Creating a Crowler Label: Dimensions, Printing Tips & More
When it comes to to-go containers, more and more breweries are turning to crowlers. They are lighter than growlers, easier to transport, and can help beer stay fresher longer. However, a new container adds a new layer of complexity to the canning process for breweries. As a result, many are searching for information on crowler labels, and if you’re one of them, we’ve got the answers you need.
Let’s look at some of the most common questions about crowler labels and see if we can get your design journey started on the right foot.
What is a Crowler?
A crowler is a 32 oz aluminum can that is typically filled with beer directly from a tap at a brewery or a beer retailer. Crowlers are often used by craft breweries as an easy way to offer their fresh new brew or draft beer to customers who want it to-go. For that reason, crowlers are a great option for smaller breweries who want to get their name out but may not have their beers in local liquor stores.
What are the Benefits of Crowlers?
Aluminum crowlers are a great alternative to glass growlers for many reasons. Like a growler, they hold lots of beer, but they keep the beer fresher for longer. That’s because they’re filled using a process that removes the oxygen from the can. They are also lighter and easier to transport, and recyclable, making them a sustainable choice that both customers and brewers can get behind.
For brewers, crowlers also offer quality assurance. Because of the way crowlers are filled, the beer maintains its carbonation. Aluminum cans also protect the product from UV light, which can ruin the flavor of your beer.
Essentially, beer in a crowler is the same premium quality as you would expect from the brewery or taproom, and what’s better for the customer is better for business. If longer shelf life and fresher beer equals happy customers and offers the best possible representation of the product, everybody wins!
Now that you’re on the crowler bandwagon (thirsty yet?) and ready to start filling, it’s time to think about what you’re going to put on the outside.
Crowler labels are essential to your marketing, but you’ll need a new design. Crowler can sizes are different from the standard beer can, with much more real estate to cover. Whether you adjust your existing beer label design or start fresh, it’s a whole new ballgame.
What are the Most Common Crowler Sizes and Dimensions?
The most common size for crowlers is 32 oz, which is equal to two pints of beer—the perfect size for the craft beer enthusiast looking to recreate the brewpub experience at home.
On occasion, you’ll see 750 ml crowlers and you might even choose to sell both. Suffice to say, the dimensions of your crowler labels will depend on the size of the can.
- 32 oz crowler labels are typically 9.5” (around the can) x 5.875” (tall)
- 750 ml crowler labels are slightly smaller, at 9.5” (around the can) x 4.75” (tall)
The best crowler label material is biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) backed by a pressure-sensitive adhesive, making for seamless, permanent coverage and a label that doesn’t come off even when submerged in water.
Choosing the right crowler label material is essential. Beer has special needs, including refrigeration. Labels need to be waterproof, rip-proof, solvent-proof, temperature resistant, and durable in all kinds of conditions.
They also must be able to last through the product life cycle -- meaning you need to be confident your packaging keeps its integrity after the product leaves the store.
Biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) is the best choice for crowler labels as it’s highly printable and comes in white and silver. Stomp adds a lamination after printing to provide protection to the printed surface. Regardless of your design, fine line artwork like the example above or crazy colorful imagery, every detail pops on BOPP.
Matte BOPP labels are writable, which is an essential feature of a crowler label, like the example above. You’ll need to write in the details and dates by hand. You’ll also be dealing with wet surfaces, condensation, and cold products most of the time. The label shouldn’t smudge or fade for as long as the customer has it.
If you prefer a metallic shine, Silver BOPP is a great way to go. A full-bleed design like the example above is a real head-turner (Note: Stomp crowler labels align with the edges like the image seen below.) Silver BOPP can also make it look like the label is printed right on the can.
Suffice to say; there are endless head-turning design possibilities with Silver BOPP, so rev up your imagination and get your shine on.
Crowler Packaging Guidelines and Regulations
Crowler packaging needs to follow the same legal regulations as other beer products. However, it’s considered a repackaged product, so there are a few more regulatory hoops.
A crowler label must clearly state the following:
- Brand name
- Address and name of the producer
- Name and address of the bottler (if different)
- The type of beer that’s in the crowler
- How much liquid the crowler contains
- Alcohol by volume (ABV)
- Listed ingredients if the product contains saccharine, FD&C yellow #5, aspartame, or sulfur over the allowed amount of 10 ppm SO4
- Nutrition facts
- Allergy warnings (if any)
In the case of crowlers, clearly, you won’t be able to pre-print the information, hence the need for a writable label so you can “fill in the blanks.” You’ll also have to note the date it was sealed on the package.
As laws differ between states, it’s worth checking with your local liquor board to see what’s required, including whether they allow repackaged alcohol in your area.
Crowler Printing Tips
Designing a custom crowler label might seem challenging—after all, there’s a lot to think about, and you’d probably rather be out making—or enjoying—the beer. But have no fear; the label design gurus at Stomp are never far away. We love beer, and the website never sleeps, so you can always count on us to get you through those late-night label design sessions.
Our online design tools make it easy to design crowler labels that are as beautiful to gaze upon as they are to hold in a two-fisted grip. Whether you use your existing vector artwork or start from scratch, you’ll love the result, and so will your customers.
- Marketing Team