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EARL marries elegance with sustainability

A new design by glassmaker O-I proves that UK craft distillers do not have to compromise on sustainability to achieve a luxury positioning for their small batch gins.

The new EARL bottle offers the apothecary shape preferred by gin-makers, providing all the elegance they seek without the exceptionally heavy base. This results in a 600g container, creating a weight saving of 25% on the typical craft gin bottle. The tall neck and flat, cork mouth finish are also features valued by craft distillers.

O-I UK country director Jim Rankine says: "The development accords with O-I’s customer-centric approach to respond to customer needs. “Craft gin is a boom market for distillers. A recent survey showed 35 new distilleries opened in England last year and a further 18 in Scotland. These new distillers need low volume, high quality, premium style glass packaging. We believe it’s much better to supply these bottles here in the UK rather than as imports and that’s exactly the niche the EARL bottle will fit into.”

O-I has been determined to provide distillers with as much variety as it can. It will produce the EARL range in Scotland in amber, black, green, blue, white flint and extra flint (ultra-clear) glass – a wider range of colours than made by any other glassmaker in the UK for this kind of container.

Paul McLavin, marketing and product development lead for O-I UK, says: "The boom in craft gins is being driven by Millennials, seeking authentic, locally sourced products. As such, sustainability of the packaging is a vital factor. Craft spirit is premium, but it is also important that it is sustainable. The generations who have popularised craft spirits are the same ones who put sustainability near the top of their value sets.” A pure product is also near the top of their agenda and the inert nature of glass means that the consumer receives precisely the same, great tasting gin which was created by the connoisseur distillers across the country.

EARL provides the feel-good factor and great taste they are looking for in an aristocratic package.

For more information on EARL and O-I’s other support for the craft spirits market, contact Louise Cairns in O-I Sales on 01259 218822 or e-mail

31 July 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor