For 22 years, Goose Island has fanned the flames of desire among its customers by releasing only a limited quantity of a beer variety on Black Friday. While many flock to shop, beer lovers stand outside for hours and sometimes days to get their hands on the year’s Bourbon County series.
Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout began back in 1993 when the brand’s brewmaster broke the mold by brewing a stout beer in barrels that previously held Jim Beam bourbon. Bourbon County Stout was a huge hit that helped launch the barrel-aged stout movement. To this day, Bourbon County Brand Stout variants are sought after by beer enthusiasts.
“When we, the brewers, come up with the new variants each year,” says Mike Siegel, Goose Island’s brewery innovations manager, “A) we want to be excited and B) we want to get the people excited.”
In 2015, Goose Island sought to heighten the drinking experience by designing a custom bottle worthy of the beer itself.
“This beer is something we put a lot of effort toward, and people stand in line all over the country for it,” Siegel says. “The challenge was to come up with a package that elevates it to the next level.”
Instead of the typical 12- and 22-oz bottles, Bourbon County Brand Stout is now packaged in a 16.9-oz brown bottle with embossed lettering. Constantia Flexibles (cflex.com), a leading manufacturer of flexible packaging and labels, was tasked with creating a premium neck and back label for this custom bottle.
Constantia Flexibles came up with the idea to add a flag to the neck label, drawing consumer attention at the shelf and highlighting Goose Island’s legacy as the originators of bourbon barrel aging.
“Flagged neck labels are all about shelf appeal,” says Dan Muenzer, VP of marketing, Labels Division, Constantia Flexibles. “The flagged neck tells the consumer something is different or non-traditional: It’s a ‘Hey, look at me’ moment. There was no need to extend the label just for copy—this was purely for visual motivation.”
The neck label is a full wrap with a 5/8” tab that pops out from the bottle. Special treatment was applied to the neck label to allow for two-sided printing of the flag component and to ensure it maintained its perpendicular shape once applied. The back label was tapered to match the taper of the bottle with a custom die cut shape.
The new packaging result? An eye-catching bottle to commemorate this year’s Bourbon County series that fans will enjoy showing off in their collections.