Crown is an innovative metal packaging solutions provider. The company produces a wide range of metal packing services for customers in markets as diverse as the food and beauty industries, engineering everything from candy tins to makeup cases. The company also works with a lot of beverage companies, including craft brewers. Brewery Ommegang is a good example.
To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Cooperstown, N.Y.-based Brewery Ommegang partnered with Crown Speciality Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings Inc., to craft an elegant metal package to hold 750-ml bottles of Ommegang XV Reserve Ale, a Belgian-style Trappist dark ale.
The sleek, black cylindrical container mirrors the final design of the bottle’s labeling, stands out on store shelves and serves as a collector’s item, extending the brand’s exposure long after consumption of the beer itself. It was critical to Ommegang that the package communicated the exclusivity of the special 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 specialty packaging, it is the first time we tried something like this for a beer,” said Larry Bennett, PR and creative services at Brewery Ommegang. “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, a strong partnership was essential. The two companies worked closely together from the outset to conceptualize and develop a simple but striking container that captured the elegance and quality of the Ommegang brand. Adding to the challenge was the fact that the metal package needed to reflect the branding and final artwork that had already been developed for the label on the bottle that would be housed inside the container. Crown first 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 also vital to the process. During the design process, multiple draw-downs were created, including variations in blacks, grays, 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 at 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.