In this post we seek to summarise alcohol labelling guidelines as set out by Portman Group. Their comprehensive guide outlines crucial information and recommendations for alcohol producers in the UK to adhere to when designing their labels and packaging.

The aim of alcohol label design is to ensure that essential details are easily accessible to consumers. Furthermore, whether you are looking for guidance on wine labels, beer labels or spirit labels, it is vital to promote health awareness and responsible drinking practices.

Clarity and Accessibility

All information of your spirit label should be clear, legible and permanent. Moreover, it should be easy for the consumer to find. Grouping information together is a good practice and makes it easier to read. In addition, essential information should not be confused with your logo or other label design elements.

Minimum Details Needed on Your Label

The following four items must be clearly stated on your spirit or wine label:

  • Unit alcohol content per container
  • Drinking during pregnancy warning logo or message
  • Clear signposting to
  • Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines 2016

Unit Alcohol Content:

Alcohol content must be shown on the spirit, wine, or beer label. The calculation method to determine alcohol content can be found in the Portman Groups full guidelines detailed in ‘additional resources’ below.

Guidelines encourage alcohol producer to show units per serving information where a spirit or wine bottle contains multiple servings. Furthermore, where secondary packaging exists, alcohol units should appear on outer labels as well as bottle labels.

Pregnancy Message:

There are options to display either an approved logo or specific statement relating to alcohol consumption during pregnancy on your bottle label. There is some flexibility on the colour of the logo you use. Your label designer can recommend which colourway suits your spirit or wine branding.


Displaying an up-to-date version of the Be Drinkaware logo on your bottle label is a must. Moreover, the inclusion of the Be Drinkaware website,, is essential too.

You can find details of how to obtain consent and licensing for using the Be Drinkaware logo here

Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines:

Official text regarding weekly alcohol consumption limits must appear on your spirit or wine labelling. What’s more, no deviation in wording is allowed.

Optional labelling information

Along with the four items that must appear on your spirit or wine label, consider the following.

Calorie Information:

Whilst it is optional to display calorie content per 100ml, many health-conscious consumers find calorific content useful. In addition, where a bottle contains multiple servings, a calorie count per serving is useful too.

Contact your trade association for sector-specific information.

Responsibility and Drink-Driving Message:

Promoting responsible consumption of alcohol on your spirit label, although not essential, elevates your brand status. Again, it’s optional to include a logo or statement discouraging drink-driving. Moreover, demonstrating that your company acts with integrity will strengthen your reputation amongst consumers.

Age-Restricted Product:

Finally, the inclusion of a logo highlighting alcohol as an age-restricted product is a welcome addition to your alcohol label. Currently not mandatory, its inclusion demonstrates responsible business practices.

Additional Resources:

You can read the full guidelines on alcohol labelling, seek further advice and access to relevant warning logos, from the Portman Group’s Advisory Service.

For expert advice on printing top quality alcohol, spirt and wine labels talk to our friendly team.



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