News & Updates

As a result of demand exceeding supply of glass containers in Europe there is a shortage of mass produced jars and bottles.
  • People are drinking more beer wine and soft drinks
  • Summers are hotter and longer causing companies to increase forecasts
  • Brexit is causing large companies and supermarkets to stock-hold more
  • A fashionable move from plastic to glass is happening as a result of environmental publicity
  • A result of glass furnace rebuilds and closures
The shortage is expected to ease off in some sectors in Q3 2020
A spirit bottle is usually made from glass and is used to contain alcoholic drinks such as Gin, Whisky, Rum, and Vodka. They are supplied with either a cork or a screw neck closure. Spirit bottles are more expensive than standard bottles because they are heavier and made on smaller glass forming machines.

One of the Founding Fathers and politicians of the Unites States, George Clymer once said, “Among the expected glories of the Constitution, next to the abolition of Slavery was that of Rum.” The globally cherished sweet, subtle flavor of rum is a product of years of trial and error. The process of rum production, beginning from fermentation of molasses to the distillation, has retained many of its traditional methods but has been optimized to enhance the desired attributes and minimize the less desired qualities. Distillation is a crucial step in the process of rum production that can determine the taste and alcohol content of rum.
How rum production started

The process of rum making dates all the way back to the Caribbean sugarcane plantations for the abundant and easy availability of the main raw ingredient, sugarcane. By the end of 18th century, rum popularity had increased exponentially.

The Encyclopedia Britannica of 1771 gives intriguing insight into the rum making process of olden times, “When the wash is fully fermented, or to a due degree of acidity, the distillation is carried on in the common way, and the spirit is made up proof: though sometimes it is reduced to a much greater strength, nearly approaching to that of alcohol or spirit of wine, and it is then called double distilled rum. It might be easy to rectify the spirit and bring it to a much greater purity than we usually find it to be of: for it brings over in the distillation a very large quantity of the oil; and this is often so disagreeable, that the rum must be suffered to be by a long time to mellow before it can be used; whereas; if well rectified, it would grow mellow much sooner, and would have a much less potent flavour”.

The process has not changed too much. Rum enthusiasts still use traditional methods of judging the quality of rum by setting fire to a little of it. Then when all the inflammable content has burnt away, the phlegm left behind can be examined by smelling and tasting.

The all important “distillation” process

Good rum is almost always a product of a good distillation apparatus. The designs of distillation apparatus vary greatly in design but the principle remains the same. In most distillation apparatuses, the boiler is connected to the condensing coil to separate different substances from the rum. It removes the nasty tasting or potentially poisonous fractions from the mix to ensure that only the spirit reaches the main condenser.

For the most part, after straining takes place, the contents of the fermenter are introduced into the boiler. However, this seemingly simple step requires utmost care and precision because if the bottom gets too hot, the entire brew will be burnt and ruined. This is why the heat needs to be applied slowly. When the distillation apparatus gradually reaches the expected temperature and operates in full swing, the valve placed on the top tank is opened periodically to release its contents. This step is tricky and requires years of experience to perfect because the aim of the periodic release of the content is to remove the bad tasting stuff from the fine rum. Through trial and error, this step can be optimized. However, the high-tech fermenters and distillation apparatuses of today have automated this to produce near perfect, spiced rum that can be enjoyed at the end of a long day. The product is then filled into Rum bottles In the immortal words of a probably forgotten sailor “May your anchor be tight, your cork be loose, your rum be spiced and your compass be true”.

Ever since the David Attenborough's Blue Planet broadcasted the negative effects of plastic bottle consumption on sea life it seems like the hot topic on everyones minds in the packaging industry. Its interesting how one program can have such powerful influence. The likely outcome is that the subject will also become more talked about in the commons and trends will form to support the alternatives to plastic. The glass and aluminium industries aren't wasting any time on jumping on this bandwagon so you can expect more negative press in the future.

The Prime Minister has pledged to ban all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042. Some experts are now claiming that there isn’t an ocean that is free from plastic pollution and that it has even been found in uninhabited places like Antarctica.
It is estimated we contribute millions of tonnes of plastic into our oceans every year. The combination of the salt from the ocean and the UV light breaks down the plastic and releases toxins such as BPA and Phthalates and these chemicals are then absorbed by the marine life, which can work their way into the food chain and are thought to contribute to any number of illnesses.

Penzance is designated to be the first plastic - free town by ‘Surfers Against Sewage’. With their strong connection to the sea and their elements, they are setting up a plastic-free clinic to spread the word to get approved status of plastic free coastlines.

Trends have also reached supermarkets such as Iceland, who have set a time limit on phasing out plastic packaging used for their own brands, a move it says is supported by 80% of shoppers. Other supermarkets are now thought to be following suit, which will affect suppliers' future packaging options.
Milk in bottles is on the increase, as the British public rediscovers the joy of a fresh ‘retro’ pint delivered to your doorstep.

We have to look to the future and what is best for us, our children and the planet. It lasts a lot longer than plastic alternatives, more easily recyclable, better for the environment, reduces landfill and saves on energy on the plastic recycling processes. Up to 87% of all recycled glass can be reclaimed.

In the long run it saves money in all sorts of ways, as it is an all round one time investment in every aspect.

The harmful effects of plastic consumption has become one of the greatest environmental scourges of our time and may be as significant as climate change.
Glass means class. It is environmentally-friendly and the future. Plastic bottles are not.
The word on the street is that rum is the next Gin. Watch this space.