American Glass Research (AGR), in partnership with Molson Coors, has unveiled an innovative new beer bottle design for one of the brewing company’s popular brands in India, Thunderbolt. Featuring unique embossing and debossing, a fresh new color and a ring-pull cap, the new bottle is designed to help Molson Coors distinguish Thunderbolt from other beers in the market.
AGR is a full service independent, research and testing laboratory with expertise in testing, design analysis, consulting, training, inspection, product liability and auditing for the glass container industry. Initially established in 1927 as Preston Laboratories, AGR is now a division of parent company AGR International Incorporated, which supplies online and laboratory inspection equipment to the glass and plastics industries. The laboratory is recognized around the globe as a provider of essential services to both manufacturers and users of glass products.
Thunderbolt, described as “India’s original strong beer,” had previously been packaged in a 650ml amber bottle, a common bottle type in India’s returnable glass market. In an effort to have Thunderbolt’s packaging match its one- of-a-kind bold taste, Molson Coors turned to AGR to create a bottle that was proprietary, branded and uniquely recognizable in the marketplace, while remaining easy to produce.
“The collaboration with Molson Coors provided a unique challenge that we enthusiastically undertook,” says Bill Slusser, manager of research services for AGR. “It is always gratifying when our customers provide such positive feedback regarding the introduction of a bottle design that is deemed a success both functionally and aesthetically.”
Produced in emerald green glass, the new Thunderbolt bottle features an instantly iconic debossed, shield-shaped label panel adorned with the familiar silver and blue paper label. The angular and aggressive shoulder construction displays an embossed lettering wrap that spells out the Thunderbolt brand name including a lightning emblem within the letter O. Two additional embossed lightning emblems bracket the back label panel, just above the lower sidewall pinch, which transitions into a prominent heel construction. A new ring-pull cap gives the bottle a modern and premium twist in both look and function.
The bottle was created by Dr. Wenke Hu and Brad Salitrik of AGR, using a concept design provided by Molson Coors. Harnessing their experience and knowledge of glass bottle design, Hu and Salitrik created an enhanced design incorporating the specific bottle features and characteristics specified by Molson Coors along with appropriate bottle thickness and glass distribution. Using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) techniques, the team was able to evaluate the bottle’s ability to acceptably withstand the expected loading conditions (internal pressure, impact and vertical load) and to verify that the bottle would perform as desired once it was manufactured.
rave reviews given
The international brewer is pleased with the new bottle and its special features, and appreciates its ability to fulfill the brand mission of being a one-of-a-kind option among the many beers on shelf.
“We have received rave reviews from both customers and consumers about the new Thunderbolt bottle, which we believe reinforces the brand’s identity of always staying original,” says Ashish Kapoor, president of Molson Coors in India. “Nobody can lay claim to our distinctively different, signature bottle, which in turn will bring greater savings and efficiencies to our business.”
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American Glass Research