A Vermont Brewery Turned Its Beer Can Labels into Collectible Stickers
Tim Brady, co-owner of Whetstone Beer Co., wanted his beer's custom-printed labels to have a longer life. Why spend the time and money on creative branding if they're just going to end up in the recycling bin with the rest of the can?
So, his company turned the label into a sticker for those craft beer lovers who enjoy showing off their favorite brews.
"We spend a lot on printing custom can labels, which nearly always end up in a recycle bin," Brady told Vermont Biz. "I thought, there has to be a way to make the label useful beyond simply showcasing the beer on the shelf. Now when you purchase any of our Whetstone Beer Co. cans, you get a unique sticker for free."
The stickers are part of a rebrand that coincided with the brewery's 10th anniversary. A local Vermont artist designed the new packaging, which references old "travel by rail" posters popular in the early 1900s.
Each sticker is a "travel poster," perfect for slapping on a beer fridge or water bottle.
"People reach out all the time requesting stickers," Whetstone brewer Derek Hall told Vermont Biz. "We send ours, and they send some of their favorites in return."
Craft beer fans love keepsakes from the breweries they go to. There are whole communities online where people trade and sell products from different breweries and locations.
Also, the sticker is a permanent reminder to places that stock Whetstone beer.
"When I brought a sample to a new customer, the manager peeled off the sticker, pasted it in the middle of his beer cooler and said, 'It's official. I need to order something from you now," Brayton Brown, Whetstone director of sales, told Vermont Biz.
This takes the idea of a label and elevates it to being a keepsake. Brady is right – brands spend a lot of time designing an attractive label, but it ends up in the trash like the rest of the packaging. It doesn't have to end up there, though. With a little bit of creativity, the label becomes a collector's item and long-lasting advertisement.