02/04/2014 09:31 am ET | Updated Feb 04, 2014

The Best Bottom Shelf Beer Labels, In Order Of Aesthetic Pleasantness (PHOTOS)


You are all pretty aware of the fact that we are only interested in the way things taste, as a general rule. Today, however, we're letting taste take a back seat and talking simply about what we like to look at.

Beer labels are one of our favorite artistic expressions in the food world. Is it ever wise to choose a beer by how the label looks? Probably not, but that hasn't stopped breweries from creating and commissioning some of the most iconic and beautiful labels we can think of. Nowhere in the beer store does this hold truer than the bottom shelf. In our bottom shelf beer taste test, we realized that a few of the labels we loved the best actually held some of the worst beer. In the interest of redemption, we've decided to rank the best bottom shelf beer labels, in order of aesthetic pleasantness. If it's not on this list, that's probably because it's either forgettable or hideous.

Again, for those of you who don't like to read a lot of words: this list is based on how much we like the label.

  • There's something about the mountains in the background, and just splashing TEXAS across the top that we adore.
  • 19 Milwaukee's Best
    Miller Brewing Company
    If you're going to be trashy, you might as well be BOLDLY TRASHY like the Beast.
  • 18 Olde English 800
    Miller Brewing Company
    It has a crown on it, so you know it's classy.
  • 17 Old Milwaukee
    Schlitz Brewing Company
    Even Will Ferrell knows what's up.
  • 16 Point Special Lager
    Facebook: Point Brewery
    Just looking at this can feels like vacation. Can't you feel the breeze blowing through the barley sprigs?
  • 15 Labatt Blue
    That maple leaf gets us every time.
  • 14 Lone Star
    Red? Check. Gold? Check. Classy as hell? Check.
  • 13 Carling Black Label
    Black, white, red and gold -- like the four horsemen of the cheap beer apocalypse.
  • Probably one of the most iconic beer labels in history.
  • 11 Genesee Cream Ale
    Please do not be confused, this does not taste good. But the label is so beautiful.
  • 10 National Bohemian
    Lookin' good, Natty Boh. Extra points for no one ever asking where your mascot's second eye went.
  • 9 Rolling Rock
    We have no idea why this has a horse stable motif. We don't care. We just want to look at it. And probably never drink it again.
  • 8 Colt 45
    Lucky horseshoe? We're in.
  • 7 Schaefer
    This label is exactly as beautiful as the beer it contains is funky. Which to be clear, is very beautiful and very funky.
  • 6 Coors Original
    Coors wised up and made all their Original labels throwback labels. Banquet beers forever.
  • 5 Miller High Life
    It's not called the champagne of beers for no reason.
  • 4 Hamm's
    This gorgeous can has a fan club all its own: Hamm's Club. They are smart, if a little kooky.
  • 3 Pabst Blue Ribbon
    Everything from the fonts, to the blue ribbon, to the red sash is totally on point. The reason that hipsters have made PBR a more than acceptable beer to drink again is because it looks like the American dream. It also tastes good, and was the winner of our bottom shelf beer taste test.
  • 2 Schlitz
    This can will probably never change, and to be fair, it has no reason to. It's basically perfect.
  • 1 Narragansett
    Never mind beer labels, this is one of the most beautifully composed sections of planet earth.

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Bottom Shelf Beer Taste Test, 2012