Glass vs. Aluminum for Beverage Bottling

By Adam Simpson
Adam Simpson
Adam Simpson
December 3, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

In recent years, there has been an emergence of aluminum bottles entering the beverage market. There has also been controversy on which is better for the consumer, aluminum or glass. Both are recyclable and offer benefits to the manufacturer. However, if you own a beverage company, which material is the best option for bottling, marketing and selling your tasty beverages?

Colder Fast, Colder Longer

There have been several studies done on which bottling material is the best option for cooling beverages and keeping them cool. What these show is the difference in glass and aluminum bottles comes down to their basic nature. Glass is an insulator, while aluminum is a conductor. Although both perform very similar in both the cool down and warming phases, there are a few differences says Meheen Manufacturing, a craft beer bottling manufacturer.

Colder fast. Aluminum relays cold quicker to the beverage inside due to its conductor ability. For those who prefer a container that will get their beverage cold quicker, aluminum would be the better choice.

Colder longer. Since glass insulates, beverages stay colder longer in glass bottles. For those who want their beverage to stay cold on a hot day, glass will do the job better.

Does Taste Differ in Aluminum vs Glass Bottles?

Taste is difficult to quantify, making the question of whether aluminum or glass bottles are better for beverages difficult to determine. There have been attempts to create controlled studies on all types of beverage containers for taste comparisons. For the most part, it is agreed that glass does seem to have an edge over its aluminum and plastic counterparts. However, many people in the studies could not tell the difference between glass and aluminum bottled beverages when given a blind taste test.

Choosing the Right Bottling Method for Your Beverage

When it comes to bottling and selling a beverage, the choice of materials is not as important as the beverage itself. While both glass and aluminum will transport your beverage to market, the biggest concern should be the quality of beverage and how it is bottled. Carbonation and sealing methods will have a larger impact on your beverage’s taste than the container, so it is important to choose a bottling method that will best preserve the beverage in whatever container you choose.

It is essential for any beverage company to invest in bottling equipment that will help control carbonation and fill capacities while still preserving the quality profile of the beverage. If the bottling process fails, what type bottle the beverage is put into will not matter.

For most beverage companies, glass bottles are the standard choice since most consumers assume that glass offers the best taste. However, aluminum bottles do offer a dynamic appearance compared to glass that may be a good choice for niche marketing or special product lines. In the end, it is always what is in the bottle that matters the most, so choosing the best equipment to preserve flavor should be the main focus for any beverage company.

Adam Simpson