Creative support for craft brewers

European and major domestic breweries have been using metalized paper labels for years. US craft brewers are now picking up on the trend.

european beer metalized paper labels
Source: AR Metalizing

While mainstream beer makers wrestle with a market in decline, craft breweries continue to enjoy double digit growth. In fact, Mintel Inc. estimates sales of craft beers doubled in the last five years and will grow another 50 percent in the next five.

Most craft beers slug it out in the highly hopped 12-oz. bottle segment. Then there are the abbey-style brews, packaged in 750ml bottles with a cork enclosure. One of the most successful brewers is Cooperstown, NY’s Ommegang Brewery, a subsidiary of Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery. To develop a cohesive look for a growing variety of styles, the firm commissioned a rebranding project that included updated labels and secondary packaging

Early in the project, Ommegang and its redesign team decided metalized paper would best convey the new look. The medium is not new to US brewers—think Coors’ silver bullet—but no US craft brewery had ever used metalized paper, according to Kizzie Suriel, creative director at AR Metallizing. Further complicating the project was a requirement that the label be embossed. Offset printing won’t support embossing, points out Dana Jenkins, account executive with Rochester, NY-based Flower City Printing, forcing the printer to tackle the project with flexo printing.

“This was our first beer label application and our first use of metalized paper on a flexo press,” adds Jenkins. Achieving the desired pearly effect with the opaque and transparent inks used with metalized paper proved difficult until Flower City called in its supplier, Franklin, MA-based AR Metallizing.

Metalized labels remain an oddity in the craft beer segment. “We’d like to change that,” says Suriel, and design support is one way of doing it.

For more information:

Kizzie Suriel, AR Metallizing, 508-541-7778,

Dana Jenkins, Flower City Printing, 585-451-1375 

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