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Anniversary brew given sleek black container

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Cooperstown, NY-based Brewery Ommegang packaged its 750ml bottles of Ommegang XV Reserve Ale in metal containers by Crown Speciality Packaging. The sleek, black cylindrical container mirrors the design of the bottle labels and provides in-store standout.

It was critical to Ommegang that the package communicated the exclusivity of the Belgian-Style Trappist Dark Ale ale, but also represented the quality of all the company’s products.  To make sure this vision was delivered, Ommegang turned to Crown, the company’s existing provider of crown closures, for its expertise in packaging specialty products.

“While spirits and wines are commonly found in speciality packaging, it is the first time we tried something like this for a beer,” said Ommegang’s PR Larry Bennett. “The anniversary tins made sure that our brand stood out on the shelf with a clean and truly original look.”

With a short lead-time to bring the project to fruition, Crown provided a series of samples, including tubular designs that demonstrated the different ways that Ommegang might approach the project. This enabled the brewer to make a selection that could incorporate the colors and finishes that best represented the brand’s image.

Close collaboration on artwork was vital to the process. During the design process, multiple draw-downs were created, including variations in blacks, greys, golds and other metallic sheens. Overlays were then added to the mix to determine the most appealing combination. The development process then moved to the prototyping stage where, rather than relying solely on digital representations, Crown provided a series of designs and artwork samples printed on flat metal sheets so Ommegang could more accurately visualize – and interact with – the final product.

“Working with an existing customer on a completely new format for a beverage was a terrific experience as we were able to leverage our strong relationship while providing insight that Crown has developed over the years across a breadth of markets,” said Sheila Heath, director of marketing, Crown Speciality Packaging North America. “The end result was a commemorative container that truly distinguishes Brewery Ommegang as a specialty brewer.”

Crown produced 20,000 units for the one-off release, which was distributed throughout North America. Based on the success of the packaging in the marketplace, Brewery Ommegang is now hopeful it will offer, in the future, other limited edition beer in speciality packaging tins for beer connoisseurs.

13 March 2013 - Felicity Murray