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Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by lakestclairgoose, Mar 16, 2013.
Damn if that thing doesn't look like a bong in that picture...
Couple points. What is the pouch material? Most of the flexible packages I know, including the various drink boxes, are multi-layered material. One of those layers is an oxygen barrier to prevent oxygen transmission through the material. As far as I know, multiple layers render the package non-recyclable because the materials are mixed, so less material but still something of a disposal issue. It is great packaging for many reasons, just curious about some of the details. Apologize for the clumsy ipad edit of your well-reasoned post.
Beer Balls lasted nearly 30 years in the market - from the early '80's to just a few years ago, when AB dropped them. F.X. Matt was the original user of them, with Genesee, Hudepohl, Shiner, and, I imagine, a number other breweries besides AB and Coors. Probably not considered a "miserable failure" by the breweries who sold a lot of beer in them.
Were they sold as a single packaged unit or did you just change the beer out and kept the dispensing unit for future balls?
You bought the taping unit - "under $10" according to a 1987 article about Genesee and F. X. Matt's upstate NY competition selling them (Genny was offering a $5 rebate on a tap when bought with a Ball - no expiration date noted on the offer!).
Your post offers superb questions, similar to what we asked ourselves before we ever tried this BeerPouch. We did some testing for these guys on prototypes early on, and while I am not the best source for all this info, my wife is a confirmed granola head, and she hit me hard with environmental questions when we started testing them. In a nutshell, here is what I found out:
Give these pouches the 3 R test: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Aside from the RE USE issue , which is pretty clear when you hold one of these in your hands - these BeerPouches are tough (I can stand on one) and regularly reused by our customers. Source REDUCTION is an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT factor in the green aspects of all modern packaging. Since these packages take far less material to produce than an average container, there just isn't much left to dispose of when you are done. Contrary to popular belief, the material in this package is clearly RECYCLEABLE. Bolderdash! she said....so here is a very good video on pouch packaging. There is a huge amount of misinformation going on about this technology, particularly in the states where we are pretty far behind Asia and Europe in adaptation of this breakthrough.
Essentially, pouches (even metallized ones like this BeerPouch) are now indeed recyclable and an exciting range of new products are made from ground up remains of these doodads. New technology welcomes this package as a breakthrough for the future, and many items including building materials are made from this structure. It is often said that these new versions of aseptic pouches amount to the greenest form of commercial packaging in the world.
As far as the laminated material in this individual BeerPouch, to quote the brochure it is a "proprietary combination of layers which does include a barrier layer of aluminum", however we discovered that it is a FRACTION of the amount you would find in a can of equal volume (something like a 40th) greatly reducing the requirement for the bauxite you would need to make an aluminum can.
We see the BeerPouch changing the face of carbonated beverage packaging worldwide, just as this technology has revolutionized packaging other products. Tunafish, beverages, motor oil, spices, base ingredients, you cannot walk an aisle of the grocery store and not see other products that have made the switch from cans and bottles to pouches. Anyone who has ever had tuna from a pouch would likely swear off tuna in a can based on the quality of the product.
There will always be naysayers, there will always be those who arbitrarily denounce what they do not understand. History is full of folks who missed the bus. For us, we want fresh tasting beer that is not oxygenated in the hands of our customers, and glass growlers are notoriously bad for beer. There is no question that the BeerPouch is an improvement on the standard. Early adapters know it now, and eventually those who FIRST demand a quality product for their customers will come around.
Your intelligent questions were certainly refreshing.
In closing, it is funny as hell for us to hear folks without the first experience with this package talk about how it must be bad because it is not the same old technology they know about...Maybe they forget that originally beer was sold in buckets and crock pottery. Makes me wonder if there were naysayers back then who said: "NEWFANGLED GLASS BOTTLES? NEVER!" Cheers~
It is safe to say, that when a product with a long standing success rate and major market penetration swaps their cans for pouches and then picks up an immediate sales increase of 18%, there is a reason pouches are used in the marketplace.
Naysayers will be frothing at the new breakthroughs in packaging, but it is not done for no reason...freshness, ecological benefits and cost. Win, win, win...
I mean the refillable growler thrown out above a dozen times look enticing....I could bring beer to the beach, no glass!
Uhhhhh wouldn't this allow lots of light and oxygen to hit the beer and skunk it. Would never buy beer this way.
Traditional: do you fill them yourself? How does it compare to a bottling or canning line?
I question this because I saw a WHOLE explosion of pouch pet foods a few years back, every brand and non-brands started producing cat foods in pouches. But, they.weren't.actually.producing them. They were just branding pouches from a company called, "menu foods." And the SHIT HIT THE FAN when all of that food got recalled.
And, now you see the same stupid explosion in these pouches in baby foods, all these name brands and non-brands (seriously, like ella's kitchen has the startup money for that...) Probably it's menu foods just branding the same old thing in a package.
...or you could pass along some of the savings to your customers and reduce your selling price, and still realize higher profits than using traditional packaging.
Win - Win!
No, we can tell you it's nothing like that at all.
We do fill them, and have been for years. BeerPouch is nothing like some big corp. The service is personal and they are reasonable to work with. We know these guys personally and have been through their prototypes and upgrades for years, even seen their small batch brewery. Certainly no question that this is a homegrown project from a small company in Alaska, it has absolutely nothing to do with some conglomerate. These guys are brewers and liquor store/bar owners who built the product so that small Alaska based breweries could have a chance to get on the shelf without amortizing the cost of a bottling line over time. Now they are offering their innovation to the public. The growlers are easy to fill, we use a turbotap and it keeps the Co2 in solution. They are building high speed filling machines now and we expect to test one within a month. These are now popping up in small breweries around the world. All they do is sell the pouches to brewers, they don't compete with their own clients. Hope that helps.
They are building high speed filling machines now and we expect to test one within a month. These are now popping up in small breweries around the world. All they do is sell the pouches to brewers, they don't compete with their own clients. Hope that helps.
yes, it does help, thanks so much for thoughtfully replying to my question. If it offers a way for small beers to get into liquor stores, I think that's great. :-)
This beer would be flat, or more likely gone, before the light could skunk it.
cans and bottles aren't biodegradable either
As much as I think cans are a bad idea this is a much worse idea. Most cans use BPA. I have to say I'm excited to hear about Sam Cans and hope they don't use BPA since Jim Koch has made his views about BPA known. I have to admit there are some good things about cans the biggest one being that you can fit more in a cooler and their less breakable and if I want to drink from a glass I can still pour the beer out. Pouches I'm guessing will use BPA but even if that doesn't bother you who wants to drink their beer from a straw I don't think I've ever seen anyone do it and I'd guess you won't get the same flavor. On top of that pouches break very easily just think if one of your drunk friends sits on one in your car what a mess that will be to clean up as for the environment think of how many juice pouches you see in public parks this is a terrible idea.
OK, how about this: If you are drinking Tsingtao out of a plastic bag your main concern in life is not lightstruck beer.
I dunno about coors light, but Budweiser/Bud Light beer balls were EXTREMELY popular at college parties in Boston. You get beer on tap, you can buy as many as you want and you dont need to sign any paperwork so Boston PD wont visit your "gathering".
Dont get me wrong, i would never buy a beer ball now but to say they were a miserable failure would be an overstatement.
You evidently have never seen these BeerPouches before. Here is a picture for you. The brewers who developed this pouch thought of all this stuff ahead of you. They are absolutely BPA free, the contact layer is completely flavor neutral even over time, they are so strong I can stand on them. It is ridiculous to assume the worst having never tried a BeerPouch in your life. They are screw top pouches and you need no straw, they also have a gusseted bottom and do not fall over as easy as a can or bottle. This is a far greener solution than a bottle or can. Sometimes, it is preferable to have a micron of experience before you expound a pound of opinion. I admit, I was skeptical too...but I TRIED THEM...Now I know from customer demand and my own experience that this is indeed the beer package of the future. No light, no oxygen means fresher beer. Economical, ecological, this is the solution to the problems faced by bottles and cans. Simple.
I'll admit I've never tried them but the OP compared them to juice pouches which aren't strong and have many flaws but maybe that was a bad comparison. I have to question when you say their popular since I've never seen one are they legal? I'm guessing their not since I have never seen one.
Distributed all over the world. Made with FDA approved materials. * Taken from the Bottless.org web site in Oregon. This is not your granddaddys capri sun. This is a new breed of pouch for brewers who demand flavor and protection for fine ales not found in bottles or cans. This is the solution to problems faced by the current standard.
Ha, you could drink the beer and then reuse it as a trucker's buddy - "Snowman, you got your ears on?"
Pouch? Never. Sipee cup? Maybe.
Sorry everyone, took my hyperbole pills that day apparently.
but they WERE extremely popular. when's the last time you've seen one? doesn't exactly sound like a success story either.
First thanks for correcting some stuff but I went to beerpouch.com and looked at some stuff first you say made with FDA materials this didn't really answer my question since the FDA has approved BPA so my question is do they use it? They have only tested it for 7 months while this would be fine for many beers but I love RIS and I age some more than 7 months will it hold up for possibly 4-5 years? That said if the answer is NO BPA and will last me 5 years without affecting flavor I'd love the idea. Lastly please don't call good beer fine ale I don't want to see beer become like wine!!!
Your questions are good. You sound like us when we first saw them.
Absolutely no BPA in the package. This is verified on their site and all their promo materials. We know these guys and they are strong on making this ideal for brewers. I assure you, if we didn't make certain of this BPA thing, my wife would have killed me...she is a bit on the treehugger side.
This latest version of the beerpouch is far stronger in construction than we have ever seen, and the customers love them.
To answer your question, I rarely see people put beer in Glass growlers to lay them down for a while, but unlike a bottle, the pouch has no airspace. You see, we wetseal these pouches by squeezing all the air out, and quickly tightening the cap down on the fluid, with no airspace in the container.
If you don't have air, you are pretty hard pressed to have oxygen present in the package, and we all know that is one fine thing to do for your beer.
They have upgraded through the years, and the newest version for sale today is strong, but has not yet been on the market for the time period you mentioned. If you are interested, we were notified a few weeks back that they are testing a fully biodegradable version with hopes to release it next October.
In closing, I always try to give the nod to the talented craft brewers when possible. Unsung hero's these...Considering the appreciation I have for the wares of some of my fellow brewers, I believe the quality of a good many are indeed "good beers" as you say. However, if you put your heart and soul into your brewing, and some tasteful magic of chemistry should occur...these "fine ales" should AT LEAST be held within a container that will eliminate the basic enemies of beer: light and oxygen. Otherwise, isn't that a little like having wolves tend your sheep? Bottles allow light, and every one I've seen has airspace.