Having a high quality container for your craft brewery is extremely important when it comes time to package and label your products. The right container will be one that is consistent and works well with your labels, while keeping your brew fresh. Here are some ways to identify quality containers for labeling:
1) Materials - No discussion of containers would be complete without acknowledging both bottles and cans as potential options. With glass bottles, you have to choose between light and dark options that will impact the visibility of your product, its exposure to sunlight, and how your product will hold up through the distribution process as it continues to age. For cans the options get even wider, since many cans come with external coatings that give them special properties or unique finished looks. Things like thermochromic inks that change color as the beer changes temperature have added a layer of complexity to the craft brew container world that cannot be ignored.
2) Appearance - A great craft beer container is not just about what's inside. It's about creating an image on a shelf that resonates with customers. The perfect high quality containers for labeling will stand out for their aesthetic properties, and fit well with your label to produce a final product that represents what your brewery believes in. If the appearance of the container does not fit well with the label you are using, it can be off-putting to even the most adventurous of craft brew fans.
3) The Right Supplier - In many cases, finding a quality container for labeling comes down to finding the supplier who specializes in what you need. There may be plenty of manufacturers out there and plenty of places to buy low cost containers, but a truly great product will be backed up by a supplier that has spent time and energy researching the market you are in. They will understand the unique needs of craft brewers, and how their containers can improve the final product for their customers.
4) Consistent Shape - When it's time to feed quality containers for labeling into a machine, there should be no sign of labels coming lose or bubbling up on the surface of the bottle. If it appears that your labels are not properly affixing to the bottle or can, it may be caused by minor inconsistencies in the outer shape of your container. Small ridges and fluctuations in the curvature of the container can cause voids under the label where the glue does not stick to the surface. These problems can be identified with the use of a square test.
Finding high quality containers for labeling should start by comparing the types of containers that other breweries are currently using. Use their containers as an example next to your labels and determine which containers will look and feel best with your label design. Then focus on finding a great suppliers that provides consistent and clean containers every single time, so you will be sure that your labeling operation runs smoothly and you won't have any imperfections in your line.