MUNCIE, Ind. — Verallia North America was recently named the exclusive national beer bottle supplier for Lagunitas Brewing Company as a result of the craft brewery’s $25 million expansion. The nation’s sixth largest craft brewery is building a new 300,000 square-foot brew house 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.
According to the Brewers Association, Lagunitas Brewing Company is the nation’s sixth-largest craft brewery and 13th-largest American Brewery based on 2012 sales volume and is growing at more than 70 percent in the first quarter of 2013. The craft brewery was originally founded in 1993 by Chicago native Tony Magee in Lagunitas, California. The company currently operates a 160,000 square-foot brewery in Petaluma, Calif., producing more than 400,000 barrels a year, employs 260 people and exclusively uses glass to bottle its beer. After the $25 million Chicago plant is complete toward the end of 2013, Lagunitas Brewing Company will employ 350 workers and will initially have capacity to produce 600,000 barrels 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 Company. “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.”
Lagunitas is well known for its inventive beer styles, award-winning package designs, dedication to sustainable packaging and tongue-in-cheek marketing campaigns. The craft brewery is building a new $25 million 300,000 square-foot brewing plant in Chicago ultimately capable of producing more than 1,700,000 barrels a year (52.7 million gallons). 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 US 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.
“Everyone at Verallia North America is excited to be part of this high-growth chapter in Lagunitas Brewing Company’s success story. This is a strong relationship because our companies are both passionate about the success of the craft beer industry, operating environmentally-friendly businesses and offering the market innovative, relevant products. We also leverage each other’s strengths. For instance, Verallia North America lends Lagunitas a legacy of glass packaging expertise and access to a national production and distribution infrastructure, while Lagunitas shares its contagious entrepreneurial spirit and intuitive ability to predict and influence marketplace behavior. It’s been a wonderful success story and we’re honored to serve such an important role in Lagunitas’ future.”
About Verallia North America
Verallia North America, one of the leading glass container manufacturers in the United States, designs, develops and produces glass bottles and jars for the wine, beer, beverage, spirits and food containers markets. Verallia North America has approximately 4,400 employees and operates 13 plants, a state-of-the-art machine shop and a distribution center. In 2012, Verallia North America manufactured approximately 9 billion glass bottles and jars and had sales of $1.6 billion.