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Brands to watch in CNBC's Battle of the Beer Labels

CNBC's Battle of the Beer Labels is back and the voting in round one is now live.

Beer drinkers have more choices than ever before, making the battle to capture consumers' attention fiercer than ever. To stand out on the shelf, many brewers are getting creative and looking to have a little fun with their packaging.

Read MoreClick here to view a gallery of all the contestants

We asked brewers and beer drinkers for the labels they loved in 2015. Allowing for one label per brewery, CNBC separated the breweries into to four regions of 16, (roughly, though not always, according to geography). The matchups within each region were done by random draw.

Voting in the first round will be live until March 16 at 10 a.m. ET. (Vote here.)

Reminder: This is not about which beer you think tastes the best. Ultimately, if the beer inside the bottle is subpar, it doesn't matter what's on the outside. However, the goal here is to celebrate and showcase some of the creativity being done on labels and cans by breweries and artists nationwide.

While the label creativity gets more inspired with each passing year, there are a few entrants that for a variety of reasons should be formidable competitors. Here are three labels to watch as the 2016 Battle of the Beer Labels gets underway.

DBR_The Dissident 2007 Reserve
Source: The Dissident

Deschutes Brewery, The Dissident: Deschutes always does great work with its labels and its 2016 entrant is no exception. While the label for The Dissident, a Flanders-style sour brown ale, takes a more minimalist and subdued approach than some of the more attention-grabbing artwork being done on many labels today, Deschutes' loyal and large fan base always makes it a fierce competitor in a competition like this. In two previous Battle of the Beer Label competitions, Deschutes has posted a final four and an elite eight finish, making it a name to once again keep an eye on heading into the 2016 contest.

Boulevard Brewing Long Strange Tripel
Source: Boulevard Brewing

Boulevard Brewing, Long Strange Tripel: Like Deschutes, Boulevard boasts a loyal fan base. This year's label entrant, Long Strange Tripel, features a Grateful Dead-inspired name and look. The beer is a nod to the journey the brewery has taken since its founding in 1989. The beer features the image of Harold "Trip" Hogue, the brewery's longest tenured employee and "engineering whiz," who has helped keep Boulevard's equipment humming since the very beginning. The beer is a "grateful tribute to dedication, everywhere" and the brewery's "deadicated" fan base always makes it a tough matchup in the Battle of the Beer Labels.

Newburgh Hop Drop
Source: Newburgh Brewing Company

Newburgh Brewing, Hop Drop: What Newburgh lacks in size, it makes up for in the strategic execution of a PR plan designed to generate maximum buzz and vote getting during the Battle of the Beer Labels.

You can read the winning playbook here: Newburgh worked its plan to perfection last year and based on that inspired performance, it would be foolish to count them out this year.