The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Launches PET Bottles

OMB is the first American craft brewery to champion an alternative “go anywhere” package to aluminum cans

CHARLOTTE, NC — The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (OMB) is proud to announce the introduction of a revolutionary new package for beer in North America. Commonly used in Europe, PET bottles are inert plastic bottles perfect for use at golf course turn rooms, stadiums, concert venues, lakes, beaches and pools. OMB will continue to use glass bottles as its primary package solution for most settings (including retail and restaurant), but will offer PET to venues that cannot use glass due to breakage concerns; and, therefore, have not been able to offer OMB to their customers. Starting today, our fans can now enjoy pure, fresh, world-class OMB beer anywhere.

OMB strictly adheres to the oldest food purity law in the world: the “Reinheitsgebot,” which states that beer should only contain water, malt, hops and yeast. One of the main reasons OMB avoided canning is the inclusion of a controversial compound called Bisphenol A (BPA) in can liners. All beer cans are lined with a BPA epoxy coating to prevent the beer from reacting with the aluminum. Studies have shown that this liner releases trace amounts of BPA into the beer. This chemical is banned from use in select products in the packaging space, however not cans. While most food and beverage safety regulators have concluded that epoxy linings in cans are safe, many consumers have chosen to limit or avoid products that use them for a variety of reasons. OMB decided from the outset that it would follow suit, and the result of that mission is PET, which is 100% BPA-free.

“OMB’s main concern with aluminum cans is that their use guarantees a violation of our commitment to the Reinheitsgebot. We simply don’t want to use a package that we know will introduce a contaminant into the beer. It’s a matter of principle” says OMB’s founder, John Marrino. “We have been searching for years to find a suitable alternative package that maintains our purity pledge while simultaneously servicing those venues that cannot accommodate glass. When we heard Michigan-based Plastipak wanted to launch their beer business in the States, we jumped at the  opportunity to be their first craft beer customer.”

OMB’s Director of Brewing Operations, Dave Martin: “We have put these PET bottles through extensive testing to ensure they uphold the same quality standards as our glass bottles. For venues that cannot use glass, PET is the best choice when all the criteria are taken into consideration.”

In addition to keeping the beer pure, these recyclable bottles have several other advantages for craft breweries and consumers alike. In terms of appearance,  bottles look exactly like industry standard glass long neck bottles, including secondary features such as labels and traditional steel crown closures (instead of twist-off plastic caps).

“Can you tell which one is the PET bottle?”

Additionally, due to a lower heat transfer rate than glass and aluminum, beer packaged in PET bottles stays colder longer once taken out of the cooler, fridge or ice bin. In this way, the plastic serves as a koozie by keeping the beer colder, and consumers’ hands more comfortable.

In terms of color, consumers can rest easy knowing that these amber PET bottles are as effective as glass bottles at protecting beer from exposure to harmful ultraviolet light.

The roll-out of OMB’s PET bottles will be limited to appropriate licensed resale venues. Over time, OMB will decide how to expand the availability of the product.

Dan Robinson, Plastipak’s North American Lead – Beer, Wine and Spirits: “Plastipak could not be more excited to partner with The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in launching our first stock beer product domestically, especially at such a competitive time in the craft industry. Our recyclable package offers resiliency and aesthetic in a packaging space that has been ripe for innovation for some time. Being a private, family-owned and US-based business ourselves, we identify with craft and look forward to showing brewers why PET is the dominant beverage packaging solution today.”

“We customized our bottling line to handle both our new PET bottles and current glass bottles. We coordinated and planned this rollout with Plastipak over the past year,” notes Bill McCann, OMB’s Operations Manager. “To see all that work come to fruition – and to be the first craft brewery to truly champion PET and this barrier technology – is OMB hopes fans will be pleased with this new packaging alternative, and that it will fill a big hole in the availability of OMB at locations that can’t use glass. If you are a fan with thoughts or questions, please email info@oldemeckbrew.com or message us on Facebook.

Find more information on Plastipak: www.plastipak.com

MORE ABOUT THE OLDE MECKLENBURG BREWERY
Founded in 2009 in Charlotte, NC, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery believes in delivering fresh, local beer and adhering to Germany’s oldest beer purity guideline, known as the “Reinheitsgebot”. Four beers are available year-round and at least 9 others make seasonal and holiday appearances — always delivered in refrigerated trucks to preserve freshness and meet the demands of ultra-premium beer consumers. OMB is one of only nine craft breweries included on the Inc. 5000 list, and the only one in North Carolina. The Brewery has received numerous regional and international medals in North America and Europe. OMB was also named Best Brewery Tour in the country by the readers of USA Today, and receives many accolades for its multi-acre Munich-inspired Biergarten, which seats over 1,000. For more information, visit oldemeckbrew.com or @oldemeckbrew on social media