

Do you have a label you are proud of, or one you are thinking of having printed? Ask for feedback in the comments! You can also share your favorite labeling comments and ask any questions.

22 thoughts on “Making Your Own Beer Labels

  1. Hi there,

    Having the right beer label is both important and fun. I’m so happy to see some ways to make beer labels in a cheap and easy way. (I’ve needed champagne labels before and it cost me a fortune!). How I wish I would have known about this.
    Question about the content on your labels, is there certain things that are obligatory to be written on the labels?

    • Great question Maarten, and it all depends on which country you are in. Most countries have no restriction on what you put on bottles you already own, as long as you are not selling them or using them for business purposes.

      Of course, every country has different laws regarding alcohol, so I encourage you to check with your nearest government resource if you have any doubts.

    • Hi Maarten,

      That all depends on the country / state / legal jurisdiction you are in. Generally, if you are brewing or labelling at home you will be fine. If you are brewing or labelling commercially, you need legal advice regarding information on the labels!

  2. Hi, thanks for sharing this idea with us. I used to brew my own beer and just bottle into plain glass bottles. I never really thought of producing my own labels too, I like the idea. Plus like you say, this is something to work on whilst the next batch is brewing.

    Thanks, looking forward to more of your posts.

    • Hi Andrew, thank you very much for your comment.

      Making custom beer labels for your own brew is extremely entertaining – I used to have my own ‘brand’ of homebrew called “Kobushi,” and various batches would be called “Ryu” or “Tatsu.” If you speak Japanese, these are all references to the game “Street Fighter.”

      Making your own beer bottle labels really helps you release your inner beer-nerd. It’s one of the reasons I’ve kept on brewing all these years!

    • Some of them are great little reusable labels too – perfect if you make the same recipe again!

  3. Awesome! Making beer bottles at home, that’s one unique niche,. Hopefully, someday when I’m living out in the countryside I can use this information to make my own beer labels at home. Very informative, very detailed and it’s good that you’re giving users a source to find their free images, people are very stingy nowadays and wanna “sue”.

    • Hi Lakan, thank you for checking in. I’m a bit of a home made country-nut myself. Glad you found the free resources helpful.

  4. What a clever idea. I have never before heard of this yet I am familiar with home brewing. An old friend of mine has recently got into home brewing wine and beer. This sounds like a wonderful accompaniment to such a hobby.
    Do you need any kind of a licence for brewing alcohol?

    • Hi Paula! This depends on the country you are in – for many countries, you are allowed to brew without a license as long as it is for your own consumption.

  5. Hi Jesse

    I am so glad that I stumbled across your site and in particular this article. I do not make my own beer but I am really interested on the labels. Quite often I but gifts for people in the form of a bottle of wine with a personalized label. I think that I get charged more for the idea of the label than the actual wine. I could do this myself by removing the old label and making my own!!

    Also, re the beer bottle labels. I would love to use these for hen/stag parties, new baby (wet the head), the possibilities are endless so thank you so much.

    Have you ever made labels for wine bottles?

    Olive

    • Hi Olive,
      Thank you for your comments! I have put beer labels on wine bottles, but that’s probably not what you were asking. The concept is essentially the same, and many of the resources listed here will have options for wine bottles.
      Thanks again!

  6. Just reading the title of this post brought a smile to my face. This is an absolutely unique idea for me as I had never heard about such a concept before. The article itself is quite comprehensive and provides all the information needed to make customized beer labels. Am sure I am going to give this a try sometime soon! Thanks.

    • Hi Vivek,

      Thank you for your comment! Please do try soon, it’s plenty of fun and a great way to make a beer truly ‘yours.’

  7. Hi Jess, This is a really cool article! I spent some time in the printing game in NZ, and I found it so interesting that there’s online sources to now make your own grog labels..wow!
    How clever is that.

    I’m not sure if the sizing would be right, but a friend recently recommended Canva to me for making small creatives, and I am totally in love with it. You can insert images for free, or some times they cost $1. But they have some funky pre-made texts and things as well.

    All the best in your beer-journey..looks fun!
    p.s Do you have any info on Gluten-free beer options?

    • Hi Yvette, thank you for your reply.
      I have made a commercial gluten-free beer several times. You will find gluten-free malt extract much easier to find than all grain sorghum malt, but if you have a serious gluten allergy you need to be careful that your supplier can guarantee that there are no traces of other cereals on your ingredients.
      I will address this in a future topic!

  8. Hi Jesse, thanks for the great site. Not just making your own beer but making your own labels is so cool! It’s a great idea to distribute the customized beer by different season such as for Christmas. Fantastic information about where to find images, and use templates which we can use for any other labels. Good job, thanks!
    Ray

  9. I am hoping to get into it early this summer once and for all. What an awesome idea to actually make a custom label. I had only thought of the naked bottle till now. I think maybe I could use Canva to create my own images and then Grogtag like you recommend for the beer label templates.Or maybe even letting Grogtag create them for me to save some time. I think private labeled beer will be a huge hit at summer BBQ’s. Awesome advice here all around.

    Thanks,

    -Anthony

    • Thanks Anthony!

      I used to do everything myself, but once my brewing techniques reached a certain point i was spending enough time on the brewing anyway – I far prefer to let a label maker handle as much as possible!

      Cheers,

      Jesse

  10. There are a lot of steps to make your own beer labels. The first thing you need to do is to decide on a name for each of your beers. Rather than simply identifying your beers by style, brew date, or other prosaic details, consider giving them each creative names.

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