Then and Now: How Some of Your Favorite Beer Labels Have Changed Through the Ages

See how Dogfish Head, Anchor Brewing, and others have tweaked their bottle and can designs.

  • Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, 12 years ago and today (photos:
  • Interesting to see that the nature-focus of Sierra Nevada's labels hasn't changed much since the brewery launched in the 1970s. (Photos: Sierra Nevada)
  • Narragansett has made a successful comeback after being bought by a group of Rhode Island investors in 2005. We like the old identity just as much as the new one. (Photo: Narragansett Brewing Company)
  • Guinness has had strong consistency in its branding, generally opting for subtle tweaks over huge changes (photos:
  • Sam Adams should have stuck with the original 1985 label, which emphasized the brewer patriot figure (photos: Sam Adams)
  • Anchor Christmas Ale 1975—the first release of the cultishly collected seasonal—versus 2012 (photos: Anchor Brewing Co.)
  • Back in 1936, PBR came in tin cans. That was long before it was resurrected as a hipster favorite. (Photos: Pabst Blue Ribbon)
  • Yuengling has shifted its visual identity various times through its nearly 200-year history (photo: Yuengling)
  • Here's how a tin can grows up to be a tallboy. There were a lot of other designs in between, but now it's back to basics. (Photos: Genesee Brewing Company)

It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with beer art around here. While searching latest designs to hit the market, we stumbled upon something neat: A retro label showing what Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA looked like when it first launched in bombers 12 years ago.

Featuring what appears to be a freak-show act hammering a nail into his face, it was definitely extreme, and must have been a real attention-grabber back back when the shelves weren’t stocked with all the crazy beers we have now. Looking at this, you might even argue that Dogfish Head’s visual identity has been toned down a bit, even though its ales remain “extreme.”

Inspired by this peek into Dogfish history, we went down the rabbit hole and researched a few other well-known craft beers to see how their bottles and cans have evolved over the years.

Click through the gallery above to see side-by-side comparisons of old and new beer labels from nine beloved beers.


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