We sniff it, make mental or real notes of citrus and melon, caramel or coffee. On the palate, we can experience incredible flavor variety, or be bitterly disappointed. Mostly already forgotten is then what I would like to focus on in this series of contributions: the (beer) label, the label.
Sometimes the view then goes back to the bottle. We read which hops and which maltsters the brewer has used. Whether and which beer stem that is listed. Or we devote ourselves to the sometimes extensive marketing blah-blah. But how often do we still look closely while drinking and devote our attention to the monster on the front, the hallucinogenic colors and shapes, or the expression of the depicted hop cones?
And yet: at another time, this very label influenced us to choose a specific beer. Maybe it was the colors, maybe it was the debauched name of the brew, or maybe it was the recognition of the brewery that struck our fancy last time. Something at the time inspired us to take a closer look at the bottle, then decide on it and buy it.
Anyone who has ever been to a beer store in the States knows that with the almost endless selection, only one thing matters: standing out from the competition. But even in Switzerland, which is somewhat less spoiled by beer, e.g. in front of the refrigerator at Erzbierschof or the shelves at Drinks of the World, the label influences our decision, consciously or not.
So it’s high time to take a closer look at the topic of beer labels. Not with millimeter-precise measurement, but with an open eye, background research and a bit of humor. Enough said, here we go, with the Chapter 1: The beer without label.