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A toast to 2016’s most spirited packages
Wine and beer dominate the top-performing beverage packaging articles of the year through innovative decoration, designs and more.

A toast to 2016’s most spirited packages

We celebrate 2016 with this 6-pack of the year’s top beverage packaging articles. Spoiler alert: It’s all about wine and beer.

The winding down of 2016 signals the start of celebrations that often acknowledge the past months’ accomplishments. We do that in grand packaging style by toasting the top-performing beverage packaging articles of the year. These happened to center entirely on beer and wine, popular subcategories overflowing with innovative labels and packaging designs among other value-added embellishments.

We open up our 6-pack of these top-read stories with #6 that dates to early July, when we posted an article about a series of peculiarly coded labels printed with letters and numbers. The unique alphanumeric symbols decorate a line of 6 beers from Denmark’s TO ØL Brewery. The article presented a triple mystery that lured readers: What do the labels’ codes mean? And from what cult classic movie does the line of colorful brews draw its inspiration? And finally, what does the brewer’s name signify?

If you love a mystery as much as many hundreds of readers, then you’ll want to test your deductive skills by examining the clues in Can you read this mysteriously coded beer label?

Wine labels with a lot of character…


Explore fresh food and beverage packaging and design ideas during WestPack, February 7-9, 2017, in Anaheim, CA



As wine aisles swell with an ever-rising sea of brands, wine producers are looking to increasingly rich and imaginative narratives on which to build their brands. Often, these narratives have nothing at all to do with the origins of the wine itself. Rather, these brands borrow from historical events or are based in universal human experience. The resulting brands are engaging customers and moving a whole lot of wine in the process as can be seen in these two success stories from 19 Crimes and Josh Cellars found in How character-driven labels are driving wine sales.

Next: A unique single-serve wine format is revealed.


This posting from January drew interest throughout the year: An exclusive insider piece sparked by a Shark Tank episode that resulted in a new packaging concept for single-serve wine.

 “We have recently developed a new packaging solution for the single-serve wine market, it's called Couple and it's a full- stem interlocking and stackable wine glass,” says inventor Gus Toca, president/CEO of 201 Innovations. “I started designing a glass that would have the precious full stem that has been a staple of the wine industry, but also would have the same space saving characteristics of stackable cups.”

Toca delivers the details in Single-serve stemmed wine packaging coupled for efficiency.

Next: You can bank on this micro-bubbly canned beer innovation.


Vault Brewing Company, Yardley, PA, opened its brewpub doors in 2012 as a family venture, getting the name from the fact the building had been a bank from the 1800s until recently.

“We’re very much about an immersive beer drinking experience,” explains co-founder James Cain.  “We go to great lengths to control everything that we can, which is where the concept of Nitro Cans came into play. We really wanted to be able to preserve the nitrogenated drinking experience that we’re providing in the brewpub elsewhere as well.”

We unlocked the brewer’s secrets in Nitro can delivers widget-less pub-style beer.

Beer packaging that’s full of visible, invisible and tactile surprises.


I’m not sure what is more surprising, Oculto beer’s packaging or the fact that this article dates to 2015, yet rose to near the very top of 2016’s best-read beverage packaging list. Regardless, Mysterious Oculto beer serves on-package surprises documents the many value-add aspects of the Friday March 13, 2015, introduction of a new lager beer, Oculto, that featured a novel formulation and branding that centers on spontaneous nights out with friends. The packaging for bottles, cans and multipacks demonstrates how far Anheuser-Busch went to leverage the brand’s elements of mystery and intrigue.

We end our Top 6 on a very high note…

…when it comes to PageView metrics, our quantitative measure at the center of these analyses, with the #1 read beverage packaging article of 2016 about piscine packaging that resulted in analytics that were astronomical. They reflect the fact that this article drew in tens of thousands of readers from outside our world of packaging professionals who were lured by a combination of fishing and beer for a wildly popular contest involving gold trophy cans and awesome grand prizes.

If you were one of the minority who missed it, the best-read article of any kind during 2016 at was Fishermen reel in prizes in a Busch Beer promotion that features piscine beverage packaging.

PS: This article also garnered what must be one of the largest number of reader comments, which at this writing was 90.

Lastly, we offer a toast to your packaging success the rest of 2016 and throughout 2017!


Explore fresh food and beverage packaging and design ideas during WestPack, February 7-9, 2017, in Anaheim, CA


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