2021 Label Insanity Competition


Presented by 
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North Carolina breweries have some of the most innovative label art in the world. To showcase this creativity, the Guild will host the first annual "Label Insanity" Art Competition!  Presented by Wright Creative Branding & Labels,  SeaThirst Creative, and Hop Culture, this two-part competition combines the measured review of a panel of judges, along with a fun, social media focused People's Choice bracket competition. Don’t miss out - this spring will be insane!!!

Entry registration is open: February 15th - March 12th, 2021
All artwork must be received by end of day, March 12th.


  1. Entrants must own the rights to the label artwork.

  2. Only federally and NC ABC permitted North Carolina breweries may enter the competition.

  3. All label entries must be ABC approved and registered in North Carolina.

  4. Online registration at NCBeer.org is required prior to uploading your label entry files. (The link to upload graphic entry files will be contained in your registration confirmation email.)

  5. All graphic image files must be a "flat" version of the artwork ( (ie. not photos of the packaging), and one of the following formats: .png, .jpeg, .jpg, or .pdf

  6. Artwork must be for 12oz, 16oz, 22oz, 32oz, or 750ml bottles or cans (ie. no keg collars or case artwork.)

  7. Labels for beers not currently in production, but still held in the production portfolio are eligible for entry (for example, a fall seasonal.)  Beers retired from production are not eligible.

  8. Entry fees are $15 per design entry. Credit card payment is collected during the online registration process. 

  9. A label entry may only be entered into one of the 16 beer style categories (ie. the same label cannot be entered into more than one category.)


(March 15 - 28)  Early Judging:

  • Entries will be accepted into the 16 listed beer style categories listed below. 

  • Working in pairs, judges will evaluate all entries and determine a 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winner in each of the 16 categories.

  • In the Early Judging portion of the competition, entries will be judged and selected based on the following 4 criteria:

    • Visual Interest - does the design effectively capture interest and engage?

    • Creativity - does the design show innovation & originality?

    • Craftsmanship - is the design technically well executed?

    • Overall Impression - is the overall design composition clear and appealing

  • The sixteen 1st place winners will progress to the “People’s Choice Bracket Tournament” (see below.)

(Mar 29 - Apr 30)  People’s Choice Bracket Tournament:

  • In the People's Choice Bracket Tournament label graphics will compete in head-to-head, single elimination rounds, on the Guild’s @NCBeer social media platforms.

  • Voting will be conducted using the “poll” function enabled on social media platforms.

  • Winners will be decided by popular vote - the label receiving the most votes via the poll function will be deemed the winner of that round.

  • As a “single elimination style tournament”, the winner of each round’s match-up will progress to the next round, whereas the loser is eliminated from the tournament. 

  • The winner of the final round match-up, will become the tournament champion.



1. Light Lagers & Blonde Ales
2. Malty, Amber, & Dark Lagers
3. Wheat Beers
4. Amber & Red Ales
5. Porters & Brown Ales
6. Stouts & Imperial Stouts
7. Strong Ales & Imperial (Double/Triple) IPA’s
8. Session IPA
9. Pale Ale
10. IPA
11. Specialty IPA (black, rye, white, Belgian, brut)
12. New England / Hazy IPA
13. Belgian & French Ales
14. Sour, Brett, Mixed, & Wild Ale
15. Spiced, Vegetable/Herb, & Seasonal Beers
16. Barrel-Aged (Wood) Beer



  • Each 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winner in the Early Judging portion of the competition, will receive a certificate of recognition.

  • All winners of the Early Judging portion of the competition will be featured in a state-wide press release.



  • The Tournament Champion will receive:

    • The 2021 Label Insanity Championship Award 

    • 25 custom-designed & produced tap handles, provided by SeaThirst Creative and Hoptown Handles;

    • Their winning label design featured on the Guild’s #DrinkNCBeer summer t-shirt

    • Massive bragging rights!

  • Each of the “Final Four” breweries will receive:

Prize Notes:

  • Per Wright Creative Branding & Labels... specs/guidelines for label order:
    • No less than a quantity of 1000 per sku.
    • The labels will be 16oz (8x5) or 12oz labels (8x3.5). Die lines will be provided
    • Lead time upon approval of artwork will be approximately 3 weeks
    • There will be a choice of 3 materials. Silver bopp, metalized bopp & Clear bopp. With a clear pet backing.
  • Per SeaThirst Creative... specs/guidelines for tap handles order:
    • Will work with each finalist to create a custom design that will be applied to their 10 tap handles. (Champion has the option for 2 designs to be split between the 25 handles.)
    • Tap handle shape will be from a selection of 15 standard shapes.
    • Lead time is approx. 4 weeks from design approval.
    • American made tap handles, provided & produced by Hoptown Handles, include laser engraving and durable printed decoration.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Lisa M. Parker | Associate Director
North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild
c. 919.951.8588