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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Michigan Beer Label Competition

In the past decade, Michigan has become one of the top states for craft brewing.  Dozens of breweries have opened and several more are on the way.  Michigan beer is getting a lot of praise as well and some are recognized nationally.  As a collector of beer bottles, I enjoy seeing the labels that brewers/owners develop to market their beer.

As a way to kickoff 2013, I decided to stage my own Michigan Beer Label Competition with me as the judge.  I used the following four criteria and scoring on which to base the competition. 

Art (1-10 points): The quality of the graphic art work and composition. 

Variety (1-5 points): The range of ideas, compositions, etc, expressed among the various labels for the brewery.

Creativity (1-10 points):  The originality of the concepts/names and how well they are expressed in the labels. 

Information (1-5).  The amount and quality of information (such as the alcohol level, IBU, and/or story behind the beer) contained in the label.

Scores were assigned over the range of labels for a brewery, with greater emphasis placed on the newest labels, as many breweries periodically change their labels over the years.  The labels were obtained from several sources: my personal beer bottle collection which contains nearly 400 Michigan beer bottles; brewers’ websites; searchable bottle/label collections available on the Internet; and general internet searches.  Not every label from every brewery could be found and, therefore, included in the scoring.  Note also that the scores are biased by the fact that it was only me, Zymus,  that assigned scores.

My latest list of Michigan breweries showed that there were 91 breweries operating at the end of 2012.  Of those, only 36 sold beer in cans or bottles or developed labels for specific beer products.  For example some brewers did not sell their beer in cans or bottles, but they developed full-fledged labels for marketing certain beers that they brewed. These breweries were included in the competition to the extent that I could find information about them.

Watch here for the results that will be posted soon.


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