Beer, Wine & Spirits

CNBC's Battle of the Beer Labels: Underdogs to watch

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

This competition is about the label on the outside and not the liquid on the inside of the bottle or can, and it's designed to showcase some of the inspired artwork being created by brewers across the country.

On Monday, CNBC highlighted some breweries that could go far in the Battle of the Beer Labels. Now, we'll look at the potential underdogs. These are labels from breweries that may be smaller in size, but pack a powerful creative punch that could make them bracket busters.

Brands to watch in CNBC's Battle of the Beer Labels
Newburgh Brewing Company beer
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View the full gallery of labels here and then head to the voting page to cast your vote. Voting in the first round closes 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday, March 16.

Here are three entrants that could brew up some noise in this year's bracket battle.

Source: Jester King Brewery

Jester King Brewery, Funk Metal: This Austin, Texas-based brewery makes some of the most sought-after beers in the country. But it's not just the beer that sets Jester King apart, the always eye-catching label designs have been a long-time hit with beer drinkers.

All the work is done by artist Josh Cockrell, the brewery's "Aesthetic Czar," who describes the inspiration behind some of his artwork as trying to "capture the madness of anyone who is trying to create an artisan or craft product." The combination of award-winning beer and eye-catching artwork has allowed Jester King to build a loyal fan base that could make them a tough competitor.

Source: Gigantic Brewing Company

Gigantic Brewing, Catch 23: While many breweries treat seasonal and limited edition brews as a chance to be creative with their labels, Gigantic takes it a step further with its limited edition "Artist and Artisan Beer" series, where it teams up with artists to treat each release and the accompanying label art as a "collectible." The brewery says it gives the label artists "complete creative freedom within our template so that their art and styles shine in very different ways." Gigantic makes the label art available as posters, stickers and T-shirts. The label for its 2016 Battle of the Beer Labels entrant, "Catch 23," was created by San Francisco-based artist Ben Walker.

Source: Against The Grain Brewery

Against the Grain Brewery, Citra Ass Down: This Louisville-based brewery and smokehouse lives up to its name with a series of irreverent beer names and labels that reflect the brewery's offbeat style. Against The Grain's 2016 Battle of the Beer Labels entrant is its highly regarded Double IPA brewed with Citra hops, the aptly named, Citra Ass Down. Reflective of the brewery's in-your-face style, the label has a direct message for beer drinkers: "Simply drink it and enjoy it. Don't hoard this beer. Citra Ass Down and drink it." That type of direct approach has created a loyal following, which could help Against The Grain get out the vote.