[2020 addendum: I later found a tip to soak the bottles in water mixed with Oxiclean. When doing this the labels of all but the most stubborn bottles just fall off.]
A friend linked to these dissolvable labels and it got me thinking about some beer labels that I had to remove. For my latest four gallon batch of home brewed beer, I needed to clean up the many used beer bottles that I had sitting around. Being occasionally extra anal, I also wanted the labels off the beer so that there would be no doubt that the product therein was my own. It was interesting though how the different breweries affixed their labels and there seemed to be, in my mind, a correlation between the difficulty of the removal of the label, and the brewery’s self esteem (or lack thereof). First I soaked all the bottles in a tub of water and then went to remove the labels. From highest self esteem to least:
- Russian beer: the fine Russian breweries obviously know that their stuff sells itself as the labels fell off the bottle when I removed them from the water. These are mild flavored beers with roughly the same alcohol content as wine.
- Oregon micro-brews: these beers had great taste and a desire to recycle as their labels scraped off with minimum effort.
- Sam Adams: A bit of work with the plastic scraper was need to get the labels off of these bottles of somewhat drinkable beer.
- Dos Equis: Starting a trend in Mexican beer that desires never to be forgotten, the Dos Equis labels were like the Sam Adams labels with twice the glue.
- Modelo: kindly donated to my cause by my brother-in-law, these beers must have been intolerably awful as they had gold foil glued to the neck and a front and back label adhered with some sort of epoxy resin. I gave up on the plastic scraper and used a razor blade.
- Corona: The label cannot be removed as it is painted on. This is done so that someone will not mistakenly think that they were double charged for their Bud Light.