Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Glass and Beer – more than meets the eye

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

From William Shakespeare to Benjamin Franklin – and, of course, Homer Simpson – great men have exalted the virtues of beer for as long as it’s been around. Which, to be fair, is a very long time – about 3,000 years. Craft beer sales are growing steadily as younger generations are experimenting with traditional recipes to create new and exciting flavours and styles. But what really makes beer’s flavours sing? Believe it or not, the shape of your glass has a lot to do with it.

When you pour beer into a glass it allows its natural aromas to release and travel up to your nose better. Aroma plays a huge role in how we taste (as we all know from nursing head colds), and drinking it straight from the bottle or can limits the beer taste significantly.

Pouring your beer into a glass also allows you to “eat” the beer with your eyes as well.  Because of glass’ natural transparent property, you can accurately gauge the colour and therefore the maltiness of it. The texture and thickness of the head will also be a clear sign about the creaminess and mouth-feel of your beer. For wheat beers especially, a Weissbier glass is needed as it was specifically designed to trap the yeast sediment which occurs naturally at the bottom.

Beer is no longer your cheap last resort either. Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland, Oregon brews a beer so rare and sought after that it carries a $2,000 price tag. Brewed in 1998, this traditional barleywine  won a local beer competition and it’s notarity has only grown since then. The U.S. isn’t the only country diving into specialty beers. The Scottish brewery BrewDog’s End of History sold for £475 per bottle; and Nail Brewing in Perth, Australia made a beer that was auctioned for $1,944.

What type of beer glass do you usually use? Share with us on our Facebook or tweet us at @GlassFriendsEUR

Igniting Glass Beer Bottles!

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

With summer coming up it’s time to get ready to party and Heineken has a surprise in store for beer drinkers – glass beer bottles that light-up! Launched during Milan Design Week, the Heineken Ignite bottles have eight LED lights and a bunch of other technical wizardry attached to the bottom of the glass bottle.

All of the electronic components are contained in a 3D-printed housing about the size of a €2 coin. A wireless network transceiver with antenna and a microprocessor enable the glass bottles to flash in response to a data signal or the beat of the music in a nightclub or at a party. The glass bottle can detect various actions including cheering, drinking or sitting on the bar.

Only 200 of the glass Heineken Ignite bottles were released during Milan Design Week. The company says it has no plans to make them available commercially but consumer demand might just change their minds! If you’d like to be drinking from a high-tech glass bottle this year, why not let us know through the Friends of Glass Facebook page or tweet us @GlassFriendsEUR. We’ll pass on your requests to Heineken!

Making Glass Sing

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Germany’s GlassBlowSing-Quintet started using glass bottles to make street music in Berlin around 12 years ago. By 2003 they were earning their living on stage. And the best bit according to the group’s performers – they get to empty the beer bottles themselves! Now that’s recycling for you.

Guinness Glass Goes All QR When Full

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Quick recognition codes – or QR codes as they are known – are popping up everywhere! But few are as innovative as the one which appears on the new Guinness glass. Pour a Guinness into the glass and the black colour of the beer brings out the code. Scan the QR code with your smartphone and it sends a tweet, updates your Facebook status, checks you in via Foursquare and invites your friends to the party. You also get exclusive coupons, promotions and Guinness content.

The QR code only works when the glass is filled with Guinness – paler ales just don’t have enough contrast to bring out the code. And as you can see in the image, the code is almost invisible when your glass is empty. Time for another?


All good beer comes in glass!

Monday, May 21st, 2012

James Bond fans are going to be a little shaken by news that their hero is adopting beer in the new Skyfall 007 film due for release later this year. Rumours abound that Bond will swap his trademark martini for a crisp cool glass of Heineken. The move is part of a deal that will see Bond star Daniel Craig in an advertisement for the beer and the Bond image appear on related packaging.

It’s set to be a big summer for beer with many brands launching new products packaged in glass – naturally! Already this year we have seen Guinness launch a new 250 ml glass bottle on the French market for its Original Guinness brand. A 660 ml version has also been launched in Africa. The glass bottle helps to preserve the beer’s powerful blend of roasted malt, caramel and coffee flavours which are balanced against the slight bitterness characteristic of the beer’s taste.

Carlsberg Group is also launching new products and new glass packaging for a range of its well-known beers. The company introduced the 1664 Millésime (or vintage) beer in 2011 with a blonde. Each year Carlsberg changes the taste. The 2012 version has been created by French chef Thomas Clouet who is attempting to reinvent the aperitif. The beer features flavours of vanilla and liquorice on the palate, and a rich aroma that is perfectly preserved in glass.

In the UK, Carlsberg is launching a new lager in the San Miguel brand which will be known as Fresca. The beer is brewed using the finest hops and barley and packaged in a 330 ml glass bottle. Fresca is designed to be enjoyed chilled, with a wedge of lime and is ideal for summer barbeques. Let’s just hope we get some warm weather so we can kick back and enjoy!

What beer will you be enjoying over the summer? Why not share your pleasure on the Friends of Glass Facebook page or tweet us @GlassFriendsEUR.


Innovation and the bottling industry

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Glass is already one of the most environmentally friendly packaging products available. It is made from natural raw materials and can be recycled over and over again. But glass manufacturers are actively seeking ways to reduce the environmental impact of glass even further. A key target is to reduce the weight of the empty glass container in order to reduce emissions during transport.

Beatson Clark, a UK-based glass packaging maker, has created a new lightweight 500 ml beer bottle which is almost 30% lighter than the company’s original bottle. As well as reducing the consumption of raw materials and energy during production, the new bottle also reduces production costs. Beatson Clark has designed the bottle with similar dimensions to the previous style, so breweries do not need to make costly changes to their bottling equipment. Designs can be customised to include an embossed company name, logo or other design.

The same lightweight glass can be applied to many other types of glass container including packaging for pharmaceuticals, food, and other beverages such as soft drinks. Many other glass container makers are developing similar products. Reaction from consumers to innovations in glass packaging has already proved to be positive.

Although the weight of glass packaging is an issue, the reality is that most glass is only transported short distances from the factory to the packaging plant. The same is true of recycled glass which is usually collected and processed locally. In some countries, particularly in Europe, recycling rates are extremely high.

The amount of recycled glass available has led Heinz-Glas of Germany to develop glass containers which are made of 100% recycled content. By using renewable energy sources, Heinz-Glass claims to have produced the first zero-emissions glass containers on a commercial scale.

Called New Age Glass, the recycled glass is melted in electric furnaces using energy provided by solar, wind and hydroelectric sources. These energy sources produce no carbon dioxide emissions, although some emissions come from the finishing processes required. By comparison, melting 100 tonnes of raw glass in a gas furnace produces around 81 tonnes of CO2, while melting the same amount of recycled glass in an electric furnace produces just 5 tonnes of CO2.

The physical and chemical properties of New Age Glass are similar to those of new glass in terms of safety, thermal properties, chemical and mechanical resistance, and recyclability. It is guaranteed for use as a packaging material for cosmetics, food and beverages.

The only way to tell the New Age Glass from other glass is the slight colour tint in the glass. There are also some micro-bubbles which are caused by the high viscosity of molten glass. Both colour and bubbles could be reduced, however, these would require the addition of chemicals. Heinz-Glas have therefore decided to keep the glass 100% recycled and pure.

These new products are just some examples of the lightweight glass and more environmentally friendly processes which are being developed by the glass container industry. It underscores the industry’s commitment to make an environmentally friendly product even better!

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A Taste of Glass

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Facts:
Glass jars have been around since the 1800s but it wasn’t until the after 1900 that home canning was encouraged and seen as a way to provide better diets, preserve flavor, food longevity and reduce the cost of living. By the end of the century, the decline of the family farm, the low cost of commercially canned foods and the widespread use of freezers had made home canning more of a hobby than a habit.

The Trends:
In the new millennium, we have other things on our mind. With the growing concerns over global-warming, as well as our valid worries over food safety, the relationships between food, flavor, health, packaging and sustainability are now at the forefront of our thoughts.

A trend among consumers is emerging: the desire to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. This has been seen in the rapid rise of organic food and farming, the return to popularity of home-cooking and preserving, and an increasing awareness and interest in our foods’ sources and ingredients.

More and more of us are realizing that the future of our planet may very well depend on where we get our food, what we choose to eat and how we decide to store it.

The Research:
Commissioned by FEVE (the European Container Glass Federation), the InSites study asked over consumers in 17 countries across Europe what they thought about various packaging materials.
In a nutshell, the survey reveals:

-          65% of consumers prefer glass because it preserves taste,
-          63% perceive that it is safest health-wise,
-          50% say it is the most environmentally-friendly.

The same kind of survey was carried out in the States in 2006 with the same results:

'Glass is Life' Awareness Campaign, USA

Furthermore, glass is the only packaging material rated “GRAS” or “generally regarded as safe” by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
(Newton Marketing & Research of Norman, Oklahoma)

Clearly, consumers agree that glass is their preferred packaging for consumer health and the environment.

Nutritious and Delicious
The InSites survey goes on to show that the preference for glass is particularly high when it comes to certain food and drink categories where flavor is everything, such as spirits, wines and beers. More than that, glass also preserves the natural aromas, tastes and textures, making it the perfect material to store fresh and perishable products as fruit juices, smoothies and tomato-based sauces.

Glass is the material of choice for chefs, in particular, Geir Skeie who knows that glass is a true food lover. The purity of glass ensures that food retains its great flavour.

Recipes and Instructions
Why not give it a go? Here are some handy links to get you started:

Canning, The Epicurious Way
Canning Safely, Weck
Home Canning, Kaufmann Mercantile Blog
Meyer Lemon Marmalade Recipe, Kaufmann Mercantile Blog
How to Can, Fresh Preserving
Food in Jars Blog
Recipes, Saving the Season
Preserved Fruits and Sweetmeats, Jennie June’s American Cookery Book, by Jane Cunningham Croly. Google Books.
Kitchen Lighting Made From Weck Canning Jars, The Kitchn
Weck Canning Jars, Katy Elliot

Conserving Fruit

Photo by: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Heineken Launches Bottle Design Competition

Friday, January 13th, 2012

To celebrate the company’s 140th anniversary, Dutch brewer Heineken has launched a global competition to find a new design for their iconic bottle. The winning design will symbolise how people around the world will connect in the next 140 years.

The competition requires you to design one half of a bottle. You then select a complimentary design from Heineken’s Facebook gallery to complete the other half. The best combination will be judged the winner and will feature in a limited edition gift pack which will be available from December in the 175 countries where Heineken is sold.

But you need to hurry as entries close on 31 January! Take a look at the video for more information and don’t forget to share your designs on the Friends of Glass Facebook page.

Christian Lacroix loves beer in glass

Monday, December 26th, 2011

French designer Christian Lacroix is probably best known for his stunning fashion creations. However, this Christmas, Lacroix is turning his eye to a more humble product – beer. Not just any beer of course. Lacroix has designed a festive glass bottle for Carlsberg’s premium Kronenbourg 1664.

According to Lacroix, the limited edition bottles represent refinement, magic and creativity. The graphics feature a stylised scene of Paris covered in snow. The image is printed on a sleeve which is placed over the bottle. Lacroix refers to the sleeve as the bottle’s ‘party clothes’.

We think the new clothes are going to see this beer invited to quite a lot of parties over the festive season. But be quick – the collector edition glass bottles are only available until the end of 2011!

Brewers’ focus on glass embossing

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

In a bid to set itself apart in the crowded Australian beer market, Carlton United Brewers

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has adopted a revolutionary embossed bottle for the company’s Victoria Pale Lager. It is currently Australia’s only beer with a fully-embossed label.

The technology used to create the embossing was also behind an internally embossed ‘vortex’ bottle developed for Miller Lite in the US and for New Zealand brewer Tui. MillerCoors believes the innovative bottle design was behind a 6% increase in sales of Miller Lite. Gage Roads Brewing from Australia is also now using the internal vortex on its Wahoo line.

Carlton United’s marketing team were so excited by prototypes of the new design, they accepted it immediately. The company believes that the striking glass packaging will provide consumers with an impression of premium quality, at little additional expense for the beer maker.

What do you think of this new invention? Share your opinion on our Facebook page.