Bottling is Painful – John Wilkinson and Liz Cohen, Bin to Bottle

The Art of Labeling: Why Millimetres Matter – Jessica Tuteur, President & General Manager, Infinity Bottling
August 10, 2020

John Wilkinson (Left) and Liz Cohen (Right) of Bin to Bottle

Bottling is Painful – No-one Really Likes the Bottling Process

John Wilkinson, Managing Partner, and Liz Cohen, Logistics Manager, of Bin to Bottle kindly gave us some time to share their perspective on bottling and how to ensure we make the process as painless as possible.

 

Here’s what we discussed:

 

“No-one really enjoys the bottling process. It is a necessity,” said John Wilkinson. “At the end of the day all the hard work that has gone into the vintage comes down to getting the bottling and labeling right.” Yet, many don’t do the pre-planning work necessary to having a smooth and painless bottling process. And, often time there is a big disconnect between the desire and the reality when it comes to timeline and the design of the various components that need to come together.

 

Bottling has Lots of Moving Parts – Coordination is Key

Bottling has many components. The bottle, the label, the cork, the foil, the screwcap, and of course, the human factor…

 

Planning and timing are key. For you to keep to your timeline you need to coordinate with 3, 4, some times more, vendors to have all the components come together at the same time. Otherwise, you can lose your bottling date and/or the delayed process ends up costing money you don’t have in your budget.

 

To avoid untoward delays and headaches, Liz Cohen recommends you follow this process:

  1. Keep, or download, an inventory checklist (Bin to Bottle supplies this to their clients.)
  2. Plan ahead.
  3. Follow up with your vendors. Don’t assume anything.
  4. Build in a buffer to your timeline. Even if all the components arrive in a timely manner, there can be issues on the production line.

 

Even if Everything Arrives on Time You’re Not at the Finish Line

As Liz explains, “There are many examples of the little things that can hold up the finished product. We’ve seen them all. Here are a few…”

 

  1. The moisture in the air that day is not conducive to labeling.
  2. The temperature of the beverage is not conducive to bottling.
  3. Slightly crooked bottle necks or glass imperfections not discernable to the naked eye.
  4. Improper label storage has resulted in the glue degrading.
  5. The corks are not adequately coated, causing them to stick.
  6. The foils are the wrong size – causing wrinkling or improper fitting over the bottle neck.

 

Liz concluded with this, “As John said at the beginning, bottling can be painful. But working with a partner who educates you on the ins and outs of the process, what to watch out for, and comes up with solutions is critical,” Liz concluded. “Bottling shouldn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. It should be a celebration of bringing your product to the consumer.”