What to Look For in a Beer Can Labeler


More people than ever are demanding craft brew products. You have probably already noticed this, as sales of your beer product may be at an all-time high. However, keeping up with the rising demand from consumers is extremely difficult without proper equipment. 

When you first started your brewery, you probably didn’t have all of the fancy machines that package and label your products for you. As your business began to grow and sales started rolling in, you most likely came to the realization that doing all of this by hand just wasn't going to work. Now, investing in a beer can labeler seems like the best option to keep your craft brewery on the right track.

With so many different beers can labelers on the market, it may seem impossible to figure out which one is going to be the right fit for your brewery. Luckily, you’re not alone. Making this decision is a difficult task for every craft brewery. However, once you know what qualities a labeling machine should have, the process becomes much easier.

Labeling equipment can be an investment, but ensuring that you choose the best option on the market will make it worth your while. The best labeling machines ultimately improve your production line and help your brewery continue to grow. You may be wondering what exactly makes a great labeler and what qualities you should be looking for when choosing your machine. Fortunately, we’re here to discuss just that. Let’s dive in!

What Is a Beer Can Labeler?

First, let’s discuss what exactly a beer can labeler is. These machines are meant to apply your beer can labels automatically rather than manually by one of your employees. Simple enough, right?

Well, it is important to note that many different types of labeling machines are meant for different products and functions. For beer can labels specifically, we would recommend a shrink sleeve labeler, which is a full-body labeler and uses heat to shrink your label onto the can. This is one of the most popular options and is great if you have an intricately designed label.

Other options for beer cans include wrap around labelers and front and back labelers. Additionally, pressure-sensitive machines include features that allow you to adjust the pressure needed to apply your labels, which can prevent them from tearing or bubbling

What You Need to Look For

Now that we went over what a beer can labeler is, let's take a look at what a high-quality machine should do.

Improves Efficiency

First, you’re going to want to invest in equipment that actually improves the efficiency of your business. This may seem like an obvious factor, but it’s not always that simple. Before you decide which machine to buy for your beer can labels, you’re going to need to have a few things in mind.

Before you begin, assess your needs and evaluate your production setup. Finding a machine that will match your business needs and work in your production line is key to improving your overall efficiency. For example, if you end up choosing a labeler that does not work with the type of labels you're looking to produce, it’s not going to improve your efficiency. 

Labels Perfectly Every Time

Another way to improve your overall efficiency is to find a labeler that will apply your beer can labels perfectly every time. You may assume that any labeler can and should do this, but that is not always the case. In order for labels to be applied correctly, your labeling materials and adhesive must be compatible with the machine.

Additionally, if your selected machine comes with pressure-sensitive options, ensuring that it is on the right settings for your beer products is crucial. Ultimately, selecting a machine to purchase before assessing your needs and inventory can lead to multiple issues down the road.


It is important to consider your future business goals. Are you going to want to expand to different types of packaging for your craft brew down the road? Even if this doesn’t seem to be a factor now, it is always possible in the future. Either way, you should be prepared for this to be a possibility.

Finding a beer can labeler that is flexible for multiple different products is a great way to get the most bang for your buck. This way, you won’t need to find additional labelers when you decide to expand your packaging options. Ultimately, taking this initial step can save you time and money down the road. 


Whether you’re looking to purchase your first labeling machine or are investing in another labeler in addition to your already existing mechanical lineup, you’re going to need something that can work in your production line. As you expand your business, you may need to find machines for packaging, or even filling and capping. If your beer can labeler does not work in line with these other machines, it runs the risk of slowing down your production speed, which is not what a good labeler should do. 

Invest in the Details

The final, and most important, step to make when investing in a machine for your beer can labels is to choose a great labeling partner. All of these important qualities will go out the window if your labeling partner is not reliable. A reputable labeling partner will ultimately guide you in the right direction and help you assess your business needs when choosing a labeling machine. If you need any help along the way, your labeling partner should be there for you. 

It can be difficult to know where to begin and how to find the right equipment for your labeling needs. This is why we created The Craft Brewers Guide to Labeling Equipment. This guide lays out everything you need to know about the entire process of choosing a machine for your beer can labels. Make sure to check it out and download your free copy today!

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