Archive: Product Info

When it Comes to Packaging, Think Outside the Box

  When you think Costco, you think drab, industrial size boxes, cut off at the top and overflowing with reams of toilet paper. Of course, as you move along toward the packaged food section, amid waftings of grilled sausage samples and squares of carrot cake, you’ll start to notice some more attractive shipping cartons. But if containers are really your thing – and for Mark Mazzocco, Vice President of Livermore, California-based Packaging Innovators, they most certainly are, then the wine and beer section is really the holy grail of Costco product displays. Just around the corner from several open rows of wood-paneled cases of California and French wines, there’s a beer aisle freshly stocked with Heineken and Coors Light, but […]

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Recyclable Packaging

Producers within the craft beverage industry are faced with more choices than ever these days when it comes to packaging options. Many are turning to supplies, labels, and packaging sourced from recyclable materials in an effort to run a cleaner, greener business. On top of that, consumers are showing that environmentally friendly business practices are important to them as well. Some individuals have a clear preference as to which container they prefer their booze to be in. For example, cans have generally earned a poor reputation within the beer industry. However, while aluminum was once associated with only “cheap beer,” it has come a long way. Many producers—including longstanding successful breweries—are turning to aluminum cans as a way to cut […]

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There’s an Old Adage Among Brewers: No matter how much cold storage you have, it’s never enough.

The unprecedented growth of the craft market has left microbrewers across the country scrambling to meet demand for cold storage and refrigeration. Depending on location, production process and cold storage demands, there’s a range of options. Standalone chest units, walk-in coolers, commercial cold storage, mobile cold storage units and even finding a cool corner of the brewery round out the top choices. Also, more and more brewers are using their existing assets to make affordable DIY walk-in coolers. As the craft beer market sees year-over growth exceeding 17%, as reported by the Brewers Association, one of the biggest challenges for brewers will be to keep pace with production demands without compromising the quality and freshness of their product. A big, […]

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Brewery Management Software Offers New Solutions to Old Problems

As the craft beer industry continues to grow, and breweries become a major business in communities throughout the United States and the world, brewers begin to search for solutions to issues that are often seen throughout the industry. Disorganization, lost inventory, ordering and sales issues have plagued the industry for years, further aggravated by bad accounting and organizational practices. Use of spreadsheets, hand written notes, and lack of communication between departments makes for a difficult and frustrating workplace. Enter brewery management software. Brewery management software is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that allows breweries to run their business from one program. Everything from inventory control to production processes to sales can be handled all in one software solution built […]

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Roll Out the Barrels – The Barrel Broker

  In 2009, when John Gill, custom wine tour operator in California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys, saw his business decline along with the recession, he knew he had to shift gears to adjust to the economy. With 10 years of experience working in the wine industry, it was only natural that he would follow his trade, but he chose an unlikely — and ultimately fortuitous — path: obtaining and selling reliable, high quality used wine barrels from sources he could trust. “I began by buying six used barrels from Robert Mondavi,” Gill told Beverage Master Magazine. “That was a momentous day. I started something new that was a side business — a hobby— and, within six months, turned it into […]

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Craft Beer Packaging Hits and Misses

The English idiom: “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” warns against prejudging someone or something based solely on appearance. Still, plenty of craft beer drinkers reach for the best looking craft beer on the shelf—seduced by the most appealing label, shape, or graphic design. Adventures In Crafty Packaging As craft beer increases in popularity, craft breweries are experimenting with edgier and more innovative packaging. Some hit the mark while others experience costly missteps. The breweries that succeed create packaging that’s focused, clear, and anything but wishy-washy—powerfully connecting with their preferred target market. Oculto, a tequilla-flavored beer, designed its packaging to appeal to Millennials frequenting upscale late-night bars and clubs. Oculto’s sleek, premium packaging features a signature white skull mask […]

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Corks, Caps, and Closures

  Closures come in all shapes and sizes, all colors and materials. Some fit nearly everything, and others only work on certain vessels. The one thing they have in common is that they are necessary. Without caps, corks, crowns, and closures, the beverage industry would be a messy business. Crown Caps Easily the most recognizable closure in the beverage industry, the crown cap, or crown cork, has remained mostly unchanged for over 120 years. In 1892, William Painter revolutionized the beverage industry with his creation. The current incarnation has had a few tweaks and changes, reducing the number of teeth from 24 on the original design, to the current 21, and the height from 6.75mm to 6mm. The company Painter […]

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Recyclable Containers

Everyone seems to be going green these days and that’s no exception for the craft beverage industry. Many breweries and distilleries across the nation have taken strides to clean up their acts and become as eco-friendly as possible within their daily operations. When it comes to bottling and packaging products, companies are looking for new ideas on how to create sustainable products and packaging that are both environmentally friendly and cost effective. Going green has the obvious benefits, such as conserving energy, eliminating waste, and leaving as small a carbon footprint behind as possible. However, there is the upfront cost to consider with many of these practices. The design, installation, and implementation of new machinery and the employee training involved […]

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Craft Beverages: Labeling & Design

The United States is seeing an unprecedented growth in craft beverages, including beer, spirits, meads and ciders. In 2013 alone, the Brewers Association reported that craft brewers saw an 18 percent increase in volume, representing a total of 15.6 million barrels, and a 20 percent increase in retail dollar value. In that same year, according to the American Craft Distillers Association, the number of craft distilleries rose from fewer than 10 after Prohibition to about 350. The trade association expects that number to top 500 by 2015. While this rapid expansion is a boon to consumers who are thirsty for a local craft beverage, it’s posing new challenges for producers who, facing increasing competition, must consider innovative ways to catch […]

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Bottles, Growlers or Cans: Which is best for your brew?

In terms of packaging, brew and spirit producers have a lot of choices. And depending on what you’re brewing, colors, sizes and even bottle closures matter. So how does the average craft brewer choose between traditional bottles, growlers, aluminum cans, pouches or bags? For many beverage makers, it’s mostly about which container makes sense for their product. “We use cans for a number of reasons,” noted Jen Kimmich, co-owner of The Alchemist, a small family-run brewery in Waterbury, Vermont, which specializes in fresh, unfiltered IPA. “First and foremost, it protects our beer from sunlight,” Kimmich continued. “This is especially important to us because we specialize in IPA and hop flavor is quickly affected/degraded by sunlight. Second, by keeping our packaging […]

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