Complaints about beer labels from Welsh brewer Tiny Rebel were upheld by the alcohol industry’s Independent Complaints Panel (ICP). Three of the brewery’s beers, Monstar, TinyFast and Primed were ruled to appeal to under-age drinkers or encouraging irresponsible consumption and suggesting the products had therapeutic qualities.
Packaging, Bottling, and Kegging
Current news covering the packaging of beer
Ireland-based Bevcraft Group, which specializes in canning solutions for craft beverage makers throughout much of Europe, has made a move into the U.S. by acquiring the mobile canning business of Tripod Canning in New Jersey. It is another indication of the growing consolidation within the allied trade industry serving the craft brewing business.
In what may become a more common move by craft breweries to diversify in a challenging environment, 21st Amendment Brewery in Northern California has announced that they will offer canned beverage co-packing at their 120,000 sq. ft. brewing and packaging facility in San Leandro. As craft breweries adjust to a softening demand in the marketplace, tougher distribution channels and higher costs of production, using their facilities to produce and/or package beverages for other companies could help fill out unused capacity.
It turns out that cool label on an IPA might actually be a contaminate for the recycling stream.
Over the last two years as draft beer sales have fluctuated around the country, smaller breweries have been scrambling to keep up with packaged offerings, mostly in the form of cans.
Of course, this has led to reports of can shortages and news that some of the manufacturers are working around the clock at existing plants and even building new ones to keep up with a demand that is likely to continue into the future.
The social media posts were simple but eye catching. Familiar cans of Heady Topper, the flagship beer of The Alchemist, in a group of four, and bounded together by a plant-based can holder.
For the Vermont brewery, the switch to compostable packaging from the familiar plastic snap-on holders signaled yet another step in the company’s sustainability efforts. As brewers continue to think about the effects of climate change, waste, and renewable resources, they are looking for alternatives to the norm.
Ball Corp. announced yesterday that it will close its St Paul, Minnesota and Phoenix, Arizona can manufacturing plants and delay the construction of a new facility in Nevada.
In a press release detailing second quarter 2022 financial results, the company said the closures were in “response to the deceleration in customer demand late in the second quarter.”
Shares of Ball Corp. plunged after the company posted a loss for its latest quarter and announced the closure of the two plants.
Carlsberg Group has revealed the trial of a new non-glass “bottle,” made from wood fiber and a plant-based lining.
The bottle is 100% bio-based apart from the cap, which is currently needed to ensure the quality of the product, and together the bottle and cap are fully recyclable. The company is also exploring alternative fiber-based bottle caps.
The new trail bottle is set to be sampled to 8,000 consumers across eight pilot markets in Western Europe.
American Canning has opened a second shrink-sleeve line in their canning plant which will increase their capacity and ability to service craft beverage producers needing cans at lower minimum quantity orders.
The supply of cans for craft brewers has been stressed in recent months due to a number of factors. Cans now make up over 74% of all beer sold in the US, up from 58% 10 years ago.
VP of Operations at American Canning, Russ Spooner, said, “Our company is here to serve the small- to mid-sized craft beverage makers, and sleeving is one of the most valuable options for them to get their brand out there. It’s part of who we are.”
Denver, Colorado based Keg Logistics has announced the acquisition of HopGistics, which is based in Atlanta Georgia.
“We are proud to become part of the Keg Logistics team and look forward to accelerating our growth and strengthening our support for our current customer base,” said Todd Balsley, a partner of Hopgistics and now a member of the Keg Logistics management team.
Keg Logistics was founded in 2011 by Chris Sapyta, the founder of MicroStar Keg Management. Keg Logistics is a provider of keg and equipment financing to breweries and wineries, with over 1.3 million kegs in place globally.
In a dramatic turn of events, Ball Corporation has said that they will temporarily postpone the minimum order requirements that they had implemented on craft breweries last late last year.
Last November, Ball Corporation notified their customers that the minimum order would be moved to five truckloads per SKU for printed cans for non-contracted customers. In addition, Ball said that they would no longer warehouse inventory on behalf of customers.
The Brewers Association issued a statement notifying their members and the industry that “Ball will postpone until March 1, 2022 the implementation of their minimum order requirements for customers that do not have supply contracts with the company, with the caveat that they will not be able to provide those customers with delivery date assurances. Ball also stated that they are open to further engaging with brewers on the distributor supply option to offer additional sources of aluminum beverage packaging.”
American Canning will be expanding operations with the addition of an aluminum can manufacturing plant and second shrink-sleeve line.
The new 155,000 square foot facility will dedicate 3,500 square feet to a second shrink-sleeve line focused on specialty can sizes that will increase production to more than 1.5 million cans per week. The sleeved line will be running by spring while the can plant itself is expected to be operational this August. Initially, 12oz aluminum cans will be manufactured, with plans to add 16oz cans quickly thereafter, moving towards 300 million cans per year.
David Racino, co-founder and CEO of American Canning, says, “Large can makers do what they do very well—scale and efficiency. That requires their customers to have long-term forecasts, substantial production runs, and sophisticated supply chain operations. That is simply not something all small and upstart beverage companies have. We want to build a more modern ecosystem that allows those brands and organizations to thrive.”
A complaint made by London’s Metropolitan Police against the artwork of a Mikkeller beer appealing to children has been upheld, forcing the brand to undertake a redesign.
The complaint against Mikkeller’s Side Eyes Pale Ale was upheld by the alcohol Industry’s Independent Complaints Panel (ICP), which deemed the design to be cartoon-like and reminiscent of the children’s video game Minecraft. The ICP is an independent authority which reviews complaints from members of the public, industry members or interest groups about alcohol products in the U.K.
Full story here.
When will the current shortage in packaging materials, including cans and bottles, improve? The general consensus from those in the supply chain is not until sometime in 2023.
“We are starting to hear some talk about the grip loosening up in late 2022 -2023,” Dan Kobiske, VP of supply chain for the distributor Mexcor International told Beverage Dynamics. “Our current situation will take some time to get out of. I don’t think it will ever return to what it was pre-pandemic, but we will settle in with a new normal.”
Carlton Fowler, co-founder of Goat Rodeo Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage beverage alcohol brands echoed that same assessment. “When I talk to my co-packers, they don’t think the shortage will end until 2023, it not further out,” he said.
Beverage can producer Crown Holdings will be expanding its production capacity with a new aluminum beverage can manufacturing facility in Mesquite, Nevada.
Announcement of the new production plant comes two weeks after Vobev, a Utah-based can manufacturing company announced details about its new can manufacturing facility that is due to open by the end of this year in Salt Lake City. There has been an ongoing shortage of beverage cans since well before the pandemic. Last fall Ball Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of cans, said that the company was short 10 billion cans in 2020. Last year, domestic beer in cans grew 11.4% to 12.7 million barrels, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights and now make up 74% of total volume share, up from 58 share 10 years ago.
The two-line plant will produce both standard and specialty beverage cans for customers across a wide variety of categories, including carbonated soft drinks, sparkling water, energy drinks, hard seltzers, beer and ready-to-drink cocktails.
Vobev, a Utah-based can manufacturing company established in 2019, has announced details about its new 1.2 million sq. ft. facility that is due to open by the end of this year in Salt Lake City, Utah. The new production plant is expected to help provide some relief for the ongoing can shortage that has impacted the beverage industry.
The new operation will have variety pack options, research and development capabilities, graphics and more and is designed as a one-stop shop for beverage brands with simplified production choices that includes everything from recipe creation and packaging design, to filling, packaging, storing, and shipping beverages.
The facility will produce, fill, and package cans, supporting a variety of beverages including waters, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, wine, spirits, seltzers and more.
Demand for cans was unprecedented in 2020 — and it hasn’t slowed in 2021.
The shortage has impacted brewers both small and large. Even Anheuser-Busch InBev referenced the can shortage in its second quarter earnings call last week. “We had to import a lot of cans from several different markets, cans from Mexico, cans from China, cans from Europe and India in order to serve the high demand,” chief executive Michel Doukeris told Reuters in a telephone interview, referring to the U.S. market.
In the meantime, some brewers have turned to bottles. Others are slapping new labels on empty cans stamped with beer varieties they no longer sell.
A Korean-based microbrewery with a production plant in northwest California has ceased production and will auction off all of the brewing equipment.
The Booth Brewery, based in Seoul, Korea was founded in 2013 and began production in the far northern California coastal town of Eureka in 2017 at the former location of Lost Coast Brewing.
The online auction, which began on May 21 and will close on June 17, will auction off the entire packaging line including a complete Wild Goose 16-oz. can line and labeler, an Alfa Laval centrifuge, a Sympac Bottle Filler, a York Glycol chiller and more as well as some of the brewing equipment.
A legislative bill in Minnesota to allow larger breweries to sell growlers has died.
Currently in the state, any brewery that produces more than 20,000 barrels of beer in a year is prohibited from selling growlers or other to-go containers.
Distributors and retailers have previously lobbied against efforts to raise or remove the growler cap, arguing that a change would benefit big producers at the expense of small restaurants, bars, liquor stores and wholesalers.
Domestic beer in cans grew 11.4% to 12.7 million barrels in 2020, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights. Cans now make up 74% of total volume share, up from 58 share 10 years ago. Not surprisingly in the pandemic year, draft fell by 7.9 million barrels and bottles dropped almost 3.6 million barrels.
The enormous uptick in beer packaged in cans was driven not just by the massive pivot from draft to cans and bottles due to the pandemic, but also due to the huge popularity of hard seltzers in which cans is the prevalent package.
Silent Pool Distillers, a UK-based distiller has introduced the first worlds first spirit in a paper bottle.
The cardboard bottle is manufactured by Frugalpac, a British company that develops sustainable packaging products that are made from at least 90% recycled paper.
The bottles are five times lighter than their glass counterparts, use 77% less plastic than other plastic offerings and have a carbon footprint six times lower than glass or PET plastic bottles.