Contract Bottling Solutions

UPDATE (July 2017):
Since the time of writing the article below, Irish bottling companies have appeared. These guys will come to your brewery with bottles and will bottle and even label your beer for you.

Original Article (May 2015):

You can bottle condition and label your own beer. Its relatively straight forward, and a perfectly good way to get your beer to market.

However, to professionally bottle and label clear sediment free beer is entirely a different story. As of right now, we don't sell these solutions directly; but we can refer you to companies that do.

Its possible to ship your beer (and labels) in an IBC (a big plastic container) to a bottling plant in the UK for:
- conditioning,
- filtering,
- carbonation,
- bottling,
- labeling, and
- packaging (including bar coding, ready for a supermarket shelf).

The cost of the equipment required to do this runs into hundreds of thousands of Euros. So its can make more sense to outsource it. Unfortunately we are not aware of any Irish solution, so you must ship your beer all the way to the UK which is expensive.

After lots of research, we have found the solution below. Please note that costs are approximate, and should be used as a guide only.

The minimum viable volume process goes as follows:
- fill an IBC with 850 litres of fresh young beer and ship it to the UK,
- they will condition your beer which takes a couple of weeks,
- then they will filter, carbonate, bottle, label, and pack 500 ml bottles into either 8 or 12 pack plastic wrapped cardboard trays,
- and then you must ship back the 2 pallets of bottled beer plus the empty IBC.

So that's a total of 4 pallets going over and back to the UK at about 94 Euros per pallet. You get back a total of 1680 by 500 ml labeled bottles. And the approximate cost of this is 0.55 cents per bottle. Lets add 5 cents for the labels to give:
- 1680 by 500 ml labeled bottlesat Euro 0.60 per bottle (including the bottles, caps, labels, packaging etc).

The total transport charge is going to be about 376 euros, so this will add another 0.22 Euro per bottle.

So the total cost of getting your beer bottled for a supermarket shelf is going to end up at around 0.82 Euro per 500 ml bottle.