Flexible Packaging Enters Beer Segment: LG and Malt Supplier Muntons Partner with Rapak to Develop HomeBrew Machine
LG, Muntons and Rapak partnered to make craft beer brewing easier than ever. Base beer ingredients for the new machine are supplied in innovative flexible bags designed by Rapak, part of DS Smith Plastics.
When LG started working on their state-of-the-art home beer brewing machine, the company realized that one of the challenges was to find the right packaging for the beer ingredients.
The consumer had to receive 4 components separately: malt, which is the base, yeast, flavoring and hops oil. After a lot of thinking, LG had a breakthrough idea of supplying malt in extra resistant flexible bags and the latter 3 ingredients in capsules, using a coffee machine principle.
The next challenge was to find the right partner to design and manufacture a flexible bag that could withstand the beer fermentation process. LG selected DS Smith Plastics, Rapak, a leading global producer of Bag-in-Box flexible bags, as the reliable supplier with vast experience in liquids packaging and a proven track record in innovation.
Working closely with the customer, Rapak Europe was able to design the unique 5L flexible bag and the corresponding flexible bags filling equipment for the new HomeBrew machine. Rapak’s research and development was conducted at their innovation centre in Northampton, UK.
Our challenge was to develop a flexible bag that would prevent the gas from escaping and survive pressurization during the beer fermentation process. We also worked hard on the visual aspect of the bag to make it appealing for consumers. To achieve this goal, the bag was given a silver-coloured look and a special shape. — Tony Hoare, Technical Manager at Rapak Europe
Yavor Trifonov, Filling Systems Manager of Rapak Europe, adds: “The special shape of the bag implied a completely new Bag-in-Box filling process. We designed a custom machine for this application that fits the bag into a cardboard cylinder in which it is commercialized.”
When the consumer presses a button on the HomeBrew machine, hot water is mixed with the malt in the flexible bag and the capsules´ contents. Two weeks later, the beer is ready to drink. All base ingredients come from Muntons – a British malt producer and home-brewing company with 97 years of beer-making history.
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