Many craft brewers take circuitous career routes. Cory King, owner of Maplewood Missouri’s Side Project Brewing, is no exception. Winemaking was King’s original path, and it was where he developed an affinity for aging spirits in oak barrels. But then, his brother-in-law introduced him to home brewing. King’s focus shifted, leading to a professional gig at Perennial Artisan Ales. While there, in 2014, he started his own brewery. It was, literally, his “side project.”
Today, Side Project Brewing is a hidden gem in greater St. Louis, MO. King and his staff create unique varieties of beer tied together by a common theme: oak barrel aging. Passion, experimentation and patience drive the creation of Side Project’s rustic farmhouse ales, wild ales and spirit barrel-aged ales.
King also takes great pride in Side Project’s bold label and package design. He recognizes the importance of design in the overall experience for the drinker. “We know it’s what’s inside the bottle that counts,” says King. “But we also appreciate how a bottle is presented – its label and packaging keep the customer remembering what they tasted.”
“We grapple back and forth on what looks good and what doesn’t,” says Tim Bottchen, art director for Side Project Brewing. “But at the end of the day, Cory has me drive the label designs.”
A bold label presentation – both the design, and even the label material – counts for a lot; It creates a more memorable drinking experience, and can even alter a consumer’s perception of a beer’s value. Recent research by the Clemson University CUshop Consumer Experience Laboratory shows that beer labels printed on higher-end materials are likely to be perceived as more expensive than those with paper labels.
Brewer, Printer Partners
Side Project’s printer, Prime Package and Label, is a key collaborator. Based in St. Louis since 2001, the company produces labels for some of the largest beverage producers in the world. It serves the craft beer market with its digital printing capabilities, offering the ability to do affordable short runs and produce high quality registration for unique pressure-sensitive label designs.
“Side Project Brewing works closely with all of our departments,” says account manager Adam Heissler, Prime Package and Label. “We are run on solid partnerships, and everyone at our company has a true stake in the client. Side Project is a solid St. Louis brand that we can enhance with our printing capabilities.”
“Prime Package and Label truly is a partner,” says Bottchen. “They bring us outstanding material options so we can see what works on our bottles. One of our finest is the label for our Double Barrel Derivation beer. With an emboss and hot foil stamp, it has simplicity and elegance all in one label.”
For Side Project’s Double Barrel Derivation, Prime Package and Label recommended the Avery Dennison Black Vellum stock material. “In a sea of color, sometimes lack of color can be the most powerful visual,” says Tim Bohlke, marketing innovation manager for Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials - North America. “Every color tries to be the ‘new black,’ but consumers still keep coming back to the original trend setter. Black paper labels make a bold statement of contemporary design.”
Portfolio Offers Variety
The paper stock used for the Double Barrel Derivation label is Fasson 60# Black Vellum, a product within the Avery Dennison Craft Beer Portfolio. The portfolio offers brewers, designers and printers artistic freedom and the flexibility needed to succeed in the craft market.
Brewers can choose from a wide selection of metallized, wood veneer, clear and traditional facestocks. These pressure-sensitive constructions can be designed and cut in numerous ways. They’re also easier to apply and changeover than cut-and-stack labels—a definite advantage for the brewer bringing multiple beers to the space throughout the year.
Avery Dennison pressure-sensitive label products can be used on 12-ounce, 22-ounce and 750ml bottles, growlers, 32-oz. crowler cans, keg wraps, keg collars, tap handles and more.