The amber PET container is manufactured by W. Amsler at its Bolton, Ontario, facility on behalf of JMS International Packaging, a leading packaging solutions provider, on aW. Amsler all-electric linear series stretch blow molder. The PET barrier container weighs 106 grams versus 1.2 kg for the glass version, thus resulting in reduced shipping costs. It is also event-friendly, unbreakable, and 100% recyclable, according to Heidi Amsler, sales and marketing manager for W. Amsler. A growler is a jug commonly sold at breweries and brew pubs as a means to sell take-out craft beer. The significant growth of craft breweries and the growing popularity of home brewing have also led to an emerging market for the sale of growlers.
“We’re proud to be part of this highly collaborative effort that has resulted in a breakthrough in PET barrier containers for the craft beer market,” said Amsler. “We’ve set a new benchmark in terms of shelf life and provided craft brewers a highly viable alternative to the standard glass container.” Unbreakable and portable PET growlers provide an entry into such venues that do not allow glass because of the potential for breakage and other security requirements.
The 64-oz, 106-gram container was designed by W. Amsler with standard preforms supplied by Preform Solutions Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D. The PET growlers have a flat champagne base rather than a carbonated base design and withstand 15 psi of pressure.
For the Craft Brewers Conference, W. Amsler selected a barrier with a monolayer structure which includes a Sherwin Williams’ barrier additive. The barrier prevents oxygen ingress and egress and loss of CO2, thus providing a 120-day shelf life versus 48 hrs for standard PET growlers. This monolayer barrier solution is compatible with existing recycling streams. The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) handle, designed by JMS International Packaging, is produced separately and attached to the container via a secondary process. The PET container comes with a 38-mm finish. The amber color for the 64oz barrier bottle is supplied by Penn Color.
In the future, the JMS production bottles will be manufactured with a new patented PET plastic (PETB1) that has been developed by JMS International Packaging Inc. The new patented plastic (PETB1)offers the best barrier to CO2 plus oxygen egress and ingress on the market. This unique material also protects the product from UV rays and is available intransparent or opaque versions. The product resists impact and ensures a certain economy compared to glass. The formula has enabled JMS to obtain a recycle code 1. It has strong resistance to hot filling and is much lighter than glass.
The PET plastic growlers are also available in a clear color with or without barrier protection for ciders, craft sodas, craft cocktails, and liquor. Pressure-sensitive labels can be applied and a screen printing process can also be used.
Amsler has focused new resources and expanded its participation in the beer packaging market. The company sees strong opportunities in glass conversion applications where barrier PET bottles have a strong fit due to their light weight and portability. The company introduced 12oz barrier PET bottles in a long-neck style with a crown cap at NPE 2018. Later, a second 12oz format with a slightly different design and label panel was launched.