Thursday, February 25, 2016

News: Beatson Clark shows its craft

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A standard embossed beer bottle from Rotherham glass packaging manufacturer, Beatson Clark has been chosen by Ridgeway Brewery of Oxfordshire to bottle its extensive range of craft beers.

The Greasborough Road firm, which has been making glass bottles and jars in Rotherham since 1751, specialises in providing glass packaging solutions for niche brands in the food, drink and pharmaceutical markets worldwide.

The company has been targeting the growing craft beer market and the rising number of smaller niche brewers who require bespoke or tailored packaging in smaller runs. Beatson Clark's new smaller 330ml amber bottle has the words "Craft Beer" embossed around the shoulder and is ideal for the new generation of ales which often have a higher alcohol content by volume.

Peter Scholey, co-owner of Ridgeway Brewery and its sister company Beer Counter, was formerly head brewer at the neighbouring Brakspear Brewery. He said: "While the UK ales market has long been mostly in 500ml bottles the 330ml market is growing. For some time there has been a variety of 500ml bottles available but the choice in 330ml has been very limited, so Beatson Clark's initiative to offer subtle changes to a standard range provides the opportunity to do something about that.

"We are a bottled beer only business selling absolutely nothing to pubs so we have to be good at bottled beer. We produce not only our own Ridgeway beers but also a number of bespoke lines, particularly lagers, for the restaurant and wholesale trade.

"Because of that the opportunity to use a generic "Craft Beer" branded bottle is ideal for what we do and matches the profile of both our beers and our customers."

Ridgeway hasn't been tempted to follow other breweries down the aluminium cans route. Peter added: "Right now craft canned beer is very trendy – bizarrely there is even an idea in some circles that a can is somehow better quality than glass packaging. That notion is complete rubbish!

"Canned beer is inevitably inferior because of the difficulties in eliminating oxygen from the package, and even more so when small-scale packaging is considered."

Music to the ears of Beatson Clark, whose embossed standard bottles are proving to be an effective and affordable option for small breweries.

Alison Hughes, business development manager at Beatson Clark, said: "Our new embossed standard 330ml beer bottle is ideal for small breweries who want to differentiate their product on the shelf, and if you’re looking for a unique embossed container our designers can produce a bespoke bottle tailored to the product.

"We can also customise our standard containers by having the brewery's name, logo or strapline embossed onto the bottle. This is more cost-effective than investing in a fully bespoke design and it allows for the bottle to be manufactured in smaller volumes."

The historic company, now part of the Newship Group, has recently put in place a long term, £12m investment programme in Rotherham.

Beatson Clark website

Images: Beatson Clark

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