While glass bottles aren’t so common these days when it comes to soda, there’s a popular beverage that is still widely packaged in the stuff. Beer.
Glass is a wonderful storage medium for the amber fluid in that it doesn’t transfer a taste and can be recycled; but it is a very heavy material.
A bottle of beer weighs far more than a can and this extra weight makes a huge difference in transporting it. More weight = more fuel burned = more emissions. Imported bottled beer is even worse given the food miles involved. The recycling of glass is also more energy intensive than aluminum.
Enter the aluminum bottle.
I thought these aluminum bottles were a very new idea, but it seems that in 2004, CCL Container’s aluminum bottle was selected as one of BusinessWeek Magazine’s Best New Products. I had seen non-alcoholic beverages in silver containers in recent years, but just figured it to be silver plastic.
I’ve certainly become somewhat of a beverage Luddite.
It looks like aluminum bottles may be making some inroads into the beer market too. The bottles weigh a fraction of their glass counterparts and can be resealed.
As an ex-beer connoisseur, well, actually a drunk, I remember there being nothing worse than a flat beer, except maybe a flat beer with a cigarette butt in it. Not that it stopped me from drinking it though (butt or no butt).
With my highly developed beer buds, I could also tell you if the beer you served me came out of a glass bottle or an aluminum can. Beer definitely tastes better in glass. Not that it stopped me from drinking beer from a can either.
I’ve seen claims that beer in aluminum bottles also stays colder than in glass bottles. I don’t ever remember that being the case. Again, incorrect temperature didn’t stop my consumption :).
So, environmental benefits aside, it’s over to you aluminum bottled beer drinkers – since I’ve been on the wagon for so long and won’t even risk a test even though it is tempting at times; what’s the new generation of packaging like in relation to taste and temperature?