Canadian firm launches PET growler jug for craft beer

The growth of the craft beer industry has inspired W. Amsler Equipment to develop a 64-ounce PET growler jug. The Canadian supplier of all-electric linear PET stretch blow moulders developed the jug to mimic a traditional glass design, while also providing barrier protection for extended shelf life.

A growler jug is often sold at breweries and brew pubs to enable the sale of take-out craft beer. The amber PET container is being manufactured at W. Amsler’s Ontario facility for JMS International Packaging. It weighs 106g versus the 1.2kg glass growler jugs, resulting in reduced shipping costs. Meanwhile, the jug is event-friendly, unbreakable, and 100 per cent recyclable.

“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 Heidi Amsler, sales and marketing manager for W. Amsler. “We’ve set a new benchmark in terms of shelf life and provided craft brewers with a highly viable alternative to the standard glass container.”

The container was designed using standard preforms supplied by Preform Solutions. It has a flat champagne base rather than a carbonated base design and can withstand 15 psi of pressure.

In addition, the PET growlers can feature a barrier with a monolayer structure that includes a Sherwin Williams barrier additive. According to W. Amsler, the barrier prevents oxygen ingress and egress and loss of carbon dioxide – providing a 120-day shelf life versus the 48 hours for standard PET growlers.

The monolayer barrier solution is compatible with existing recycling streams. Meanwhile, the 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 38mm finish.

In the future, the JMS production bottles will be manufactured with a patented PET plastic (PETB1) that has been developed by JMS International Packaging. According to W. Amsler, PETB1 offers the best barrier to carbon dioxide plus oxygen egress and ingress on the market. The material also protects the product from UV rays and is available in transparent or opaque versions.

The PET plastics growlers are also available in a clear colour 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.

W. Amsler plans to continue its focus on the beer packaging market. The company sees strong opportunities in glass conversion applications where barrier PET bottles have a strong fit due to their lightweight nature and portability.