Growlers, pints, shaker pints, mugs, steins, pilsner, weizen, snifters – there are many ways to slice it, but glassware is the second most important ingredient to your taproom.
Glassware is a special category. First off, it’s breakable. Anyone who’s ever seen Roadhouse will tell you that special care with packaging and shipping are important.
Here are the main factors to consider when buying glassware for your craft brewery:
Shape: The shape of glassware influences gas retention and head development. And different shapes have considerations of cost variance and storage needs.
There’s been a lot of chatter about the most common craft beer glassware, the Shaker Pint, often criticized because it aids the escape of gases and aromas. Though, depending on the style of beer and your use case, it might be the best fit for your application. We have heard the Sam Adams Perfect Pint style is a potential substitute.
Another reason for the Shaker pint popularity is its affordability. Though, it doesn’t work for all beer styles, so brewers need to think through the application to find the best fit.
Some other options to consider are the Nonic or Tulip pint (offers head retention and stacking options). The German tumbler is a treat, too.
Dishwasher-safe glassware is also a consideration, but since there is a tendency for residue, which may affect flavor, this really becomes a bigger conversation about how holistic a taproom wants to be in order to deliver on its beer promise.
Decorations: Your design makes a difference during the decoration process. Single color designs offer the fastest and easiest production via screen printing. It also reduces potential for registration errors. Intricate glassware designs require a more complex decorating technique which delivers much higher quality, but will cost more and require a longer production time.
Adding colors and print locations (front & back) increase the time and costs, as well, but it will also curate a more intimate and branded experience with your beer.
Quantity: Volume is your friend when it comes to purchasing glassware. Like most brewery merchandise, buying at higher volume lowers costs per unit. Brewers need to be buying these in the thousands in order to begin earning real savings.
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