Movements in Packaging for Alcoholic Drinks

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With the running up to the holidays, it is time to have a look at the recent developments in packaging for alcoholic beverages. From strong to watery.

Triple Crown Whiskey Pouches
The aisles of supermarkets and other retail stores are overloaded with flexible packaging solutions for products like sauces, baby food, soup and even beverages. Pouches tout environmental benefits: lighter weight, ease of use, (often) resealability and convenience. They also pose significant benefits when compared to rigid packaging materials.

131125-Triple-Crown-Whiskey-Pouches W320 100dpiSingle-serve is a hot trend right now and many pouches are popping up to offer that serving for one convenience. They are relatively easy to transport for home and away-from-home usage, and they often include convenience features such as tear notches for easy opening or flexible spouts.

Triple Crown whiskey, a brand of McCormick Distilling, introduced the first-ever North American whiskey in single and double serve flexible pouches. Flat, light and leak proof, these pouches are perfect, especially for those who love to camp, tailgate, or just rip and sip.

Bulky bottles and broken glass are a thing of the past with these flexible pouches, which fit easily into a pocket or backpack and lay flat on top of packed coolers.

We go from the whiskey business to the genuine land of the whisky.

Peak whisky
Katherine Smith, a Manchester (UK) based designer, came up with a stackable bottle for a Scotch Whisky that maintains its freshness due to its unique and compact shape. The size of each individual bottle allows the whisky to stay at the peak of its freshness for longer, and the unique connections between them add a decorative element to that of the standard bottle.

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As with so many designers who come up with creative ideas, they seem to be unable to define what they have designed. No information (or even thoughts) about the basic requirements for packaging. No material specification, no structural explanation, nothing. I never will understand how they think they will be taken serious in the packaging world.

I can’t supply more information, and I don’t know whether it is intended to make from glass or plastic (PET). It all will depend on the image the whisky brand wants to showcase.
Don’t forget dividing bottles in smaller ones isn’t new. We have seen the BottleClips I wrote about previously and the stackable wine glasses, but I must say, although little is known, this whisky bottle design is an elegant one.

We stay with the strong stuff: Rum.

Deadhead Rum
130910-deadhead-rum W320 100dpiWhen the ancient warring tribes of Latin America slew an enemy or took revenge for the death of one of their own, they would make of the slain a “tsantsa”, the shrunken head of an enemy kept as a badge of honour designed to contain the person’s spirit.  The standout artist-rendered tsantsa shrunken head bottle houses the 6 year cask aged Deadhead rum from Veracruz (Mexico) and the historic symbolism behind it. As the story goes, once it is set free, the spirit inside the “tsantsa” will be reborn as a loyal member of the warring tribe, transforming enemies to friends. (source).

The 750ml bottle Deadhead Rum is in the form of a shrunken head, complete with (real) twine sealing shut the eyes and mouth. The deadhead, however, is a plastic shell around a glass bottle.
In contrast to its rather macabre bottle, it is said that the rum, a cane spirit, is a genuine thing of beauty. The Deadhead Rum website gives quite a nice story about the origins of the Deadhead and the rum.

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From whisky and rum we move to wine. And not the cheap ones, we talk here about appellation-based, super-premium wines sourced from the Mendocino and Paso Robles growing regions and crafted by winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix.

The last years we have seen various editions of paper bottles, particularly the GreenBottle from the original a UK-based paper bottle inventor/manufacturer. But the results of that revolutionary technology weren’t of interest for a larger public.

TRUETT-HURST, INC. PAPER BOYRecently, however, winery Truett-Hurst Inc. in cooperation with design agency Stranger & Stranger, entered the market with a remarkable interesting paper bottle for wine.
Lightweight, protecting, unbreakable, easy discharging when empty and isolating (keeping it cool).

The paper wine bottle, branded PaperBoy, is a moulded outer shell in the shape of a wine bottle, made from recycled cardboard with a plastic liner. The entire packaging is 85% lighter than a glass bottle and is easily recyclable.
Paper Boy provides a responsible way to carry wine outdoors. Campers, hikers, and fishermen can carry this lightweight package (only 1.9 lbs. filled) and enjoy premium wine from a 750ml bottle almost anywhere, collapsing it when finished for return to a recycling site.

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The company claims, that “this is a product that is unashamedly different”.

From the strong to the weak: Beer

Ceramic beer bottle
130903-Wade ceramic bottle W320 100dpiWade Ceramics from the UK has produced a new style of bottle specifically for beer or cider or any other carbonated drink. The bottle has been developed in conjunction with a local UK brewery and has passed all tests regarding the maintenance of the quality of the liquid.

The bottle is manufactured in a vitreous ceramic body and the colour is cream, lead free and can be in various other colours. It can be decorated using either a Ceramic Waterslide, Direct Screen printing or for serious volumes Laser Printing, in up to 4 colours.
Furthermore the bottle can be made in different shapes and different sizes, from 500ml to either more or less volume up to 1 litre or 2.2 USA pints or 1 .76 Imperial pints.

Although the bottle is more expensive than glass, it is, according to the company, considerably cheaper than previous attempts.

We stay in the world of beer, but start brewing it ourselves.

‘Just brew it!’
131136-step-3 W320 100dpiDue to the recession and high beer prices in pubs, home brewing has made a comeback in the UK over the last five years.

Claiming that home brewing is the fastest growing hobby in the UK, Moonshine Drinks launched a patented kit that allows drinkers to make 25 pints of beer simply by adding water. The secret of the real ale brewing kit is in the design of the laminated bag, its special low-cost non-return valve, and the high quality ingredients.
The simple non-return valve allows fermentation inside the laminated bag after the consumer has poured in 23 pints of water and an enclosed sachet of ‘Moondust’. The single-use kit provides 25 pints in 14 days, with the beer then having a self-life of a month.

131136-step-1 W320 100dpiMoonshine Drinks states that it is working on brew-it-yourself bags for wine. The bags will enable consumers to make good quality Merlot, Pinot Grigio and Zinfandel Rose varieties, by just adding water.

The invention won the Most Innovative New Product Award at the Food and Drink iNet Awards 2012.

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