Craft Goes Aluminum

16 Mile Brewing Company, a regional brewer located in Georgetown, Delaware, has chosen to package its beer exclusively in a 22-ounce aluminum bottle. The bottle, developed by Exal Corporation of Youngstown, Ohio, is the largest ready-to-drink aluminum bottle in North America and a market first.

“An aluminum bottle’s lighter weight means lower shipping costs and its manufacturing process provides a more consistent, uniform size,” says 16 Mile owner Brett McCrea, citing the advantages of the container over glass. McCrea and partner Chad Campbell discovered in their research that the single largest reason for downtime in the bottling process was bottle breakage on the production line. “We wanted to eliminate the traditional problems associated with glass right from the start,” remarks Campbell.

The aluminum bottle also eliminates the need for separate labels, reducing total package cost and line downtime. Exal Corporation’s manufacturing process allows for vibrant, dynamic design options over the full surface of the container. The owners agree that the product’s colorful graphics and large size have been opening doors with retailers. “It really jumps out at customers in the beer aisle,” beams McCrea. The breweries two mainstay and two seasonal beers will be sold by the individual bottle and in cases exclusively in aluminum bottles.

According to company President and CEO, Delfin Gibert, Exal has seen an increase in aluminum bottle sales to the beverage industry over the last 24 months. The company has created aluminum bottles for many of the country’s major brewers, but 16 Mile is the first brewery to package product exclusively in aluminum bottles from day one of operations.

Until now, aluminum bottles were available in sizes up to about 18 ounces. The new 22-ounce bottle is a breakthrough in aluminum bottle technology and provides marketers with a new option for use in occasions where larger sizes are desirable.

Exal Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer of extruded aluminum packaging. The company also offers innovative coil-based metal packaging container options in North America and Europe and is the leading independent contract manufacturer of aerosol products and liquids in Latin America. The company’s manufacturing facilities are located in Youngstown, OH, Argentina, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Poland and Mexico.