Beer that “fits the hand” – The design process of a special beer bottle


The young Brazilian consumers are open to new and innovative packages and products. The latest innovation comes with the launch of Summer Draft beer.

At the time the summer period which accounts for about 40% of total sales in this segment, starts (southern hemisphere) Cervejarias Kaiser introduces Summer Draft beer in a special long neck. The draft beer is a Pilsner, light and refreshing, with low fermentation, a slightly bitter flavour, a bright colour with 4.7% alcohol content. The beer is double-filtered and made from special hops that are more resistant to UV radiation. That is the reason that Kaiser Summer Draft could be introduced into the market in a clear transparent 355 ml glass bottle.
The result: a beer, presented in a very special designed bottle, with a mild and medium sweet taste that typically must be savoured ice cold.

In general the blogosphere classifies Summer Draft in terms of taste and quality from reasonable to good, albeit one blogger writes: “My German uncle once said when tasting Summer Draft: In Germany we wash our cars with this!”
All right Summer Draft. Summer Draft is brewed by Femsa. FEMSA (acronym for Fomento Económico Mexicano SA) is a Mexican beverage company. Since January 2006 when it acquired Cervejarias Kaiser, the group operates in Brazil under the name Femsa Cerveja Brasil. Kaiser was purchased from the Canadian multinational Molson, which owns still 15% of the shares. Heineken controls 17% in this company.
The Brazilian beer portfolio includes brands such as Kaiser, Sol, Bavaria, Xingú, Santa Cervo, Summer Draft and Heineken. The group consists of thirty bottling plants, 235 distribution centres, 64 soft drink brands, 15 beer brands and employs some 56 thousand people in the nine countries where it operates, including Brazil.
FEMSA, the world’s second largest Coca-Cola bottler, operates in Brazil the world’s largest (in terms of production capacity) Coca-Cola bottling plant in the city of Jundiaí in the federal state of São Paulo.

The long-neck Summer Draft bottle has a height of 227 mm and a diameter of 62 mm and weighs, filled with 355 ml, 602 grams and is made of blow moulded flint glass, which has in addition to about 62% quartz a high content of lead oxide (about 24%), which gives the material a relatively high density of 3.5 to 4.8 gr/cm3.

The product is truly innovative; the design of the bottle with its anatomical contours gives consumers the feeling of a “handshake” as it fits perfectly in the hand, with recesses for the fingers and thumb. Exactly the way you hold a bottle when bringing it to your mouth.

The blow moulded flint glass bottle and the two self-adhesive transparent labels, both developed by Dil Brands, show the golden liquid in combination with the vividness of the silver and the graphics in black. The ‘S’-curve on a ‘clean’ forefront and the diagonal lines represent the new visual identity of Summer Draft.

DIL Brands specializes in the packaging design and branding. With 42 years experience in the Brazilian market, the company has offices in São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile. It also is represented in New York, Amsterdam, London and Barcelona, as a result of partnerships with Bridge Design and Coleman Schmidlin. DIL Brands designed products for companies like Unilever, Nestlé and Parmalat.

The challenge for Dil Brands in this case was to create a new visual ‘look’ for Summer Draft (design of the bottle and the labels), with the aim to rejuvenate the brand. The package had to have a modern look and differentiate on the store shelves; it had to stand at the centre of attention.

The ultimate design is a modern asymmetrical shape which allows for easy grip in all conditions. DIL chooses an iconic image for the label. The reverse printed label on the back of the bottle gives an impression of a three-dimensional effect in combination with the front label. The combination of the label and the bottle creates a truly innovative and modern look for Summer Draft.

The accompanying photographs show the development process from the old Summer beer bottle to the modern Summer Draft bottle.
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© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman

3 responses to “Beer that “fits the hand” – The design process of a special beer bottle

  1. Pingback: Excellence in Packaging » Blog Archive » Multi-pack Combines Two Seemingly Inconsistent Bottles·

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