We’ve found it much easier to tell what’s what in our homebrew stash if we create distinctive labels. We’ve also decided that, if we have to design labels, we might as well use them to sell our beer to ourselves and to those we foist them upon, so, we try to make them look reasonably polished, but also let our imaginations run a little.
This is the brand name for our German-inspired beers. We used to live on the edge of Epping Forest which, of course, is the Epingwald. If it were real, EB would be the kind of company where people knock-off early on Friday and head to the excellent beer garden across the road from the brewery; they’d probably use more-or-less the same label designs they’ve had since 1985; the head brewer would rarely smile and have an enormous moustache.
Our Czech-style beers bear this brand. PZ, in case you haven’t guessed, is what locals call Penzance, and the code painted on the local fishing boats. We like it because it represents 20 per cent of the letters, including one that scores highly in Scrabble, in “Plzeň”. The picture above shows the state-of-the art bottling line that’s just been installed. (Our kitchen table.) We’re now wondering whether Penzaňsky Prazdroj might not be even better…
Boak & Bailey
Obvious, really, but the name of the blog does seem to fit old-fashioned English beers. If our grandfathers had been fusty Victorian brewers, this is what would have been painted on the brick wall of their imposing East London brewery before Whitbread took them over in the 1960s. We’ve got a B&B export stout maturing at the moment, with a label based on some from the 1940s.
For our next brew, we’re planning to make a big US-inspired IPA. Coming up with a suitably bold, in-your-face brand for that is going to be fun.
We print all of our labels on a standard inkjet printer; fix them with cheap hairspray; and attach them to the bottle with milk. The ink doesn’t run, the labels slip off in warm water, and we get to reuse our bottles time and time again.