By Scott Pillsbury
For the Oregon Beer Growler
We at Rose City Label frequently get asked about the price for a “standard” beer label — but unfortunately, we don’t have a very good answer. When we began printing labels for 22-ounce bottles nine years ago, there was a pretty standard format that most businesses used, but not anymore. Now that there are a variety of options, beer label pricing can be more expensive.
Of the last 100 beer labels we printed for our top brewery customers, there wasn’t a single “standard.” That’s because there is demand for variety in terms of sizes, materials, printing methods and requests for extra embellishments. With all this diversity, there really is no way to answer the question about a standard label. Everyone is fighting to set themselves apart on the crowded shelves, and a “standard” label just won’t work.
In the last 100 orders, we used:
— Twenty-nine different die cut label sizes. Our standard 4-by-5 rectangle (once the most popular size) only accounted for 15 of these orders. Now people want bigger labels that cover more of the bottle in order to show off their graphics and branding.
— Fifteen different label materials. Our premium synthetic paper and digital BOPP still accounted for 54 of these orders, but 46 of them are on a textured stock, a clear or metallic or a premium paper suitable for embossing.
— Sixty traditional vs. 40 digital. Nine years ago we didn’t even have digital printing, and now it accounts for 40 percent of the beer label orders — digital is booming. This is especially true for short-run, seasonal and specialty collaboration beers.
Nine years ago, we never would have envisioned 29 different beer label sizes — the creativity and diversity is amazing!
With all of these options, it is no wonder why beer label price diversity is on the rise.
*This is a compilation of the last five orders from our top 20 brewery customers.
More data about these 100 orders:
— Largest quantity: 151,200
— Smallest quantity: 500
— Lowest per-label cost: $0.062
— Highest per-label cost: $0.69
With all this experience in beer label diversity, we have what it takes to meet all of your craft beverage label needs. Cheers!
Scott Pillsbury is a founding member of B.I.N.G. and President of Rose City Label Company, a family-owned business that has been a leader in the Northwest label market since 1928. The company prints for more than 80 craft beer companies, as well as wineries, spirit producers and was recognized as the 2015 OSU Austin Family Business of the Year. Scott and his wife, Sherrill, have four children and live in Portland. They enjoy food, travel, running and beer.
By Chris Morehead
For the Oregon Beer Growler
Most craft beer industry (CBI) employers will be throwing a shindig in the coming weeks to celebrate the holiday season as well as the employees and hard work that went into the previous year. Beer (and other adult libations) will be consumed, inhibitions will undoubtedly loosen and stories will be shared. And why shouldn’t they? Company holiday parties are held in order to strengthen existing bonds and help build positive workplace relationships.
But, from an employment law perspective, holiday parties also have an inherent degree of risk. Who hasn’t witnessed or heard about an employee having a little too much “Christmas cheer,” or a couple of employees getting a little too friendly? The truth is, my firm has defended dozens of claims that originated at a holiday party, when something at a well-meaning, company-sponsored event went awry.
Here are some tips CBI employers should consider when planning this year’s holiday party:
1. Transportation: Breweries and brewpubs often have holiday parties on company premises or at the owner’s home. Beer, and more, will be present, and it will be consumed. But if an employee or other guest leaves drunk (certainly not inconceivable) and gets behind the wheel, there are definite safety and liability concerns. Consider getting taxi vouchers beforehand and passing them out at the party. In places where Uber and Lyft operate, consider prearranging to distribute codes that automatically bill the company — not the rider — for the trip fare. This will not only be greatly appreciated by the guests, but it should also help ease the mind that everyone is getting home safely.
2. Open bar? Hire a pro: While many would recommend not having an open bar (stocked with the hard stuff) in the first place, the reality is that many companies do so anyway. If your company falls in that category, consider spending a few extra dollars to hire a bartender. That might sound silly if many of your employees are perfectly qualified for the role, but the reality is that if an employee is performing “work,” they are entitled to compensation. And while it might be extremely unlikely that the employee would complain or say something at the party, that could change if the employment relationship ever sours and the employee wants payback (literally and figuratively). In addition, while everyone else is enjoying that new porter or altbier, having a trained, sober professional present will help you keep an eye out to make sure no one is getting overserved.
3. Have fun, but be mindful of all: Most CBI employers are small, and the employees get along. That tends to create a laid-back atmosphere, and people aren’t worried about offending each other. While that is certainly a positive work environment, and should be applauded, it’s important to remember that guests at holiday parties are generally outsiders, and might not be accustomed to your company’s culture or personalities. While this may be stating the obvious to some, CBI employers should try to avoid alienating their guests. Some simple tips include: making sure it’s called the “holiday” party and not the “Christmas” party; don’t use religious-themed decorations; when sending out invitations, use neutral language like “partner” or “significant other” rather than “husband” and “wife;” mistletoe is a bad idea altogether, as is asking about plans to get married or having kids; and just because your friends think an off-color joke is funny, it doesn’t mean everyone else does.
The bottom line is that all your employees and guests should leave the holiday party with the same (or hopefully even better) perception of your company. Happy holidays!