As reported by this blog, many small breweries and wineries take pride in their custom labels, as they're one of the only ways to gain new customers and separate themselves from larger competitors on store shelves. That being said, the creation of these labels has become a kind of culture, with festivals having label contests and most companies using local artists to create works that acknowledge both the product and its locality. Even publications have caught on to this trend.
According to the Houston Press, the top two beer labels being sold in Texas belong to Left Hand Brewing's Wake up Dead and Jester's King Black Metal.
In second is Left Hand Brewing's Wake Up Dead. A stout, the dark beer's custom label has an odd take on "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. The central point is a white skull, done with similar lines to the curved cranium from Munch's piece, with the words "wake up dead" in the forehead and "imperial stout" creating the jaw bones and teeth. The background is a red forest landscape where the trees are sprinkled with other ghostly figures of similar shapes. The brewery's logo forms the top border of the custom label.
The best beer label is Jester King's Black Metal. The Austin-based brewery pays an homage to Norwegian death metal with this custom label that features someone who can commonly be mistaken as a member of the 1980s rock-band KISS, but is, according to the source, "Abbath from classic Norwegian black metal outfit Immortal." With a pitch black bottle housing a pitch black beer and a metal musician's portrait emblazoned on what appears to be a viking shield, this label has firmly established its market niche.