An IPA-filled holiday

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery released a hop-tastic collection of its off-centered ales in one special box: the IPAs for the Holidays variety 12-pack. Featuring an assortment of India Pale Ale goodness, IPAs for the Holidays features the following varieties: Sixty One, a 12-pack exclusive, the IPA is an amalgamation of best-selling 60 Minute with added Syrah grape to create an IPA with equal parts fruity complexity and pungent hoppiness; 60 Minute IPA, a continually hopped East Coast IPA brewed with a slew of Northwest hops for a powerful but balanced citrusy hop character; 90 Minute IPA, a continually hopped Imperial IPA with a powerful malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate for a pungent, not crushing flavor; and Indian Brown Dark IPA, a boisterous brown ale meets well-hopped IPA is brewed with aromatic dark malt, organic brown sugar and dry-hopped, the company says. While diverse in bitterness and body, the IPAs for the Holidays 12-pack unifies with vibrant aromas and intense hop flavors that emphasize Dogfish Head’s commitment to hopping innovation, creativity and experimentation in brewing, along with its dedication to always using fresh culinary ingredients in its beers, it adds.

Tradition inspired

Patrón Tequila introduced this year’s Patrón Silver 1-liter limited-edition bottle. The third in a series of collectible large-size bottle designs for the holidays, Patrón Silver is inspired by Mexico’s tradition of vibrant ceramic and textile folk art, the company says. The brightly colored pewter bottle label on this year’s special-edition release features Patrón’s iconic bee design and depicts elements of Patrón’s meticulous production process, including renderings of the native weber blue agave from which Patrón is created, the razor-sharp ax used to chop the harvested agave and the traditional “tahona” stone used to crush the cooked agave, beginning the fermentation and distillation process, it says. The bottle is topped with an intricately designed metallic stopper, mirroring the detailed aesthetic of the label, and is packaged in a green gift bag, reminiscent of Patrón Silver’s signature box. “Patrón is always one of the most-gifted spirits during the holidays, and our limited-edition large size bottle has become something that people look forward to every year, both as a gift for someone special and for holiday entertaining,” said Lee Applbaum, global chief marketing officer at Patrón Spirits, in a statement. “The distinctive label design of this year’s bottle — influenced by our rich Mexican tradition of crafting artisanal tequila — offers a truly unique gifting option for those who enjoy and appreciate high-quality, luxury spirits.”


In time for the holidays

ITO EN (North America) Inc. announced the debut of four new limited-edition, custom-blended loose-leaf teas, and three exclusive gift sets. The new items are Brooklyn Breakfast, Holiday Spirit, Spice in a Cup and Festive Winter teas. Also part of the new releases are the Holiday Tea Set, the Brooklyn Breakfast Tumbler Set, and matcha LOVE Matcha Starter Kit. Each of the holiday teas and curated gift sets will be available on a special gifting website at ITO EN’s new seasonal tea line and gift sets are unified with bold holiday-inspired navy-blue packaging complete with festive silver metallic accents. Designed as clean and approachable ways for anyone from tea aficionados to tea novices to enjoy the warming ritual of freshly steeped, loose-leaf tea or matcha, each product offers a unique experience, it says.



Hotshot Coffee teams with Hammer for labeling needs

Hotshot Coffee, as seen on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” was founded by entrepreneur Danny Grossfeld to bring consumers hot coffee in a can. The cans are heated in a patented HotBox, designed to keep the coffee at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Coffee lovers literally can “grab and go” when it comes to getting a can of hot coffee as opposed to waiting in lines at the coffee shop or cafeteria. Additionally, the recyclable aluminum packaging is more environmentally friendly versus contributing to the mountain of single-serve, plastic cups clogging landfills, the company says.

Grossfeld came to the Hammer Packaging team with a challenge: how to keep the coffee in the can warm while keeping consumers’ hands cool. Additionally, the co-packer’s application equipment for the label required the use of a roll-fed, pressure-sensitive solution, further narrowing options. Lastly, the material and adhesive also would have to withstand the constant 140-degree temperature of the HotBox, all while delivering a base for high-quality graphics.

The Hammer team, representing all areas of the process from technical to materials, prepress to sales, brought its decades of experience to the table to analyze the project step-by-step and brainstorm the best solutions.

To address the issues of insulation and handling, Hammer chose an 8-mm MD shrink mono-web foam, designed to keep the liquid inside of the can warm, while the outside of the can remained cool. The innovative solution of marrying a foam substrate to a pressure-sensitive construction provided the best results for adhesion to the can and ease of application through the co-packer’s roll-fed machinery, it says.

The porous properties of foam material often negatively affect ink holdout, particularly in areas of heavy coverage. To provide HotShot with the best reproduction of the label graphic, UV Flexographic technology was used with high-definition plates. The ink remained smooth and sharp on the surface of the substrate and held the graphics and highlights nearly flawlessly, the company says.

“The Hammer team took a nearly impossible challenge and nailed it,” Grossfeld said. “Their insulated label solution is nearly as unique as the hot canned coffee it protects. HotShot will change the way we drink coffee, and thanks to the Hammer team, we’ll look and taste great while doing so.”

Hammer’s multi-functional team proposed a unique label solution, which delivers the necessary insulating properties for the success of this product without compromising the attractive graphic design of the cans, it says. Hammer’s strong partnership with Grossfeld and the HotShot team fueled the company’s drive to find the perfect solution for the groundbreaking product, it adds.