Lounging around with a bottle of beer is pastime that many people enjoy. But who pays much attention to all the work it took to mail that beer to your city so you could drink it? Glass bottle packaging is quite sophisticated, and it requires a more intense packaging solution to make sure it ships securely. Mailing beer across the country is no easy task, and whether you’re a homebrewer or a multi-operation brewery, you’ve got to get those bottles of beer to the customer without breaking.
Why Glass Bottles?
We all know that beer can be packaged in many different ways, from the classic glass bottle to the more affordable aluminum can. So why do many companies choose to splurge on glass bottles for their primary packaging?
Glass bottle packaging is typically associated with a higher quality product. This is why many microbreweries choose glass bottles because it helps customers feel like their beers are going to be better than your average canned drink. It has numerous branding opportunities for someone who wants to stand out and compete with larger corporations, who typically package their beer in aluminum cans to keep costs down.
Many consumers also feel that glass packaging is more attractive than aluminum cans or other options. Glass is also able to be recycled over and over again, so it appeals to the growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions.
Packing Up a 6-Pack
Most glass beer bottles are neatly arranged in a six or four pack before being sold. This means they are also packaged this way before they’re sent to the distributors or directly to the customer. Only a few states allow breweries to mail directly to the consumer, so most are sent to distributors who sell the beer in physical stores. This means that palletizing your beer bottles is the most popular way to ship and mail across the country.
There are plenty of different ways to tackle packaging for glass bottles of beer. Some companies are beginning to offer specific packaging supplies designed just for beer and wine bottles, so it’s customized to the product. But you can still get the level of protection you need with standard boxes and cushioning.
Remember the Extra Weight
First, it’s important to remember that glass is much heavier than aluminum cans or plastic PET bottles. This extra weight must be handled properly if you want your boxes to stay together. For heavier items, you most likely want to stay away from single-wall constructed boxes. You’ll need something sturdier, which will most likely be a triple-wall corrugated container. The added weight of a glass bottle also requires a stronger tape to hold the box together. You’ll want to pay close attention to the shear strength and the tensile strength of your tape, as well as the elongation it offers to accommodate various bumps and impacts along the journey.
Protect with Cushioning
As we all know, glass is fragile. That means you need cushioning around those beer bottles to keep them from shattering. You don’t want your glass bottles to touch and clank together during the journey, because that makes them more likely to break on impact. Corrugated and plastic partitions are popular for beer bottles that need to be shipped together. You can also use foam shapes that are made to fit around the top and bottom of each bottle and hold them in place. There are plenty of cushioning options available, you just need to make sure you’ve got the right level of cushioning and protection in place.
Think About Timing & Temperature
Beer is a consumable item that is affected by changing temperatures and time spent outside of a controlled area. You’ll want to make sure your shipping strategy is able to accommodate the needs your beer will have.
The taste and chemical structure of beer changes with escalating or dropping temperatures. Some beers should be kept cold until served to preserve the taste, which requires a refrigerated container for shipment. This also will affect the type of boxes, tape, and cushioning you use. If your beer can survive without refrigeration until it gets to the distributor, then that simplifies things for you.
Shipping glass beer bottles is a complicated process, but with the proper planning and protection, you can ensure each bottle arrives in pristine condition so a customer can take them home to enjoy. Glass packaging requires added protection that cans and other canisters wouldn’t, but it can impact the perceptions a customer has about your brand. Choosing glass bottles for your beer packaging can help you improve the quality and feel of your product, and therefore, increase your sales. It all comes down to what look and feel you want your beer to have, but if you choose glass, be sure to ship it with the right amount of protection.