Beer has been around since the dawn of man. It’s not hard to see why it’s remained with us even as loincloths and living in caves fell out of fashion. As a social lubricant, it allows the shyer among us to break out of our shells. Ancient Persians believed the best way to make a decision was twice: once sober and once drunk. And, of course, many of us wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for beer.

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Brewing beer is not only a noble profession, but a big business. A $250 billion business in the US alone. A lot of that comes from huge corporations like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, but one in ten beers sold in America comes from a craft brewery.

Craft beer is still a specialty item, but in the last decade or so, it stopped being unique. You no longer stand out on grocery store shelves (or at beer festivals) simply be being a craft beer.

Since beer is so ubiquitous across cultures and time, how do you make yourself stand out? A cool logo! Your logo is what ties your brand together. It goes on the case, the label of your can or bottle, your website, even your business cards. It’s especially important if you have different types of beer under the same brewery; you’ll want it to look the same in different places.

But what kind of logo do you want? Let’s consider some options.

Emblems & badges

Emblems (also called badges) are very common logo styles for beer bottles for a simple reason—they’re incredibly versatile. A nice badge looks great on the neck of a bottle and on the breast of a t-shirt. Because they’re generally curved on the edges, they don’t appear distorted when wrapped around a can or bottle.

This is, of course, a more traditional way of identifying your brand. It’s a classy look, that identifies your craft beer as a premium product. It may not create the desired aesthetic for hip, modern brands, but if you want to connect yourself with the history of Brewing, this is a great place to start.

Cinema Brewing
A cinematic logo by Ani Lokin for Cinema Brewing.
Storybook Brewing
A magical logo design by designer-98 for Storybook Brewing.
Petite Brasserie Moderne
Foamy logo design by GT Designs. for Petite Brasserie Moderne.
Slackstone and Timber Brewing
A simple tree logo by Project 4 for Slackstone and Timber Brewing.
Diggles Artisan Ales
Thoughtful logo design by GOOSEBUMPS for Diggles Artisan Ales.
Flat Fish Brewing
A fishy logo design by creta for Flat Fish Brewing.
The Hop Supply Co.
Logo design by Mijat12 for The Hop Supply Co.
Logo design by olimpio for Rippon.
Bogside Brewing
A badge logo design by Neatlines for Bogside Bewing.

Logos from a bygone era

Beer has been around a really long time. It makes sense to tap into that with a nostalgia-tinged logo.

One relatively simple way to go is to employ a woodcut-style drawing. (Don’t use an actual woodcut; that takes forever.) But don’t restrict yourself to just this one style.

Consider the iconography of an earlier time. You can illustrate old-timey modes of transportation, or styles of dress or even technology that once seemed advanced but is now antiquated.

Mockery Brewing Co
A logo featuring flintlock pistols via Mockery Brewing Co.
Dainton Brewery
A pugilistic brand identity pack by pmo for Dainton Brewery.
Noble Jay Brewing Company
A classy bird logo by pmo for Noble Jay Brewing Company.
Deep Brewing Co.
A deep dive logo design by Widakk for Deep Brewing Co.
Boiler Brewing
A boiling hot logo design by Project 4 for Boiler Brewing.
Froth Craft Brewery
Logo design by Sign²in for Froth Craft Brewery.
Angel’s Share Barrel House
Logo design by DIX LIX MIX for Angel’s Share Barrel House.
Tinman Mobile Canning
A steampunk logo by Ristar for Tinman Mobile Canning.
Arrowhead Beverage MFG
A sharp logo design by Project 4 for Arrowhead Beverage MFG.

Hoppy logos

Hops are a key ingredient in brewing beer. You probably know that, or you wouldn’t be reading this article. It’s why so many microbreweries use hops in their logos.

But just because it’s a common theme, doesn’t mean it’s bad or cliché. You just have to make sure you’re doing something different. Instead of being literal, go for a more stylized approach. Hops look great in a simplified, graphic form.

Alternatively, combine it with other elements of your logo. Lots of people have no idea what hops are, much less what they look like. If your logo includes other imagery, you’ve covered your whole audience.

Claude Hopper’s
A bootprint logo design by brandsformed® for Claude Hopper’s.
Bleeding Heart Brewery
A logo combining hops and heart by KreatanK for Bleeding Heart Brewery.
Foxtrot’s Hopyard
A fox and sword logo design by bayuRIP for Foxtrot’s Hopyard.
Beers Looking at You
Logo design by EARCH for Beers Looking at You.
Small Town Big City
Logo design by Gstars for Small Town Big City.
Crafty Dee's Brewing co.
A classic logo design by GOOSEBUMPS for Crafty Dee’s Brewing co.

Barrels of logos (er, logos of barrels)

Stout beer is usually aged in barrels; barrels also make for a stout logo. It’s strong and to the point. A barrel gives a classic feel, while being explicit about what you do—make beer.

Mugs, cups, steins and things

Creating a microbrewery is a huge accomplishment, and it’s understandable to want to show off that skill with your logo. On the other hand, you may want to focus on your consumer, by focusing more on how they perceive beer. Or, maybe you don’t actually brew beer yourself, but make beer-adjacent products or run beer-related events.

Either way, you can still create a logo that evokes the feeling you get drinking with your mates. Move away from hops and barrels, and instead use items that regular drinkers associate with beer—cups, mugs, steins.

Think carefully about this iconography, of course. Different kinds of beer require different drinking vessels. A red cup or boot tells you something about the type of beer you’re drinking.

Red Cooler
A cool logo design by bayuRIP for Red Cooler.
The Pink Pinty Society
A classy, pink logo design by SHANAshay for The Pink Pinty Society.
Craft Brew Girls
Who wouldn’t want a frothy mug of beer from this logo design by Juicide for Craft Brew Girls?
Student Red Cup Party
A college classic logo design by bayuRIP for Student Red Cup Party.
Oktoberfest Colorado
A rockin’ logo design by Sign²in for Oktoberfest Colorado.

Kick back and have a beer (logo)

Choosing a logo is a big decision. It’s a part of your branding that you’ll be living with for a long time. You might want to make your chose the old fashioned Persion way (first drunk, then sober). If you like it both ways, then it’s probably the logo for you!

Need a logo for your brewery or beer-related business?
A logo design contest can get you dozens of ideas from designers around the world.