Green Man Brewery experimented with different packaging strategies, including wet cold glue application for small batches and off-site bottling, before gearing up for production in-house. Using packaging from Prime Package and Label and pressure sensitive labels from UPM Raflatac has enabled Green Man Brewery to solve material challenges that were harming production efficiency. The brewery “single sources” its label materials, ensuring consistency across run and leverages UPM Raflatac’s PP film for a high-quality branding palette. Plans are for business growth up to 30,000 barrels each year as well as test marketing demand with mini-batches of new flavors.
Prime Packaging and Label is a full-service printing company located in St. Louis, MO, and the company is known for its expertise in flexographic and digital printing. The converter’s knowledge of beverage applications has enabled it to provide packaging solutions to hundreds of craft breweries.
“We worked through a couple of vendors to find the right solution for us and finally found Prime Package and Label,” says Jon Spath, director of operations, Green Man Brewery. “After our experience, we understood why they were so successful and why so many breweries use them.”
Prime Packaging and Label specializes in full-color prime product labels, extended content labels, shrink sleeves and heat transfer labeling. It developed a packaging solution for Green Man Brewery that solved many of the brewery’s operational challenges.
“PS is the labeling solution of choice for the craft beer industry, and digital printing is the technology of choice for small breweries who produce low volumes,” explains Adam Heissler, account executive, Prime Package and Label. “It allows breweries to have a wide range of options no matter what the packaging format is that they are seeking. When new or current customers have challenges, we can quickly determine whether it is a material or adhesive issue or an issue being caused from the application equipment. When working directly with breweries, we can often troubleshoot an issue within minutes and provide a solution within days.”
Green Man Brewery decided to use UPM Raflatac’s 2.6 mil PP Pearlescent White TC RP37 2.4 Mil High Density White labelstock on its beer products. The company describes the label solution as a “brand and performance all-star.” The supplier the brewery worked with before didn’t do PS regularly. First, it used the wrong BOPP and then there were liner issues. With the bigger volumes and higher speed application, the material really showed its limitations.
“On a bottle, the label is the only branding I have,” says Spath. “It can’t wrinkle or detach from the bottle. The print quality on UPM Raflatac’s labelstock is better than on our prior material. Our logo is not the simplest to produce because it is so detailed. When we went to PPL, the visual and print quality of the label took a major step forward. The text and imagery are so much clearer.”
The partnerships have resulted in business growth for Green Man Brewery. “We do upwards of 30,000 bottles now on a day’s run,” adds Spath. “Consistency and quality are paramount – and UPM Raflatac’s label materials deliver that. Our relationships with our vendors are key to our success. I am a big believer in building relationships with the goal of maintaining them for a long time. When I get a good product and good service, that gives me a sense of security that that end of the business is handled and I can focus on growth. I am excited and happy to be working with PPL and UPM Raflatac.”
Green Man Brewery is now on a growth surge. It has ordered and installed all of its equipment and is currently commissioning a bottling line. The company has been in full production since the end of October 2016.