The creatively curious brewers who co-founded Creature Comforts Brewing Co. started their craft beer business as most doâ€”with only bottles.
â€œAs a new brewery, none of us had any direct experience designing labels, then sourcing a printing company that would help on that end,â€ said David Stein, co-founder of the Athens, Ga.-based brewery. â€œIt took us a good bit of time to find the right fit for us.â€
Labeltronix provided that fit for printing.
When the time came to try cans on for size, the Creature Comfort partners once again turned to Labeltronix.
â€œIf you want to get cans from the large can suppliers, you have to order really large numbers of cans,â€ Stein says. â€œWe ran into this problem: we wanted to can smaller batches of beer, but how could we do it?â€
The Creature Comfort brewers had seen this done before, giving them inspiration to try it themselves. â€œSo we got with Labeltronix and said, â€˜Hey, we want to buy blank silver cans in smaller quantities and we need a label that will sit on a can and be the right size, the right type of paper and glue,â€ Stein points out.
That wasnâ€™t all. â€œWe want to do it in a way that looks esthetically pleasing,â€ Stein recalls saying. â€œYou can see where slapping a sticker on a silver can could look cheap and like it was a half-assed approach to canning beer.â€
Stein credits Labeltronix with â€œreally helping us figure all that out.â€
Labeltronix produced the labels, and â€œthey look great,â€ Stein reports.
â€œWeâ€™ve used Labeltronix for our first round of cans, and Iâ€™m sure we will do so again in the future,â€ Stein says. â€œWeâ€™ve gotten an amazing response on all of our packaging. From our distributors and our customers, we get only really positive reviews about how the labels look.â€
Failed Partnerships Lead to Labeltronix
From the earliest days of their collaboration, the Creature Comforts co-founders wanted to feel as comfortable in their labeling as they were in their brewing.
Stein and his co-founder and co-brewmaster Adam Beauchamp use a scientific brewing process in their 13,000-square-foot warehouse. They pride themselves in having a â€œwide-awake creative impulseâ€ that is â€œdriven by the promise that a curious mind leads to better living.â€
It took them awhile to find a label printing company that matched that level of aspiration.
â€œOur experience with our previous label suppliers was just getting poor customer service and poor quality labels,â€ Stein says. â€œWe made it very clear we needed these labels to withstand cold temperatures and moisture. Thatâ€™s a no-brainer.â€
But when labels from the previous supplier got wet or the bottles began to sweat, they peeled off. Creature Comforts tried several suppliers before discovering Labeltronix.
The â€˜See the Starsâ€™ Story
â€œOne of the most impressive and helpful things for me in working with Labeltronix has been their artistic recommendations,â€ says Stein.
When a graphic designer or artist creates a new Creature Comfort label, â€œit looks good on the computer screen, but then thereâ€™s so much more that can be done and manipulated in the printing end,â€ Stein says, from finishes and textures to papers.
The first label Creature Comforts wanted Labeltronix to print was for its See the Stars beer. Stein says he resisted the Labeltronix recommendation to use metallic paper that would allow the stars on the label to shine when the light hit them.
â€œMost metallic labels I see are a little off-putting to me, personally. Theyâ€™re too flashy, and donâ€™t fit our brand,â€ Stein explains. â€œWe wound up not doing that on our first label, and it still ended up looking great.â€
When Creature Comforts wanted to label Emergence, an ale that is aged in wine barrels, the team decided metallic highlights might work.
â€œWe handed it to Labeltronix and said, â€˜Youâ€™re the expert. Recommend what you think we should do for metallic paper and how it would fit in with the artwork,â€™â€ Stein says.
The press proof they got back looked incredible. â€œSo we went with it and I really think that made the label.Â It was so much better when it was actually on the bottle, making it pop on the shelf.â€
Since that point, Creature Comforts has relied on Labletronix â€œto use their creative judgment. I trust them on how they think [any label] will work and look good,â€ Stein adds. â€œWeâ€™ve only gotten rave reviews.â€