It has long been the case that New Glarus Brewing Co.
beer is only found for sale in Wisconsin. But moving forward, the bottles the beer goes into will also be only from the Badger State.
New Glarus announced a partnership Tuesday for its glass bottles to be produced by Ardagh Group’s
Burlington production facility.
Production of New Glarus Brewing's glass beer bottles was previously done in other parts of the country by other companies.
“New Glarus Brewing Company is a proud supporter of Wisconsin manufacturing,” said Deb Carey, president of New Glarus Brewing Co. “We’re excited to bring this important manufacturing business home to Wisconsin.”
Glass bottle production represents one of the biggest costs for the brewer and the deal will result in about $6 million in business a year staying in the state of Wisconsin, said Steve Lyons, a spokesman for New Glarus. The company produces about 220,000 barrels of beer a year and at its peak in summer goes through 1 million bottles a week.
In addition to bottles, New Glarus sources its cans from Ball Corp.
in Fort Atkinson and boxes and packaging from Menash Packaging
Ardagh is a global leader in glass and metal packaging solutions and has 110 facilities in 22 countries. The Burlington facility employs 390 people and operates continuously seven days a week, 365 days a year. The plant averages 22 bottlers per second.
“Ardagh Group has a long history of serving the craft beer industry,” said Alex Robertson, chief commercial officer of Ardagh Group’s North American glass division. “We value our relationship with New Glarus Brewing, and are proud they choose to package their craft beer in bottles manufactured at our Burlington facility, just a mere 90 miles away from their brewery.”
The Burlington facility has been in operation for 50 years, but the new agreement won't result in any new hiring.
"The signing of this agreement with New Glarus Brewing Company combined with other customers serviced by this facility, allows the Burlington manufacturing plant to remain at full capacity,” Robertson said in an email.
Asked if it was common for Ardagh to shift production to different areas of the country to meet the needs of brewers, Robertson said the company realized it was a big deal for New Glarus.
“We knew it was important for New Glarus Brewing Company to have their glass bottles manufactured in Wisconsin, so we are pleased to have reached an agreement that ensures production of those bottles in our Burlington, Wis., facility,” he said.