Having interviewed dozens of beer labels artists, there is one question we get so consistently, it would be stupid for us to ignore it: “How can I get a print of that label?”
In the past, we’ve redirected such inquiries back to the brewery’s or artist’s website in the hopes that our readers find what they are looking for. Not ideal, but until now, that’s all we could do.
That’s all changed thanks to BeerPrints.com!
Thirsty Bastards: What’s the story behind BeerPrints.com?
“It seems crazy that there wasn’t a single marketplace to buy those works and rep them in your house. So I made it!”
Earlier this year I was traveling around Brazil and looking for craft beer labels (and their contents). I found this rad label in Rio de Janeiro and thought their labels would actually be a good souvenir; I was hoping to hang it as a poster. But the brewery said they didn’t make posters. I started looking for labels from my other favorite brands, and found they didn’t sell them either. Moreover, there was no existing online marketplace for this type of art. That’s when inspiration came.
Brand designers put so much love and energy into creating these kickass brand experiences for each beer. And there’s this huge community of Thirsty Bastards and other folks, basically craft beer enthusiasts talking about the labels. It seems crazy that there wasn’t a single marketplace to buy those works and rep them in your house. So I made it!
I created Beer Prints to connect craft beer fans with the breweries they love and treasure the artistic material and products these brands create.
TB: So where did you go from there? How did you get it started?
BS-R: Well, this was right around when lockdown started. I had quit my job to travel, which was now out of the question. So I had a ton of time to focus on Beer Prints. I made an LLC for it, designed all of the website myself, and then I set out finding label art.
I reached out to something like 600 breweries, artists, designers. I’d just send them cold emails and ask them if they’d have any problems listing their stuff on my website. My pitch was basically “hey I can help your merch channel with no work on your end and just pay you each month for any sales, and get more exposure to your brand in the process.”
And I’d say 99% of the people who got back to me were incredibly positive responses. Since most breweries were shut down because of COVID, they were extra interested in easy income.
TB: What are your favorite labels currently on the site? What about dream labels?
BS-R: I hate to pick favorites, but I’d have to say the Roy Pitz ones. I love the cool-toned colors, the paint aesthetic, and the retro vibes on something like Step Your Game Up. I also love the Amundsen Brewery series.
Dream labels, man, a lot. What Keith Shore does for Mikkeller is really special; it’s always been a favorite. Nick Fullmer’s work for Cellar Maker and Three Weavers is incredible. And this cat Walter Cria who makes the labels for Cervejaria Octopus in Rio are great as well.
TB: So breweries/artists make money on purchases too?
BS-R: For sure! Yeah, we split profits with them. We handle all the logistics: inventory, printing, shipping, support, etc.
TB: What are your plans to grow Beer Prints?
BS-R: Great question. I need to get more involved in the community so I can meet more breweries. I also would like to attend craft beer festivals, once the world is back to facilitating that sort of thing…
I’m also pumped to be working with Thirsty Bastards, since you’ve captured an audience that would likely vibe with our products.
TB: But the site isn’t just for selling beer label prints, right?
BS-R: Right. It’s also an indexed repository of all the best craft beer art ever created. It’s important to recognize that these works are a very special and unique medium of artistic expression. As such, there should be an emphasis on both the community as well as the artists who made the art in the first place.
In the future, I’d like to introduce more tools to engage the vast community of craft beer label enthusiasts. For one, I’d like to get more international artists and labels on the site. Right now, a vast majority is in the US, but it would be cool to see design elements by geography, artists, and time. Additionally, I hope the community will take more use of the forum features on the site: comment, share, and engaging with this art as they would if they were hanging in a museum.
For artists, I’d like them to be front and center in all of this. Today, each artist is explicitly called out whenever possible on each image/product. We also make a unique “collection” of their works for people to explore and enjoy. I’d like Beer Prints to be the place where breweries go to find their next product designer, and we have plans to make this sort of Artist exploration possible. Additionally, we’ll build out tools so Artists & Breweries can upload and edit their art and select products in more of a self-service way, which will give them visibility and control over their art and merchandise channel.
TB: What kind of prints are you doing? Just paper?
BS-R: Right now we have high-quality canvas prints as well as traditional poster-paper. There’s a lot of places we can go from here: coffee mugs, metal posters, acrylic, stickers, t-shirts, you name it! I think stickers would be cool for craft beer meetups and tasting events and trading. We’ll also introduce a package for Breweries’ in-house merch store, which will include a big bundle of items at a large discount.
TB: Can you talk about what kind of paper/ink/process goes into the beer label prints you sell?
BS-R: Our products use the highest quality ink and poster material in order to give the truest representation of the labels themselves.
The posters are high-quality stuff, museum-grade posters made on thick, durable, acid-free paper. We picked the matte finish because there is less shiny glare in bright rooms, which is important for being able to let the colors really pop. We use a Print On Demand service called Printful for the posters, and you can check out the products and reviews here.
The ink is Giclée printing quality, giclée being far superior to all other forms of printing, and the closest an artist can get to matching their original artwork. This is all to say that when we bring beer labels to life in poster form, they burst with color and have the highest fidelity possible to your favorite beer. And they’ll last for years and years.