An Irish craft brewery has chosen eye-catching beer bottles from Beatson Clark as the UK glass manufacturer continues to make inroads into overseas markets. 9 White Deer started brewing in County Cork in 2013. Its owners Gordon Lucey and Don O’Leary set up the brewery to try to introduce a greater range of quality beers to the Irish market.
The brewery now takes both a 500ml standard amber beer bottle from Beatson Clark for its own contract bottling line and an embossed standard beer bottle for its own range of beers. The contract was arranged through Dublin-based packaging specialists The Packaging Centre, who could see how Beatson Clark’s embossing options were a perfect fit for 9 White Deer.
9 White deer brews six different beers, from pale ales to a triple-hopped black IPA, and is about to launch a completely new range of gluten free beers – partly because Don himself has a gluten intolerance.
“When we started out we were using another bottle manufacturer but we missed that close attention to clients’ needs that we’ve since found with Beatson Clark,” said Gordon. “They’re very willing to talk about everything and they’re very helpful if you have any issues. Doing business with Beatson Clark is a fast and easy process, which is why we’re still with them.”
Gordon said the brewery was able to consider an embossed bottle option as they already process enough bottles through their contract bottling business to make it cost-effective.
“The first thing breweries do as they grow is get custom printed caps, and then they want to go to the next level and bring out their own embossed bottle,” Gordon explained. “We gave Beatson Clark our logo and they came up with an embossed prototype that we were happy with. When we looked at the figures it was a no-brainer to be honest.”
The customised version of the bottle has the brewery’s white stag logo embossed on the neck and the words ‘9 White Deer’ embossed around the shoulder.
Charlotte Taylor, Marketing Manager at Beatson Clark, commented: “Because the embossed bottle is a customised version of our standard 500ml BC beer bottle it fits on the brewery’s filling line with no need for change parts, saving both time and money. “We can offer this service of customising standard bottles by adding embossing onto the finish moulds for production runs as low as 150,000 units. This reduces the cost of the moulds by more than half and gives the brewery a unique bottle design which really helps the brand to stand out on the shelf.”
9 White Deer’s range of gluten-free beers is due to launch in the new bottles in mid-February and will include Stag Saor (saor is Irish for ‘free’), a German-style Kölsch, a pale ale, an Irish red ale, an India Pale Ale and a double chocolate stout. Gordon is hoping the new bottles will help grow the 9 White Deer brand and introduce more variety into the Irish beer market.
“It’s very strange – craft beer in Ireland still accounts for less than 2% of the whole market,” said Gordon. “People have got so used to having the same five taps in every bar in every town and every county. “But things are changing: in 2012 there were 14 micro-breweries in Ireland and now there are nearly 70, so it’s grown a lot. We’re trying to undo some of the brainwashing that’s been happening for the past 20-years!”