Verallia North America is one of the leading glass container manufacturers in the United States. In 2012, Verallia North America manufactured approximately 9 billion glass bottles and jars and had sales of $1.6 billion. Those numbers will only get bigger, as Verallia North America was recently named the exclusive national beer bottle supplier for Lagunitas Brewing Co. at its new $25 million expansion brewhouse in Chicago.
The nation’s sixth largest craft brewery is building a new 300,000-square foot brewery in Chicago, which will nearly quadruple its annual production capacity. Long-time supplier, Verallia North America, is prepared to produce, stock and supply the fast-growing brewery with enough 12-ounce Heritage and 22-ounce Bomber glass beer bottles to meet demand. After the $25 million Chicago plant is complete (toward the end of 2013), Lagunitas Brewing will employ 350 workers and will initially have capacity to produce 600,000 barrels (bbls) annually. Verallia North America has been directly supplying Lagunitas with glass beer bottles since 2007.
“Lagunitas Brewing Company couldn’t have reached this pivotal point without the strength and support of Verallia, in particular,” stated Tony Magee, founder and chief executive officer of Lagunitas Brewing. “The company took a big risk on us, years ago, when we first started buying our glass beer bottles direct — well before OEMs were even talking to brewers of our size. Together, we’ve made tectonic change in the perceptions, practices and supplier relationships within the craft brewing industry.
“Our close working relationship with Verallia has been the single most significant contributing factor to Lagunitas’ ability to accommodate its historic sales growth, basic operational efficiency and ultimately its profitability. We’re on a lightning-fast growth trajectory and we give a lot of credit to Verallia. We are confident in our expansion plans because we have a strong proponent in Verallia to help ensure consistency, quality and accountability across the organization, production and product line.”
As the brewery grows, it plans to leverage Verallia North America’s flexible production runs and order sizes to quickly introduce new products and respond to market demand. With an annual average of more than 5 billion glass beer bottles produced from its 13 U.S. plants, Verallia North America is well positioned to meet Lagunitas’ growing needs.
“We’ve been embedded in America’s beer culture for nearly 125 years,” said Clint Gawart, director of sales for Verallia North America’s Beer Sector. “Our glass beer bottles have quietly given rise to some of the industry’s biggest brands in the traditional beer sector, and in more recent years, they have served as the foundation for craft brews with some of the largest followings, most recognizable flavors and most distinguished awards. Craft brewing in America is on the rise. Last year, this entrepreneurial market grew by 15 percent in volume as compared to 1 percent growth in the overall beer sector. Verallia North America is committed to playing just as visible of a role in the craft beer category as we have historically with traditional beer.”