Distiller magazine

Labels-Bottles

Distiller magazine a publication of the American Distilling Institute, the Voice of Artisan Distilling; devoted to the craft spirits industry: vendors and distillers alike.

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7 Introduction €ere is nothing that outwardly conveys the iden- tity of a craft distilled spirit more than its label. It is the calling card that gives the consumer a hint about what is inside the bottle. And it speaks volumes about the individuality of the distillery, the distiller who made it, and why. €at is why it carries such weight. Federal law mandates that all labels for domestically produced distilled spirits have six basic elements: brand name, alcohol content, net contents, class and type designation, name and address of the distiller or bottler, and the government warning statement. While certain aspects of the mandatory label infor- mation for both domestic and imported distillates differ according to the class and type of spirit, all la- bels must meet certain requirements regarding font size and legibility. It is precisely in the frontier between strict federal legal requirements and the limits of tired, traditional post-Prohibition labels where an unprecedented cre- ativity in label design is now occurring. Just as we are seeing the new breed of craft distillers push all known boundaries of spirits production through the creation of new recipes, types and categories of products, there is also a renaissance that is occurring within the design of the labels themselves. Each label, coupled with the shape of the bottle, con- veys an important artistic message that the distillery wishes to send to the potential consumer about the liquid inside. Some labels are made to be as stark and minimalist as possible, such as the thin white pa- per band with typewriter written wording found on the King's County Distillery moonshine corn whis- key pocket-sized flask. Other labels, such as the el- egant etchings used for Huber Starlight Distillery's aged brandy, well compliment the graceful curves of the bottle and offer the drinker a glimpse into the years of hard work it took to produce what is inside. St. George Spirits' Hangar One vodka label is ele- mental in design, with a band of single color wrap- ping around the bottle, while the distinctive funny- shaped, squat bottles with rustic brown or cream paper identify Tuthilltown Distillery's line of whis- keys. Each of these labels, as well as all the rest that are included in this book, represent a distillery's highest goals and aspirations as to who they are and what audience they intend to reach. It is quite an exciting time in the distilled spirits in- dustry as there are now well over 324 craft distill- eries in the United States. As more distilleries are added to that list, we will continue to see a surge in creativity in both the products produced and the la- bels designed to grace the front of each bottle. €is book is an attempt to capture some of that inno- vation and to celebrate it. While you are perusing through the label designs, I invite you to pour a glass of your favorite craft-made whiskey, brandy or rum. Join in the celebration of the craft distilling and label design revolution! —Nancy Fraley Director of Research, American Distilling Institute

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