Label Wizardry - Creative Design Drives a Compelling Brand

Brouwerij West’s artistic product label designs and Wizard Labels’ innovative label printing process bring a new look to craft beer labels.

When Brian Mercer founded Brouwerij West in 2009 he sought to craft distinctive beers and provide a distinctive customer experience. The brewery, located on Los Angeles’ historic waterfront, has established a loyal following by brewing award-winning beers and using visually appealing, unique product labels.

Brouwerij West obtains these labels from Wizard Labels – a custom product label printer recognized for their innovation and responsiveness. Wizard Labels’ focus on printing high-quality digital custom product labels and industry-leading turn-times has positioned the company as a leader in serving mid-market companies throughout several industries, including beverage and food.

In keeping with their approach to creating distinctive beers, Brouwerij West also adopted a revolutionary style in their product labeling. Sometimes described as “chaotic design”, their intricate labels use multiple overlapping images to create an eye-catching result. Their custom-built label application system then “wraps” these labels around aluminum cans, creating a one-of-a-kind look for each of their products.

Brian Mercer, Brouwerij West CEO, said, “As a recovering professional photographer turned craft brewer, the artistry in our product labels has always been important to me and to our brand.”

As with many craft brewers, Brouwerij West chose aluminum cans for packaging their beers. Not only do aluminum cans better maintain product freshness and appeal to changing consumer preferences for cans, labels easily adhere to the uniform aluminum surface. This enables small-batch brewers to use versatile, cost-effective pressure sensitive labels for their packaging.

Brouwerij West frequently releases new batches in smaller quantities– typically, between 140 to 700 cases – each batch needing its own unique identity. This requires a quick-turnaround, yet cost-effective approach to producing these intricate product labels.

Wizard Labels uses a fleet of HP Indigo digital printing presses, coupled with an extremely efficient production process, to enable a 2-3 business day production cycle – all without charging rush fees. The company’s use of sophisticated laser finishing technology enables the label printer to cut and finish ornate labels in a single pass, saving the cost and time associated with traditional tooling-based operations.

Wizard Labels’ combination of digital printing expertise and industry-leading production turnaround helps Brouwerij West quickly get new releases to market. It also minimizes the likelihood of being stuck with unused labels for a brew that is being replaced by a new batch.

Mercer concluded, “We love working with Wizard Labels! Their ability to quickly and reliably produce our intricate, artistic labels has been a real game changer for us.”