The Label and the Beer in the bottle

I received an email yesterday and thought it deserved publishing. We all admire any number of labels, but what about the beer in the bottle. I think this deserves to be followed up.


As a lover of all things beer, I have been following the site for some time and appreciating the history and evolution of beer labels that has been presented on the site as an ‘armchair viewer’ if you will.

There are many labels that are brilliant and the stories behind them better still (my favourite being desert island labels!), however I never felt that I fully appreciated the magic and allure of labels until Tuesday night.

I have my shelf, as I always do, a selection of beers ready for the weekend or if I fancy a weeknight tipple. When I choose a beer from the local supermarket my choice has never been about what beer has a good label but rather, what have I not had? And so on my shelf I had a bottle of Box Steam Brewery – Tunnel Vision. Amongst all the other beers on the shelf this beer was rather unassuming but every time I looked up at it I thought ‘that beer is going to be superb!’ Now, as I said, the label wasn’t that exciting, just a standard Box Steam label, but something about it said ‘drink me’. So, sure enough, on Tuesday I did. And it was superb. And I think I finally understood the nature of a label to instill in a beer lover that feeling of yes, that is a beer I want to drink and I will forever remember that certainty of knowing it was going to be great because of the label.

John D


  • Strandy

    Interestingly, I spotted a bottle of this out of place in Aldi but amoungst all the other beers that they stock. I agree that as you say the label isn’t loud and brash like so many ‘craft’ beer types these day. But despite it being fairly bog standard the large Tunnel Vision boomed in my retina’s as it was prominent in large Golden friendly letters. As you say it wasn’t particularly fancy but I knew that there was no way that this was going to be a bad tipple. Smart and simplistic and a tidy design to perfection.

  • Dave W

    For me the most interesting point was that the writer liked ‘Desert Island Beer Labels’ . I sent mine in over 2 years ago and really thought that other collectors would be queuing up to add their favourites to the site. Disappointing really that although there are many collectors out there, so few have the time or the inclination to share their choices and the reasons behind them.

  • Pete S

    An interesting subject & I will probably upset a few people here.
    I would like to suggest that in many cases the complexity / modernity of label design, for many current beers is inversely proportional to their quality, or perhaps drinkability is a better term.
    In pursuit of new labels I have tried a number of beers, which are to my palette, disgusting. Of course that may just be my problem.
    I look forward to others thoughts on the subject.
    Cheers (or not)

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