beer labels, finally a solution

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I've been looking for a good way to label the front of the bottle for
those brews that get handed out to friends on special occasions. I think
I finally have found a solution that works and is reasonably priced.

Initially I looked at nametag labels because their size is perfect. The
bad news is they cost about $54 for 100 sheets of labels. There were 8
labels per sheet. This was a little more than I wanted to spend.

So I picked the Avery 5163 2x4 labels instead. 10 to a sheet and only
$24 for 100 sheets. Much more affordable. It also has the benefit of
coming with a MS Word template which can be had at:
I was hoping for a layout program a little more flexible than MS Word so
I installed a free desktop publishing program called scribus. You can
get it at: It only took a few minutes to recreate
the template using a ruler and a sheet of the 5163 labels.

So what is the result? Take a look at at a few labels I knocked out this
I printed them with my Photosmart 7550 and the ink did not run when
soaked in water and the label remained on the bottle. I pried up a
corner on a dry label and I was able to peel it off fairly easy so it
should be even easier in water.

I am pleased with this solution, but I'd like to go even a step further.
I'd like to kick out custom labels quickly and easily with lots of cool
features like curved text etc. I've been in contact with the makers of
Discus labeling software. It is an excellent package and is cross
platform. They seem interesting. Check them out and send them an
encouraging email if you feel the same way.


Re: beer labels, finally a solution
My gripe with stick-on labels is that they're so freaking difficult to take
off when you're ready to bottle your next brew.  My favorite method is to
use ordinary 8.5 x 11 printer paper (I can fit 6 labels per page), cut the
labels with a good old paper slicer, and then attach with a glue stick.  The
labels stay on if the bottle sweats a little (unless you peel them off on
purpose), but they come off without any trouble at all when you soak the
bottles in water.

Other kinds of labels, I end up using a paint scraper or razor blade to get
all the stickers off, which is a royal pain in the ass.  Even if you soak
the bottles for a few hours, some labels are still very stubborn and require
a lot of manual labor to remove.  And then a lot of times, you can't get all
the adhesive off, so you scrape even harder, or try Goo-Gone, and it still
doesn't work real well..... Who wants to waste their time with all that?
Just use a glue stick on regular paper and you're good to go.

"Just a drink, a little drink, and I'll be feeling GOOooOOooOOooD!" --
Genesis, 1973-ish

Re: beer labels, finally a solution
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I heard that some sodium bicarbonate (Cow Brand or Arm and Hammer) dissolved
in hot water is the easyest trick to get rid of hard to remove label, let
the bottles soak for a few hours and the labels peel themselfe alone.
Altair (:-o)>=® (supprimer/remove nospam@ pour répondre/to reply)
"The History of every major Galactic Civilisation tends to pass through
three distinct and recognisable phases... characterised by the questions How
can we eat? Why do we eat? and Where shall we have lunch?"
Douglas Adams.

Re: beer labels, finally a solution
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If you're just labelling the bottles to give to others or to distinguish
which beer is which, but don't want the hassle of removing labels, use Avery
standard 5366 labels, divide each label into 6 (split cell properties) and
stick each label onto the bottle cap. When the cap comes off, so does the
label! Not aesthetically pleasing, but my beers don't get mixed that way.

Re: beer labels, finally a solution
Iridium52 wrote:
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Yeah, the problem with those self-adhesive labels is that the longer
they stay on the bottle, the harder they are to remove. You can smear
them with some light oil (even cooking oil sorta works) and let them sit
overnight to loosen them, but then you have to wash oily bottles.
Someone once posted that they used a solution of powdered milk and water
as a glue that came off readily, but I haven't tried that one as my
printer uses water-soluble ink.
To remove commercial labels, I just sink the bottles in my boiling-pot
and bring them to a light boil (A little laundry detergent helps).
By the time the water is cool, the labels have mostly floated off the

Karl S.

Re: beer labels, finally a solution
I currently use the avery .75" round labels for my own beer bottles. The
problem I have with these is that they come on such a small sheet of
paper. I recently discovered a company offering full sheets though and
plan to purchase some next time I run out. here is their link:
I forwarded to the company who creates the discus software what I had
discovered in labels and they wrote back saying the same thing everyone
has said here, that we need easily removable labels. I'm still hoping
they will jump in at some point and offer a few templates with their


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Re: beer labels, finally a solution
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I'm personally a big fan of numbering my batches on the bottle cap with a
good old-fashioned Sharpie marker.  It's the quickest and cheapest way I've
found...seems kinda silly to go through the trouble of labelling beer
bottles unless you're presenting them as gifts.  I only actually print
labels for wine, and for those I use Avery 5168


Re: beer labels, finally a solution
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I tried using a steadler marker to write the bottling date and type of beer
on the cap, but found it difficult to do (and ended up illegible). The
marker didn't write well and I couldn't write straight. So I switched to
labels, just print, cut, and stick.

Re: beer labels, finally a solution

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Re: beer labels, finally a solution
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That makes sense too.  To each his own, I suppose.  I keep the info on the
cap to a mere number, and if I don't recall what it is I just check my
notebook.  To date I have only bottled 26 batches, so it's not that hard to
remember what is what.


Re: beer labels, finally a solution
On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 17:07:18 -0500, "Jason Torrick"

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I use a number & a rubber date stamp & pad which i use to 'stamp' a
two digit number onto the ( small round about 1 cm diameter) label.  I
use notepad to make notes about each brew #.   Prolly re-use each
cap 3 to 5 times,'til signs of rust.  Labels can be coloured -orange,
red, yellow, green, etc.

Sob, if I only have one beer down / run out etc I dont bother
numbering.  [ but i still keep records of the brew # etc ].


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Re: beer labels, finally a solution
If I'm bottling, I generally use standard sized address labels that I
can run through an ink-jet printer. I layout a simple label in Word (or
another word processing application) print'em and stick'em. The labels
usually come off the bottles during washing, but since i always use the
same sized label, I just lay the new label over the old.

Ian Cowan wrote:

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Re: beer labels, finally a solution
Dave I go 1 step further. I spray a clear coat of photo spray [any clear
spray can]. This was it will protect the label from running.


          Home of the

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Re: beer labels, finally a solution
For bottles I intend to give away, I use regular 8.5 x 11 inch paper that,
after printing my labels on, I cut into three 3.5 x 8.5 inch strips. These
strips I wrap completely around the bottle overlap the ends and glue the
together with a glue stick. A very small amount of glue on the bottle
prevents the label from sliding off. Come cleaning time (If I get the
bottles back) you only have to clean the small portion of label end glue
still attached to the bottle. (This works with 12oz bottles, just don't have
the heart to give away 22's yet.)

Dan Rock
What ever doesn't kill ya
Makes ya stronger

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