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icon Clock  11/3/2014

Boutique, or craft, beers have seen an increase in consumption over recent years, with consumers choosing to support these smaller and more diverse brewers in many cases, leading market value to an

expected increase of 43% in 2015 This growing passion for different ales in the UK, as demonstrated in London for example which has seen a huge growth in microbreweries that sell beers across the east and south-east of the capital, has meant that many have even made their way to the shelves of major retailers.

The Craft Beer Market

Sales of these craft beers in supermarkets are set to increase by 43% in 2015, and with 75% of SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) members stating that they use bottles to package their beers – five of which said

bottles account for 80% or more of their total output – it is important for many to understand the range of coding requirements and possibilities in the beverage industry.

Coding On Craft Beer Primary Packaging

Coding on glass can present a number of difficulties to a brewer, especially given the wet working environments often encountered in the industry. However, there are many ways in which marking machines can help to overcome any potential issues. For example, specialist inks from continuous ink jet (CIJ) printers ensure that codes remain in place even on wet surfaces.  The wide range of inks commonly available with CIJ printers means that a craft brewer can find the right ink for his application, whether he is coding onto paper labels, glass or even metal caps.

Additionally, the range of messages and codes available from these printers means that manufacturers can quickly and effectively code on their products. As brewing companies grow, so could the need to improve quality control and protect against counterfeiting, so

it is important to have the ability to internally track products through various means; UV-readable and other security inks can help to ensure that these codes are present, yet discreet.

The versatility of CIJ printers is especially useful for those brewers looking to expand their packaging to include cans. This way of packaging beer has made a huge comeback in the US especially, as it retains the flavour of the beer by keeping oxygen and light out, with coated metal ensuring that the beer does not come into contact with the aluminium of the can itself. Non -contact coding such as CIJ is one solution available to the craft brewer, as it enables any part of the can or bottle to be accurately coded with a wide variety of codes.

Whatever you need to do to ensure that your production line is ready for a growing market, there are coding solutions available for a wide range of different packaging, many offering low cost of ownership to help smaller brewers to remain competitive.


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