Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Beer Packaging-Bottles and such

From a tweet this morning came this link to beer packaging.

In early November, I had an opportunity to visit Copenhagen, which inevitably led to a visit to the Carlsberg Brewery. Carlsberg is an enormous brewery with a global reach and not the sort of brewery that would find its way into a blog on craft brands and local festivals. However, Carlsberg stands out in packaging because of their rather incredible museum of tens of thousands of beer bottles from around the world.

A visit to the original brewery, now more museum, but with a pilot brewery for their specialty beers, reveals a rich history. You might say the same for Anheuser-Busch, too. And, Carlsberg has horses, Jutland horses, whose original use as dray beasts of burden probably pre-dates the Clydesdales. These stout pony-horses are sized for a European capital and easily as charming as the US version. But, I digress.

Carlsberg, expansive as they are, are protectors of their brand even as they expand it and have a keen sense of history. They also have a keen sense of science and an early "open source" sensibility about its use. Their lab or research center, still operating on the site in the outskirts of Copenhagen, has pioneered a number of innovations. Rather than keep those innovations to themselves only, the founders believed that they should be shared. Even with competitors.

Enjoy this diversion to macro-beer land and visit the brewery if you ever find yourself in Copenhagen.