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Bottle cap or screw top?

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  • Bottle cap or screw top?

    Is it strictly an economic (and likely efficiency) reason that beer - in glass bottles - uses only either a corked method or bottle caps? Why aren't screw top caps used? From a pressure perspective sparking water and other fluids do use screw tops.

    Also, looking at a variety of glass bottle suppliers it appears that it’s hard to make a bottle a distinctive marketing tool. Available beer bottles, for the most part, really only vary by volume and neck length.

    Maybe I'm not digging deep enough? Are there bottles on the market (maybe blue in color, for example) which really are distinctive by themselves with beer?

  • #2
    BubbaBeerBacon - you have a PT

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    • #3
      Thanks Meheen - indeed aluminum is an option under consideration too.

      The example you supplied is rather stylish.

      Attached is another example I've looked at (for another beverage product, but not beer) is this which is made in Canada for US consumption.

      It is a 375ml canister with a screw top vs. bottle top.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        These are called ROPP--Roll On Pilfer Proof--and I don't think they are good for the pressures of beer packaging. Especially with high pressures of a pasteurizer. Or with large forces on the closure due to a mouth that large. And they are generally more expensive than a crown. And take a more sophisticated machine to apply the closure. Just my 2 bits.
        Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gitchegumee
          These are called ROPP--Roll On Pilfer Proof--and I don't think they are good for the pressures of beer packaging. Especially with high pressures of a pasteurizer. Or with large forces on the closure due to a mouth that large. ...
          Gitchegumee - that's exactly the info I was looking for as to "why not?". Most appreciated!

          I took a look at the company's website (Exal) that make the aluminum bottles that Meheen referenced (and did work for) and I have to say the one they make in France for the award-winning Heineken "Icone" is pretty damn neat.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gitchegumee
            These are called ROPP--Roll On Pilfer Proof--and I don't think they are good for the pressures of beer packaging. Especially with high pressures of a pasteurizer.
            They were used by a number of breweries in the 1970's and 1980's (here's an Alcoa ad from that era showing 12 oz. beer bottles from an industry publication) before the "crimped crown on threaded bottles" became all but universal. But the pasteurizer question is interesting. I recall that Lone Star briefly used them (along with those thin "Styrofoam" labels) and it was stated that was because they were flash pasteurizing before bottling rather than tunnel pasteurizing.

            OTOH, it was my impression that most quarts (now a dying package) and 40 Ounce bottles from most of the US "macro" breweries still use the "roll on" closures, because those bottles are more commonly not used (or, at least, not expected to be used) as a "single serving".

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            • #7
              Last time I had one of these they still had the ROPP. Paper bag optional.
              Attached Files
              Cheers & I'm out!
              David R. Pierce
              NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
              POB 343
              New Albany, IN 47151

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              • #8
                Beertje46, these bottles might sound like a Colt 45 going through a pasteurizer! I wonder whether they might be flash pasteurized before packaging? Anyway, my experience with still drinks using these closures is that they are not very robust. Then again, remember Mickey's Wide Mouth?
                Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gitchegumee
                  Beertje46, these bottles might sound like a Colt 45 going through a pasteurizer! I wonder whether they might be flash pasteurized before packaging? Anyway, my experience with still drinks using these closures is that they are not very robust. Then again, remember Mickey's Wide Mouth?
                  I remember Mickey's mean green.

                  You are probably correct on the flash pasteurization. I'll bet they cold filter too.
                  Cheers & I'm out!
                  David R. Pierce
                  NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
                  POB 343
                  New Albany, IN 47151

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by beertje46

                    You are probably correct on the flash pasteurization.
                    That'd mean most of the "old line" pre-craft era breweries left are flash pasteurizing at least some of their bottled beers, since many of them (as well as a number of now closed breweries) are represented in the collection of 40 ounce bottles shown here 40 Ounce Bottles, the majority of which are capped with the "Roll-On" aluminum top.

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                    • #11
                      When I worked at High Falls / Genesee we pasteurized all of the products that we used ROPP caps with. We never had any issues with the higher pressures in the pasteurizer. We also did some Malternatives this way with no issues whatsoever. My bet would be that all the other Regionals / National Breweries that are using them are pasteurizing just as they do their other products.

                      Dave
                      David Schlosser
                      Brewmaster / Founder
                      Naked Dove Brewing Company
                      Canandaigua, NY

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                      • #12
                        For a small brewer, I would suggest that you have a good mechanic/maintenance department as the rolling heads for ROPP are delicate and somewhat complicated so older, used equipment often requires more tinkering. I used it for 1 litre PET bottles for beer without pasteurizing and the only issue was maintenance and slight changes in the threads as you ran. It is not unlike doing seam checks. You have to keep a close QA eye on it and actually do something when the threads start to change.

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                        • #13
                          I blame the sam adams ad where they sung the praises of the pry top versus the macro brew twistie. I'd like to think it had to do with sierra nevada pale ale bottles stepping from a twist top to a pry top.

                          This was also the ad campaign that advocated for a taller six pack holder, keeping the beer from being as light struck.

                          Can't really argue with large scale advertising.

                          ... first post, see you in the production arena.
                          Last edited by Ithacan; 12-02-2009, 06:25 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Roll on aluminum closures require an expensive capping machine which must have highly motivated and skilled "care and feeding." The precision required is akin to that required by a high speed can seamer. When this process is treated as "just another crowner" there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the quality world.

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