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View Full Version : "Personalization" or "15 Pieces of Flair"



Asator
02-06-2010, 02:47 AM
So I found this really neat bottle the other day that I'd like to use when my mead is ready to be bottled. It's a flat, thick, clear glass bottle with a Grolsch style top. Kinda reminds ya of those hip-flask shaped bottles that you can get whiskey in, only with a Grolsch style top. So anyway, this got me thinking about some of the cool personalization that can go into mead-making. Well, not mead-MAKING, mead PACKAGING.

So I have a few questions for the community.

First, do any of you regularly use oddly shaped bottles or have one specific bottle you've used in the past that you've particular liked or thought looked cool?

Second, do any of you get super involved in label design?

Lastly, what are some of the names that you've come up with for your brews that you are particularly proud of or that you think are especially clever? Also, how do you come up with your names?

If you have any pictures of your favorite bottles or of your labels, I'd love to see them.

Thanks everyone,
A

fatbloke
02-06-2010, 04:06 AM
So I found this really neat bottle the other day that I'd like to use when my mead is ready to be bottled. It's a flat, thick, clear glass bottle with a Grolsch style top. Kinda reminds ya of those hip-flask shaped bottles that you can get whiskey in, only with a Grolsch style top. So anyway, this got me thinking about some of the cool personalization that can go into mead-making. Well, not mead-MAKING, mead PACKAGING.

So I have a few questions for the community.

First, do any of you regularly use oddly shaped bottles or have one specific bottle you've used in the past that you've particular liked or thought looked cool?

Second, do any of you get super involved in label design?

Lastly, what are some of the names that you've come up with for your brews that you are particularly proud of or that you think are especially clever? Also, how do you come up with your names?

If you have any pictures of your favorite bottles or of your labels, I'd love to see them.

Thanks everyone,
A
I don't bottle much, it tends to get made and then left for bulk ageing in 1 gallon "demi-john" jars.

The problem tends to be, when using "non-standard" type bottles, is price.

For example, if I go to the local HBS, I can get 15 bottles (standard Bordeaux bottles) for about 9 (about 60 pence a bottle which is about 93 cents current exchange). I also know that if I go to a bottle merchant, and without any shipping, can get the same bottles by the pallet (about 1200 bottles), for about the 200 a pallet level. Which tends to work out about 19 to 20 pence a bottle (about 29 to 31 cents a bottle).

That's not only an example of bulk buying prices, but also how much the thieving swines mark up small quantities.

If I then look at grolsch "swing top" type bottles, it's pretty much the same, except a hell of a lot dearer. 12 bottles is about 24 (that's about 2 or $3 a bottle) and yes those come with the tops. If I got them by the pallet, there's about 1000 bottles on a pallet and it then drops by about 75% i.e. about 50 pence or 78 cents, but then by the pallet, there's no stopper and you have to buy those seperately - which are about 50 per 1000.

So, as you can see, it's basically about how much you can afford and want to spend on your packaging and what you can get locally......

As for labels, there's no reason why you can't produce something yourself but again, it's about what you want to spend on the label/paper, and the type.....

Full colour or just text and mono image ? Self adhesive or just plain paper to be hand stuck ? Glossy, egg shell or completely matte finish ?

If you really want to "kick the arse out of it", what about whether to use plastic topped corks as re-usable stoppers ? Or "proper" wine corks ? Or what the hell, even wine corks but then using a wax seal.......

Not an endless choice, but enough variations to make you think.......

regards

fatbloke

AToE
02-06-2010, 04:49 AM
WayneB comes up with seriously cool names for his brews, just have to sign up as a patron to see them.;)

Medsen Fey
02-06-2010, 10:16 AM
I enjoy making labels for my meads and wines. To me, it's half the fun, and from my experience, I can say that a profession-looking presentation with a nice label makes people appreciate the mead inside more. The eye appeal causes the palate to register more favorably.

I find it can be hard to get unusual bottles. Most homebrew shops carry the same selection, but some of the icewine bottles (bellisima) are neat for dessert meads. I recently learned of Waterloo Containers (http://www.waterloocontainer.com/products.php) which I have read provide good service even for tiny orders, and they have some bottles I've not see elsewhere. I haven't ordered anything from them yet, but if anyone already has (or beats me to it), please share your experience.

Below is an example of a label I recently used for an Amarone wine kit I bottled.

Displaced Hick
02-06-2010, 10:34 AM
Here's the label I made for my braggot.

tatgeer
02-06-2010, 06:19 PM
I use clear EZcap bottles labeled via hanging paper tags. It's harder to read than a large stick-on label, but I really like the light coming through and showing off the cool colors in the meads. The bottles are much more expensive than other options, but I mostly do 1-gallon batches, and I've had pretty good luck with friends returning them to me.

Here's a picture:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tatgeer/2198601418/in/set-72157605048211601/

Asator
02-07-2010, 04:21 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone! I guess my post may have been a little confusing, I wasn't so much looking for tips on buying bottles or producing labels, I was just interested in seeing some of the creative ways that people package their product. As a collector (guitars, toys, books, etc), I've come to really appreciate aesthetics, but had never really thought about the individualism and creativity that can go into home-brewing. Now that I HAVE thought about it though, I'm really excited to see more, both for fun and for inspiration. It's like they say, you cant be a great writer if you never read.

I really like the stuff that's been posted, especially the labels. I cant wait to start designing my own. They're gonna be soooo bad-ass. That bottle website is pretty cool too. I actually found the bottle that I had previously described at a Goodwill here in Pittsburgh. It made me wonder how many cool bottles could be found at flea-markets or places like that. I don't plan on trying to get all of my mead into amazingly artistic bottles but if I can get a few "show pieces" I'll be happy.

Really, the only time I even plan on buying bottles at all, is if I find a really neat one somewhere. Luckily, I know a lot of wine drinkers who are more than happy to rinse out their bottles when they are done with them and save them for me. Heck, after only 2 weeks I've already been given 20+ bottles, haha. At this rate, I should never have to buy a bottle.

Here's the bottle that I found.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v380/ajax/th_bottlephoto.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v380/ajax/?action=view&current=bottlephoto.jpg)

P.S. tatgeer, I really like the idea of the hanging labels. And your mead looks excellent in those bottles.

AToE
02-07-2010, 04:29 PM
I have a couple of flip top 500ml bottles that are shaped like a flask, flat at curved slightly from front to back, with some minor detailing done on the glass. They came with maple syrup in them, but it was before I found a source for better and cheaper syrup.. so I'll probably only ever have the two.

Medsen Fey
02-07-2010, 05:07 PM
There are all kinds of creative ways to bottle and serve mead.

Down here one of the most interesting style of bottle I've seen are the Haitian Voodoo bottles. They are usually covered with sequins and beads and can be quite beautiful. I want to use some (with a cork finish perhaps) for something really special. I was thinking about having someone make one as a large format bottle - like a 3 L (double magnum) that could be used for a special party. But first I need to make some mead worthy of that effort. :)

Kee
02-07-2010, 08:15 PM
Wow! That voodoo bottle is really cool looking. I may have to try that sometime. (I love crafts!) Is the bottle painted underneath the beads and sequins? I don't see glass. Are they just glued on? Was there anything special done to the glass/beads?

wayneb
02-08-2010, 12:04 PM
Whenever I make a new recipe, I look for a name that "fits." Then I hand over the name to my artist buddy, Tim, who does up some label art for me. Some of those results can be seen in the album under my profile: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/album.php?albumid=6

Tim's also the guy who designs the award Mazers for our MCI competition; he is a professional graphic artist, and does a lot of SF and "space" themed original drawings and paintings, and he occasionally works in conjunction with Peri (another friend of mine) who professionally does custom and one-of-a kind F & SF pottery pieces. The results when that duo gets together, are really incredible!

BTW, now that "Filleul de la Nuit" (Godchild of the Night) is bottled, I can hardly wait to see what Tim comes up with for that one! ;D

wildoates
02-08-2010, 05:19 PM
I need a friend like that. I invited some of my artistic coworkers to the party, but it's the same day as our crab feed, and they're all going to that. I guess we'll have to do this again sometime. ;)

Angelic Alchemist
02-09-2010, 02:22 PM
When I print labels, I use artwork from my friends and give them a credit by mentioning their name plus a link to their website (if they have one) on the bottle. That way, I get to promote local artists. Plus, bottle art is cool.

wayneb
02-09-2010, 03:07 PM
I like the art credit idea! I'm going to have to add that to my labels from now on. Oh, and to promote my art buddies' work I suppose I could put links to their web pages here... ;)

Tim Kuzniar (Autumnstar):
http://www.autumnstar.net/

Peri Charlifu (Aegean Goods):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63324341@N00/

Angelic Alchemist
02-09-2010, 04:06 PM
I like the art credit idea! I'm going to have to add that to my labels from now on. Oh, and to promote my art buddies' work I suppose I could put links to their web pages here... ;)

Tim Kuzniar (Autumnstar):
http://www.autumnstar.net/

Peri Charlifu (Aegean Goods):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63324341@N00/

The hidden agenda is that if one of them becomes famous, my bottles will turn into collector's items. Enlightened self intrest means everyone wins!