ATLANTA -- SweetWater Brewing Co.'s bottles are getting new curves and a new job.
The Atlanta-based brewery will release this week redesigned glass bottles and will now use a new bottle conditioning process for its beers.
The new bottle, made by Owens-Illinois Inc., features an original design complemented by bottle neck labels. (pictured on the right). The SweetWater logo is embossed twice on the shoulder of the bottle. Additionally, the brewery's motto – "Don't Float the Mainstream"– is molded in the lower label panel, creating a visual boundary supporting the paper label. The package takes cues from a traditional Belgian bottle profile, but adds to it by incorporating a water wave pattern to the new bulbous neck, giving the bottle a signature look while also connecting the brand to the water that is so vital to the brewery.
Conditioning is a natural method used to carbonate beer. Instead of mechanically forcing carbon dioxide into the brew, a carefully calculated amount of priming sugar and yeast is added to the beer immediately prior to packaging. With a small amount of yeast active in the beer, it consumes the residual sugars as well as any oxygen in the head space during a brief secondary fermentation stage, naturally ensuring fresher and more stable beer for longer periods. Once the beer is packaged and sealed, the gas cannot escape and is forced to dissolve into the beer, naturally carbonating it.
SweetWater began conditioning beers with the launch of cans in March of this year. Beginning with 420 Extra Pale Ale and India Pale Ale in aluminum this spring, the brewery teased bottle conditioning on the horizon. Now, the process will expand to include bottle brews launching with 420, then moving on to IPA and additional brands in the coming months.
"With our new expansion up-to-speed, we are finally at a place where we can now shift our focus from sustaining to evolving," said Freddy Bensch, founder of SweetWater Brewery. "Quality of product – and of life – have always been what we value most, so we we're thrilled to be at a place where we could make an investment in the advancement of our packaging and beer, ultimately delivering the freshest possible experience for our customers."