Want to share the story behind your custom cap or label? Email me.


Real gift cards are here!

Designing for yourself can be lots of fun, but designing for someone else? Uhh...thanks, but no thanks. Even my husband and I aren't that close. While it may be "the thought that counts," sometimes it's the font that counts.

Because nothing says legit brewer like Comic Sans.
So instead of spending hours over a Ouija board and Photoshop trying to divine their perfect brewing logo, why don't you save some time this holiday season, and give them what they really want: creative freedom!

Seriously. Nothing's as much fun as coming up with your own brand. That's the joy of BottleMark. While we've had digital gift certificates available for purchase since last year, we've just added a new and even better option for the savvy gift-giver: the REAL gift card.

Because nothing says legit gift like plastic.
Give the gift of custom caps in a tangible, wrappable, stocking-stuffable form. Cards come with a redeemable code, a gift card sleeve, and a LOTR reference on the back. You know you want to see one for yourself! Shipping's a cheap $2 in the USA.

Get them here: BottleMark Gift Certificates and Gift Cards

Dec. 7: New Christmas Deadline

Here at BottleMark, we don't like to make promises we can't keep. We calculated our original Christmas deadline assuming a heretofore unprecedented daily order volume. But it seems even that number wasn't high enough. We have grossly underestimated how much you guys want custom bottle caps.

When bottle caps attack!
Our new deadline for Christmas delivery is FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7 @ 11:59 PST. That means you've got two more days to place your order! DO IT NOW!


Christmas Guarantee

We're very happy to be very busy here at BottleMark. With the holiday season upon us, we're churning out custom caps as quickly as the machines can go. But we're not Amazon. We're not pulling from a warehouse.
Not us.

Want to give the gift of custom caps? Order by December 10, and we'll guarantee your caps will arrive before Dec. 25. In other words, order now!

Missed the deadline? Consider giving a gift certificate to the homebrewers in your life--it's the gift of custom caps and creative freedom! Because, let's face it: they probably won't like your font choices anyway.

Check out BottleMark's December shipping details here.

Happy holidays to you and yours! Cheers!


The Bottle Cap Bar of Dodge Brewery

After four and a half years of brewing, Eric Dodge finally has all the badging of the pros. He's put his family crest logo on t-shirts and labels before, but nothing says "official" quite like a bottle cap.
Classy? Quite. 
But wait...it gets even classier. Saddled with an outdated bar in his basement, Eric Dodge decided to jazz it up with bottle caps. He edged it in wine corks, laid out a substantial collection of bottle caps, and covered the top with half-an-inch of clear resin for a solid top surface.
The ultimate basement accessory.
Check out the cork siding.
A custom cap in action!
Dodge's only regret? Not using more custom caps. My only regret? Not having a basement where I can have my own bottle cap bar.

If you collect or otherwise craft with custom caps, check out our quarter technique tutorial—by far the best way to remove a bottle cap without damaging it.


Design Resources

Check out our new and improved Design Resources page. We revamped all the material and put everything on one single page. From templates to screencasts, we've got all the information you need to create a fantastic bottle cap, all in one place!
Design like this!
Not like this.


Design Lesson #5: Clip Art and Finishing Touches

At long last, the quest for a perfect bottle cap design is over! Check out the final steps of the Tully design in this fifth Inkscape screencast. You'll learn how to use the Open Clip Art Library, how to draw stars, and how to use the dropper tool. Remember to double-check your design at 1" to make sure no element is too small! Seriously!!!

And here's the cap in real life:
Rock it, kitteh.
Now if only I could brew and bottle such a beer...


Bierkast and LA Ale Works

Some folks love beer so much, they can't have just one cool beer project—they need two. Such is the story of Kip Barnes, a founding member of both Bierkast and L.A. Aleworks.

Bierkast began as a group of beer lovers and exploded into a blog of tremendous energy. It's the kind of site that puts 99.9% of bloggers to shame—yours truly not withstanding. While it chiefly spotlights personalities and events in the Los Angeles beer world, Bierkast offers its readers much more than that. It's slick, it's entertaining, it's wide-ranging, it's personal. It's passion on a webpage.
And here's passion on a cap.
Now I know you're not doing anything productive on this lovely Friday, so go check out Bierkast. But beware the green-eyed monster jealousy: some of the writers went to Oktoberfest.

Because a kick-ass blog is not enough, Kip needed a kickstart project, too. L.A. Aleworks is a handcrafted work-in-progress. Tired of the less-than-thrilling brewing scene in LA, John Rockwell and Kip Barnes decided to take matters into their own hands and start their own brewery. LAAW promises to be a boutique community brewery. They're starting with their award-winning homebrew recipes...

Gams-Bart Roggenbier (a Bavarian hefeweizen brewed with rye malt instead of wheat malt)

Dampfmaschine (a California Common, aka Steam beer)

Lievre Saison

With a few custom caps, their sample bottles now have both the look and the taste of the pros.
Expect a Kickstarter campaign soon to support the launch of LA Aleworks. Keep up with LAAW news on Bierkast here.

Major props to graphic designer Ken Barnes (father of Kip). You can tell he has mad branding skills. Both the Bierkast and LAAW logos translate phenomenally on bottle caps. Nothing's too small, nothing's too complex, and the strong color contrast makes every element pop. These are the kinds of logos you remember.

Here's to more ale in the city of angels!


Design Lesson #4: Curved Text

Everyone loves curved text on bottle cap designs, and it's one of my favorite tricks for getting both important content and a fun design into a small space. Curving your text gives a label to your beer without overlapping or upstaging a large center graphic. Here's how to do curved text in Inkscape. This is the most complex step yet, but once you've watched the video, you'll be able to do it right every time! Warning: contains a couple of cat puns.


Review from Bull City Homebrew Shop

Over the last year, BottleMark has been causing a bit of an online stir among homebrewers. I've seen a lot of reviews on blogs and forums--and then there are those 438 five stars of feedback from our customers (enough to make even George S. Patton blush)--but I can't help but shout out a special thanks for the recent BottleMark review on the Bull City Homebrew Blog.

Located in Durham, North Carolina, this homebrew store ordered some logo caps to sell as promotional magnets. And I think they liked them!

Magnety goodness.
We've also got an in-store coupon available for patrons of Bull City Homebrew, so if you're near Durham, go get thee some yeast, hops, barley, and a special custom cap offer.

What with passionate homebrew shops and custom caps for homebrewers, revolution is indeed brewing.


The Brons Standard

With his first foray into craft beer, Justin Brons felt the divine touch of Saint Gambrinus. He started keeping a notebook, a written record of playful flavor combinations he'd want to try in a beer. Inspiration soon led to perspiration. Craft breweries are certainly pushing the envelope, but they have yet to brew a Boysenberry Pale Ale. Well, Justin Brons has.

The Brons Standard certainly sets a high standard for flavor fusions. Justin and his fiance started with an Espresso Oatmeal Stout, and soon followed up with such unique beers as Blood Orange-Honey Maibock, Bourbon-Vanilla Porter, Toasted Pecan Oktoberfest, Honey-Lemon Hefeweisen, and a Pumpkin-Pumpkin Pie Porter. Yes.

Such innovation deserves branding. Branding like this:
I love the color scheme, the contrast, the two possible tops to the design. It's rich without being busy. So what's the Brons Standard for bottle cap design? Keep it simple. "If you look at professional craft brew caps, the caps are very simple.  You need to get across the attitude and image of your brewery, and you don't need a whole lot on there to do that.  For mine, I was just trying to keep it fun and organic." Amen, brother. You can really tell that your cap is successful when it looks good from far away.
A pro-class line-up.
Labels present a different design playground. The labels Justin likes to design have more color and detail than the caps, but the aesthetic principle remains the same: simplicity can speak volumes.

Let's admit it. A beer called Godzilla Dopplebock really does deserve the full cap-n-label treatment.
Ready to stomp Tokyo in style
Thanks for sharing your inspiration, Justin! We look forward with great anticipation to a Bacon and Fruity Pebbles Pale Ale. No, wait, nevermind. That sounds terrible.


Matt Johnston's Stream-lined Style

Like many a tale of romance, it all began with a Midwest Supply Groupon. Boy meets carboy, boy woos carboy, boy gets carboy, and seven batches later, Matt Johnston has, needless to say, fallen in love with homebrewing. What better way to seal the deal than with some custom caps?

Surprised to learn that Matt's been a graphic designer for over ten years? You shouldn't be. As the man himself puts it, "You'd think I would create something insanely colorful or off the wall but instead I created a two-line title with a solid block of color... But I like simple. I like good use of fonts and typography (leading, kerning, and tracking should all be taken into consideration and adjusted when using fonts). My thought process has always been 'less is more.'" Matt even has a reputation for refusing to buy certain beers if they're branded with terrible fonts or other graphic design sins. Some things just can't be forgiven.

Less is indeed more here with Matt's caps. It's bottle ID à la Aston Martin. It's fast and frill-less and arrives on your table with a sleekness worthy of a tuxedoed Bond. The simplicity also gives Matt the freedom to vary it or elaborate it without ever losing the original concept. Perhaps some day soon, he will even give his love a name.

Brew on, Matt, because You Only Live Twice.


Design Lesson #3: Cropping

Learn how to crop your photo into a circle, square, hexagon, star, or squirrel shape within the Inkscape program. This is a great technique for getting the most out of your photo on a bottle cap: cropping allows you to include only the details you want. Like that cutesy-wootsy, crazy bifurcated face.


Duck Street Brewing Co.

When it comes to design, homebrewer Brian Parker isn't just winging it.
Duck, Duck, Beer!
This cap truly fits the bill. The black-on-white contrast makes for a bold statement, and I'm really down with the design's simplicity, allowing the unique font and the detailed graphic to take flight.

Duck Street Brewing Company also features far from fowl labels for each of the brews.

Brian enjoyed working on the labels so much that he got interested in bottle cap design and found BottleMark. He's got all the right instincts: go to town on the labels, keep the cap super-clean, fly south for winter.

And name your brewery after something that facilitates puns. Because serious blog posts aren't all they're quacked up to be.


Design Lesson #2: Importing Images and Exporting Designs

Lesson #2 in our Inkscape Screencasts showcases 1) how to import images or photos from your computer into your design and 2) how to export your finished design as a PNG so it's ready to upload on BottleMark.com.

Also featuring the requisite cute kitty.


Design Lesson #1: Creating a Cap Canvas

Want to make better custom caps, but you're not a graphic geek? Good news! We just launched our first in a series of Inkscape screencast videos. The series begins with the most essential tasks and will move into the more complex tricks.

Today's video takes you from a new document in Inkscape to a ready-to-decorate cap canvas. 

Why are we such big fans of Inkscape, and not Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw? Three words: free, open-source, downloadable. There's no excuse not to. Get Inkscape now!

Don't forget: if you have any design questions, you can always contact me.


National IPA Day

Today we honor that most bombastic and beloved of beer styles...It's National IPA Day!
Ceci n'est pas une Pilsner.
Can you believe this is only the second National IPA Day? I mean, what the heck were my ancestors drinking anyway? The craft beer revolution is very, very young. Seriously: it's young. So toast its long health today!

The BottleMark founders are celebrating by cracking open the first of our new Cartwheel Galaxy IPAs--made with the citrusy, passion-fruity Galaxy hops of Aussie fame.
Ready to party
Here's to the hops!


BottleMark Basics Screencast

I'm starting a new BottleMark Screencast series that will walk you through various designing tricks and tasks in Inkscape. But first, we've got to start at the beginning...

Watch this video to learn all the secrets of 1) creating a BottleMark account; 2) using the features of the online upload tool; and 3) ordering a batch of caps--without shipping them to an incorrect address! Seriously. Google Wallet is so smart it's stupid when it comes to shipping addresses.

Behold, the secrets revealed!


The Eagle Has Landed

On this day in 1969, we went from this:
to this:
And it looked like this:
Congrats to Apollo 11 and all other passionate explorers of our universe.


Jeff and Courtney

Jeff and Courtney love beer. They also have amazing, unforgettable hair: a ginger beard and a giant curly mop. So what could honor their upcoming union more than a quirky bottle cap?

Courtney worked with her friend and graphic designer Michael Wallenfels to get just the right look.  The couple have also used this graphic for their unique save-the-dates.
This clearly says Jeff and Courtney.
These bottle caps will top their six-pack wedding favors--always a great give away! And for their rustic, barn-party wedding in Missoula, Montana, they will be serving a very special beer from Big Sky Brewery. Jeff and Courtney typically spend the winters doing ecological field work in Argentina, so for the last five years, Jeff has been denied his favorite beer, a winter seasonal from Big Sky: the Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout. With barely any convincing at all from the bride, Big Sky Brewery put a small batch of the Slow Elk at the top of their summer brewing list--just for Jeff and Courtney and their guests to enjoy on this special summer day. Now that's crazy customer service!

Here are their engagement photos, starring Courtney's favorite brew, Big Sky's Bobo Robust Porter.
Credit to Cameron Zegers Photography
Congrats, you two well-coiffed beer lovers!


SNB Brewery's Westbennetteren 12

The award-winning Bennetts of SNB Brewery recently bottled their personal take on the Westvleteren 12, dubbed the Westbennetteren 12. This trappist quadruple ale usually comes sans label; instead, there's a simple, elegant crown on top. SNB turned to BottleMark to get the look of this tribute beer just right.
The Crown
The King
Unfortunately this king must mature before he's allowed to reign--a full six months of sweet anticipation. Read all about the bottling of this unique brew and other adventures on the SNB Brewery site.

Making a tribute beer? Design a parody cap to top it off!


Gift Receipts, Epoxy Stickers, and Local Pickup for the win!

We've made some exciting changes to our offerings here at BottleMark.

Giving the gift of custom caps? Now you have the option at checkout for a gift receipt! This special packing slip leaves off the cost of the goods and also provides ample space for a personal message.
He loves me so much!

You can opt for a gift receipt and a gift message at Checkout under "ADDITIONAL OPTIONS" (it's to the left).

For all you bottle cap crafters out there, BottleMark now sells Epoxy Domes aka Epoxy Stickers aka Epoxy Dots aka magical little sticky shields that protect interior bottle cap decoration or exterior custom cap designs. Want your BottleMark handcrafted keychain to last years of abuse on your enormous, 2 lb. set of keys? Buy one! Protection for the low price of $0.15 each.
I'll defend you, fair bottle cap!

And for you Houstonians out there: you asked for it, and now you've got it! Local pick-up is now available at our office. It's a great way to save a few bucks on shipping if you live nearby, but be warned...often gas and time combine to make First Class shipping more affordable. You can check out the details on our shipping page.
Please note we recommend against Local Pickup during a hurricane evacuation. But the choice is yours.

So if you're giving the gift of caps for crafts and want to wrap it up for that special person yourself, these three services are for you!

You...uhhh...shouldn't have.


BottleMark's Anniversary Sale!

A year ago this week, we launched a crazy little homebrewed business that aimed to bring custom caps to brewers, crafters, and everyone else in-between. The design process would be easy, colors would be unlimited, ordering would be automated, and prices would be so obscenely low that custom bottle caps could fit into every batch's budget. This dream is now a well-known reality.
It's our cake day.
To thank you, our loyal customers, for making BottleMark a part of your brews/crafts/car museum, we're putting all caps on sale this week. Sunday June 17 through Saturday June 23, everything in your cart is 10% off. At checkout, use coupon code: 1YEAR to receive the anniversary price.

Wow, that's cheap! But hurry: you can only get this kind of deal once a year. This special offer is not available in stores. The internet is standing by to take your order!
I've been reading too much TV Tropes.
Here's to many more years of caps to come. Cheers!

Uncommon Art of Jack Bowers

Avid bottle cap collector Jack Bowers recently submitted some original artwork for the most unique caps on the block.

A cap to honor Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong, famed fiddle and mandolin player.

These next two caps salute the Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival in Marquette, Michigan. Coming up this July 20-22, the festival celebrates a range of music, from bluegrass to Gospel, Cajun to Celtic.
Also boogeying.
Singing to the moon is totally normal at the Hiawatha.
One-of-a-kind artwork now on one-of-a-kind bottle caps. You won't be able to collect these caps anywhere! (Unless, of course, you order some from us.)