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Hey, bud — this brewski in a wooden bottle is for you
Denmark's Carlsberg may have found a way to make its suds stand out from the crowd
(A native of England, Matthew Diebel is a veteran journalist who has worked at NBC News, Time, USA Today and News Corp., among other organizations. Having spent his childhood next to one of the world's fastest bodies of water, he is particularly interested in tidal energy.)
In a crowded market, beer manufacturers constantly strive to make their products stand out, leading to slogans from the suggestive — that Heineken (HEINY) “refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach” — to the boastful, such as Molson Coors’ (TAP) Miller High Life claiming that it is “The Champagne of Beers.”
Another somewhat boastful beer was Denmark’s Carlsberg (CABGY), which advertised itself as “Probably the best beer in the world,” with the “Probably” part seeming to echo typical Scandinavian modesty. Then in 2019, the company did a U-turn, saying its product was “Probably NOT the best beer in the world,” an eye-catching phrase touting the fact that they were improving their brew.
Well, now Carlberg has come up with another way to differentiate itself: In a pilot project, it is distributing its blond brewski in a wood-fiber bottle lined with a plant-based polymer called PEF, which the company says “is made entirely from natural raw materials, is compatible with plastic recycling systems, and can degrade into nature should it end up outside national recycling systems.”
According to a news release, the polymer has been central to the initiative. “Identifying and producing PEF as a competent functional barrier for beer has been one of our greatest challenges — so getting good test results, collaborating with suppliers and seeing the bottles being filled on the line is a great achievement!”
American consumers will have to wait for such breathless excitement, however, because the pilot will see 8,000 of the bottles first “being sampled in eight Western European markets: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Poland, Germany and France.”
If it does reach these shores, though, get ready for a bonus beyond feeling good about the bio-packaging. “This shell has the added benefit of insulative properties which can help keep beer colder for longer, compared to cans or glass bottles,” adds the announcement.
With this hot weather, we’ll drink to that.