Design Challenge: The Best Beer Labels in SoCal

These Los Angeles area brewers are killing it when it comes to label design

I judge a lot of things by their covers. Books… Trendy clurrrrbs… Facebook profiles… And yes, beer. There, I said it. I’ve picked up a pint based on nothing more than its well-designed label. And now you can too! The following are my picks for the breweries that nail the label game every time.

Eagle Rock Brewery
Eagle Rock Brewery’s tagline is “Beer for the People.” And there’s something vaguely “workers party” going on with the Eagle Rock labels. But beyond the pinko vibe, the clean lines, rich colors and relative continuity between label designs really do it for me. Also: Their brews are delicious.

Ladyface Ale Companie
Ladyface uses the Art Nouveau works of Alphonse Mucha as a jumping off point. Mucha incorporated elements of the natural world into his iconic posters of nymph-like women. Vines, grapes, lilies, trees… Why not hops? And why not give these lovely ladies something to drink? Thanks Ladyface, the girls were thirtsy.

The Bruery
The beer-labeling world is a world of right angles. Rectangles. Lots and lots of rectangles. Not so at The Bruery. The labels are a bit fanciful without treading into saccharine territory. Which is actually not a bad way to describe their beers. There’s variation between individual brews—the marquees are shaped slightly different, the color schemes speak to what’s in each bottle—but the constant is beautiful design, and delicious beer.

Brouwerij West
So Brouwerij West lacks that element of continuity that I so appreciate with Eagle Rock’s offerings. But the reason behind that lack of continuity is actually why Brouwerij West makes this list. Brewmaster Brian Mercer works with a different local artist for each one of his beer’s labels. And the result is a series of truly beautiful offerings—and a natural marriage between the art world and the beer world.