“Ask Beau” – “What is your favorite sake label of all time?”
Oh man! There have been a lot of them. I simply love sake labels. What can I say? Sure there are a couple losers out there, which are very “basic” but they are offset by hundreds and hundreds of labels that are world class cool. And what is even more cool is that there seems to be even more emphasis these days in creating unique and wonderful sake labels. I love them!
I even have a friend in the label making business. He creates a lot of labels in the Niigata area, and I once asked him where does the directive come from? Do owners of breweries say, “Please make something having to do with this or that”? Or does he have free license to just create whatever and they take his word for it! He said it was a combination of both. But he said today more and more breweries know exactly what they want to go on their label.
Back in the day most breweries used the local calligrapher or artist who so happened to like to drink a lot of sake, and they would create basic labels on really nice rice paper. But now it’s all about a striking image or a label that creates a story! Some breweries spend a ton of money to do rebranding and create a uniform label for all of their sakes. Some breweries like having all types of looks, but they all have meaning.
So Taylor P. from Maryland, I would have to say that if you put a gun to my head I would say that one label from several years back made a lasting impression upon me. If I had to pick a label that would hang above my fireplace I would select the label that I coined “Angry Fish” from a killer brewery called Houraisen. (They no longer export Angry Fish, but we carry Kuu – a very tasty JDG and Meibo “Midnight Moon”, a very balanced JG from this brewery) I really like the contrast on the label and the fish bones. It is very cool.