Petty rant about beer bottle labels

Homebrewers know the pain of bottling. The boring bit of the whole process. Tedious, painful and messy. We try to minimize the pain by using polypins, but this means you have to drink the beer a lot quicker.

Cleaning the beer bottles is bad enough. But what really gets my goat is getting the labels off British ale bottles. I don’t know what they use to glue the damn things on, but chemicals, steam and good old fashioned elbow grease are not enough to get rid of them, and you end up with bottles with unsightly bits of paper and glue marks all over them. Not what you want to serve up your pride and joy in.

American labels are pretty bad, but then their bottles come in all sorts of weird shapes, and what with the preponderance of screw top caps, we tend to put them straight in recycling. Nothing more frustrating than spending all that time cleaning and sterilising a bottle, only to find the bugger won’t cap.

German and Belgian beer bottle labels come off with ease, on the other hand. Is this related to the fact that there is much more of a practice of reusing bottles there? Germany has a bottle deposit scheme, and in Belgium bottles often seem to be collected by the bar staff for return to the brewery.

Come on, British brewers! Do your bit for homebrewers and the environment, and use something with a half- life of less than a millenium. Flour and water paste works for us. Or Pritt Stick.

Boak

Brocket's Beer

brocketsbeer.jpgThe Independent’s list of the 50 best beers in the UK included one brewed for Lord Brocket.

Lord Brocket is an old Etonian who is (just about) famous for (a) having been in prison and (b) appearing on the appalling reality show “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!”

He now has a side-line selling Brocket’s Bacon, Brocket’s Bangers and so on.

I wonder which marketing genius thought that having a minor celebrity mugging on the label would make people want to drink Brocket’s Beer? I mean, the beer itself might be perfectly nice, but, well, just look at him! He’s grinning like a maniac and wearing a tweed jacket. We should probably be grateful he hasn’t got his thumbs up, I suppose.

Still, it could be worse. At least no-one is expecting us to buy Jeffrey Archer IPA or Jonathan Aitken Stout. Not yet, anyway.

Design your own beer label

Big Danish brewery Tuborg now offer a service where, as long as you order more than 30 bottles, you can design your own label.

Din Tuborg

I wonder if Tuborg are just particularly confident about their brand, or if we’ll see more breweries following suit, given how easy it is to manage this kind of thing online now?

At any rate, I’d love to customise the labels on Fuller’s London Pride for my Dad’s birthday present.

Via Cherryflava.