National Beer Can Appreciation Day – 24 Beer Can Designs We Love

We were inspired to put together this post when we found out that yesterday, January 23rd was National Beer Can Appreciation Day. Beer Can Appreciation Day recognizes the day in 1935 when beer was first sold in cans. Who knew. For us, living in New England, we are spoiled by so many amazing craft breweries, serving up their hand-crafted brews of all styles, but probably most famously the New England variety of the IPA.

Beer cans have come a long way since 1935. When we look at beer cans, we see 16oz (typically) bedazzled canisters of brewed elixirs. Besides making great beers, many breweries, even the smallest are developing their brands with care. With the realities of limited shelf space and understanding the importance of visual appeal, many breweries are creating works of art to hold on to their beers.

In honor of National Beer Can Appreciation Day, we shout out a few (24) of our favorite beer can label designs. Most of these are close to home for us (New England), but we have beers from across the country and across the pond.

Before we get into the designs, I want to give a shoutout to Michael Henry (Adventures of Misty and Mike – @2whlterror) for collaborating with me on this post and hooking me up with a majority of these images. Mike and Misty started dating after a conversation about waterfalls. They both love getting out, exploring, and photographing the world, from waterfalls to the ocean to their newest adventure, great beers. You can follow them on Instagram and discover what their next adventure will be.

1. Wandering Into the Fog (Rakau)

We love the gradient in this design and minimalist typography. From Abomination Brewing Company in North Haven, CT

2. Fractal Mosaic IPA

Big, bold colors and bright color combinations are all on display here. From Equilibrium Brewery in Middletown NY.

3. Triple IPA

Shout out to Building 8 Brewery in Northampton, MA. These guys are our neighbors, their beer is awesome and this label signs boldly. We love the “8” custom cutouts – clever.

4. Roving Jewel Oat IPA

We love this color combination and the artwork. From Battery Steele Brewing in Portland, ME. Label design by Dean McKeever (@keever)

5. I (Still) Can’t Go Anywhere But Here Double IPA

Boy, was 2020 a hard year… There year we stayed home. The year of the pandemic. But for the family at Proclamation Ale Company in Providence, RI, 2020 was the year that they lost their founder Dave Witham to cancer. This from their website:

“The Proclamation Ale family is deeply saddened to share the news that our founder and friend Dave Witham has passed away only a month after his cancer diagnosis. We join his wife Lori and their young daughter in mourning his loss, and celebrating his remarkable life.” Read more here.

Even with this tragedy, they are moving forward. We love the simplicity of this design. It says a lot without saying a lot. We all get it. Well done.

6. Bordo Stout

We love the vivid colors and their wild combinations. From Kismit Brewing Company in Westfield MA. Label design by Nate Duval (@nateduval)

7. Undercast IPA

We’re big fans of strong typography. We talked about the idea of “big, bold typography” in our post about web design trends. We love this. From Bright Ideas Brewing in North Adams, MA.

8. We Are Made of the Same Stardust

We love the “window to the world” concept on this Imperial Milk Stout from Tree House Brewing in Charlton, MA. The label tells a great story with no words. Another design by Dean McKeever (@keever)

9. Christmas Tree Graveyard

We really like the character illustration on this New England IPA from Two Weeks Notice Brewing Co. in West Springfield MA. Design by Eric Clarke (@ericclarkeillustration)

10. Soul Purpose – Heart of MA(ssachusetts)

We love the vintage vibe of this design. The illustration and typography work together beautifully. And speaking of working together, this milk coffee stout Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company was brewed in collaboration with their across town friends at Acoustic Java Roastery.

11. Opaque Thoughts – Guava

We really like all the organic and geometric shapes on this label on this Double Milkshake IPA from Mountains Walking Brewery in Bozeman, MT. We see land, sky, hops, trees, running water. We also like the muted color palette on this design. Great job all around. Design bu Andrew Holder (@_andrewholder), glass by @keever.

12. Chaos Emeralds

We love the dark mode design for this double IPA from Lone Pine Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. The black on black typography is a great concept and they pulled it off.

13. The Very Thirsty Caterpillar

We had to add this label. since we worked with Eric Carle on his current website. This is just clever and a once play on their own character. From Oozlefinch Beers & Blending

14. Space Olympics

We like the color combo and gradient in the design on this label from Rivington Brewing Co. in the UK. We also like the use of their logo mark (icon) across all their labels and the tattoo on the brewmaster’s hand…

15. Everyday Nothing & Unlimited Happiness

The character illustrations are so playful, lighthearted and fun on these labels from the Floc. Brewing Project


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A post shared by Floc. (@flocbrewing)


We really like this, straight up, no-nonsense, typography forward label From NORTHERN MONK. Simple.


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A post shared by NORTHERN MONK (@northernmonk)

17. Assorted

We like the consistency of the design across all the beers from District 96 Beer Factory in New City, NY. The design is clear and we like the vertical “Distric 96” as the badge on the label. Well done.


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18. Juice Machine

There is so much good going on with this label from Tree House Brewing Company. We love the color combinations and the character design. There is no danger Will Robinson, just a really strong, fun design.

19. Cold Pressed Hazy IPA

Another entry into the “we love bold typography” category. This label from Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey, CA. We like the use over color on the clean white background

20. Juice Box Hero

This is a clever play here, isn’t it? This label from Central Coast Brewing is loaded with bright colors, throwback font combinations, and a big yellow sun (or is it) that reminds us of summer days cruising on our skateboards to the beach…

21. 42

Another entry from Proclamation Ale Company. It’s simple, clear and has a ton of meaning behind it. 42. From Dave’s wife Lori:

“There among the jumble of letters were eight that had been laid out in a clear straight line. They spelled two words. The words were these:

On Valentine’s Day 2010, Dave and I decided not to go out for some romantic dinner, but to instead go get tattoos. I got a bright, colorful bird that Dave would constantly comment on saying that he couldn’t believe my temporary tattoo still hadn’t washed off. He got a tattoo I had designed for him. The number 42. The Ultimate Answer. The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.”

Godspeed Dave.

Easthampton MA Breweries

22. Kaleidoscope Double IPA

We have to give a shout out to the 3 Breweries in town, starting with Abandoned Building Brewery. Generally speaking, we love the single letter block text that has been the standard for their cans. But we really love Jordana Starr’s (@jordanastarr) amazing hop kaleidoscope design on the Double IPA Kaleidoscope.

23. Lager Not A Fighter

There are so many things that we love about this design from Fort Hill Brewery in our home town Fort Hill Brewery. We love the play on words. We also love the bright colors and typography that is a real throwback to a time a bit more psychedelic.


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24. Pinky Promise Pale Ale

We applaud our friends at New City Brewery here in Easthampton, MA for their strong stand against racism. As designers working toward a better future, we create more socially conscious designs to help us visualize it. When we talk about socially conscious design, we are talking about authentic representation, sustainability, and celebrating diversity and imperfection.

This is little from Instagram about this design:

“As we get back to our normal beer-related content I wanted to address a couple of things. First, you may have noticed that we took the last week to focus on amplifying BIPoC voices and sharing a variety of resources as we educated ourselves. Just because we are moving forward with re-introducing our own content does NOT mean that we are taking our foot off the gas in fighting racism. We will remain working as a team to figure out how to actively continue this conversation, make some very necessary and intentional changes, and hold ourselves accountable for our own privilege.”

Well said.


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A post shared by New City Brewery (@newcitybrewery)


We haven’t even begun to highlight all the great beer label designs and designers doing beautiful work. The craft brew world has such a breadth and depth of culture and craftsmanship. It’s an interesting brew Art, food, drink, and agriculture. Whether or not you are a lover of craft brews, I hope you have enjoyed this journey through some of our favorites beer label designs on this special day. #NationalBeerCanAppreciationDay

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