Alcohol bottling and labelling

Alcohol Bottling & Labelling

Attention to detail with every bottle…

An exciting and crucial stage in your product’s journey, bottling and labelling is where we get to showcase your brand’s personality! We specialise in small-batch production runs from 210 – 2,400 bottles.

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Benefits of alcohol contract bottling:

  • A one-stop service.
  • Quality is assured to the highest industry standards
  • Complete bespoke service to help your product stand out from the crowd
  • Speed from concept to shelf, so you launch your product to the world as soon as possible

What does alcohol bottling involve?

Alcohol bottling is a precise process that involves transferring the liquid alcohol from bulk containers into individual bottles and preparing them for distribution and consumption. This can include diluting or blending the alcohol before sourcing bottles, caps, and labels, filling and closing the bottles, labelling them and packaging into cardboard cartons, ready for safe transit.

Get in touch with us here to chat about your bottling and labelling requirements.

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bottle filling

What does working with us look like?

Our bottling and labelling service consists of 5 steps:

1 Initial consultation

We have a chat about what you need from a bottling and labelling partner.

2 Recipe Development & Testing

You can use our recipe development and contract distilling service or, as we are a bonded warehouse facility authorised by HMRC, you can send us your liquid alcohol in bulk duty suspended, for us to bottle for you. We can also import alcohols for diluting – more on that in our FAQs, below.

3 Diluting & Blending

We can dilute spirits down to your required bottling strength in our stainless-steel tanks, reducing the alcohol with de-mineralised Yorkshire water from our reverse osmosis filtration system. This is able to produce up to 2,000 litres a day.

4 Production & Bottling

We’ll use our precision equipment to bottle your beverage in your chosen bottles, and apply labels, before capping everything off nicely.

5 Quality Control & Packaging

No such thing as a squiffy label here! We personally check every bottle. If your product is for distribution in the UK market and meets the requirements of the UK duty stamp scheme, we will also order and apply these stamps onto your bottles, before packaging securely into cartons.

6 Done!

You will be notified via email when your batch is complete and be supplied with a bottling instruction, which includes all the necessary details about the production that you need.

Get in touch with us here to chat about your bottling and labelling requirements.

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The finer details of the bottling process…

The filling process requires accuracy, to ensure that each bottle contains the correct volume of alcohol. Before filling takes place, the bottles are rinsed, and each bottle is inspected for quality and cleanliness before being filled with the specific alcoholic liquid.

All shapes and sizes of bottle…

Our multi-head filling machine is suitable for spirits and liqueurs (up-to a medium viscosity) and is capable of filling up to 600 bottles per hour. The equipment can fill a range of bottle shapes and sizes, from cylindrical to square, and from 200ml up-to 1.5 litre bottles. We specialise in small-batch production runs from 210 up-to 2,400 bottles. If you have a higher volume than we can handle, don’t worry, we’ll put you in touch with a trusted bottling partner.

To cap it all off…

After filling, a secure cap or closure is applied to seal the bottle, preventing any tampering or contamination. We fulfil a variety of capping and labelling requirements, from standard cork mouth closures to screw caps and ROPP closures.

Once the closure has been applied, the bottle must be sealed using a tamper evident capsule. We fulfil a variety of sealing requirements, from paper watchstrap tabs to PVCu and aluminium shrink capsules.

Labelling

Each bottle is inspected for cleanliness and hand-wiped to ensure no residue is present. Labels are then affixed using our semi-automatic machine, capable of applying a range of self-adhesive labels, including clear plastic and tall labels. Quality control measures are in place to check for correct placement, alignment, and adherence to regulatory requirements.

Packaging

We’ll package the bottles in cardboard cartons or cases, as agreed as part of your quote. Depending on the size of your product, these will usually be boxes at 6 x 700ml, 6 x 500ml or a 12 x 200ml double-walled box. Cartons will be suitable for storing, distributing and shipping your spirits, so you’ll have peace of mind.

Safety first!

We are, of course, fully compliant with all the UK legal requirements, from an up-to-date Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System (HACCP) to being approved members of Food Alert (part of The Citation Group’s food compliance business), which is a supplier assurance programme used by The National Trust.

Ready to chat? Get in touch with us here to start a conversation about your alcohol bottling and labelling requirements.

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What our customers say…

Kettlesing Distillery Testimonial
Kettlesing Distillery Testimonial

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered some of the questions we’re most asked below. If you have a question we haven’t covered, get in touch – we’re here to help every step of the way.

What is your minimum order for bottling and labelling?

Our MOQ for contract distilling is 150-litres, which usually works out at 210 x 70cl bottles or 732 x 20cl bottles.

Do you offer small-batch bottling?

Yes, as a small business ourselves, our expertise lies in producing spirits for emerging spirit brands and private labels. Our minimum order quantity for bottling is 150-litres of finished product, which is the equivalent to 210 x 70cl bottles or 735 x 20cl bottles.

Are you a bonded warehouse?

We are a bonded warehouse facility authorised by HMRC, this means you can send us your liquid alcohol in bulk (in 200 litre plastic drums or 1000 litre Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs).

Do you offer private-label bottling services?

Yes! In recent years we have seen an increase in enquiries from a wide range of businesses and organisations based in the UK. From luxury retailers, charitable organisations, farm shops, country estates, and independent wine and spirit merchants. If you can meet our MOQ (of 150 litres), we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us via our email enquiry form here.

Can you import alcohol from overseas manufacturers?

Over the last 8 years we have built strong relationships with a variety of alcohol manufacturers based overseas. We regularly work with E&A Scheer in The Netherlands, the world’s leading master blender and global supplier of rum in bulk with roots in the rum business reaching back to 1712! As an independent company, E&A Scheer source rums from over 40 distilleries and origins worldwide. We import their world-class rum in bulk to the UK under-bond for a range of clients using our WOWGR licence. The next step is to dilute the rum down to the required bottling strength, ready for bottling.

We can also source other bulk spirits and distillates, including but not limited, to brandy, vodka, fruit distillates, and cachaça.

Is hand-finishing possible?

Absolutely! What really sets us apart from other manufacturers is our attention to detail. Whether that’s hand-applying labels to irregular shaped bottles, or dipping the necks of bottles into a hot wax seal. And when we are finished, each bottle is inspected and wiped down to ensure it’s ready for the shelves or to furnish a customer’s home bar. We really do treat your product as if it’s our own!

What types of spirits can you dilute and blend?

We can dilute and blend a range of alcohols from rum, cachaça, brandy, and fruit distillates. All juniper-based products will be rectified, blended, and diluted in our distillery.

Where can we source glass bottles from?

There are a range of world-class glass manufacturers and decorators based in the UK and Europe. During the last eight years, we have worked with most of them; from wholesalers who own moulds in glass plants, to glass plants who don’t work in the UK market often – most of the time we know them and have most likely have samples of their products in our distillery waiting for you. Read our blog to find out more on the best companies to source glass bottles from.

What type of closures can you apply?

After filling, a secure cap or closure is applied to seal the bottle, preventing any tampering or contamination. We can fulfil a wide range of capping and labelling requirements, from standard cork mouth closures to screw caps and ROPP closures. Once the closure has been applied, the bottle must be sealed using a tamper evident capsule. We fulfil a variety of sealing requirements from paper watchstraps to PVCu and aluminium shrink capsules.

Can you do micro-testing after each batch to check stability of the product?

All products that we manufacture will be submitted for microbiological and pH analysis. Our partners at Campden BRI will test the product for microbiological, bacteria, yeast and mould.

What type of labels can you apply to our bottle? (i.e. cylindrical front & back, etc.)

We can usually work with all shapes of bottles and sizes from 200ml, up to 1.5 litres. We have experience working with round bottles, oval bottles, oblong shaped bottles, and square bottles. For round and oval shaped bottles, you have two choices of label (1) Front & Back Label, or (2) Wrap-Around Label – our equipment can apply both styles.

We can put you in contact with our preferred label printing partners, both based in the UK. Local to us is The Label Makers, who have been designing and manufacturing premium quality self-adhesive labels from West Yorkshire (UK) since 1963. They offer a comprehensive range of services to meet all of your labelling needs, from conventional digital labels to embellished label designs. They also manufacture a wide variety of sustainable label solutions. The introduction of eco-friendly labels from new self-adhesive materials derived from agricultural and industrial by-products is welcomed. Materials include papers made from barley and citrus waste, grass, and sugar cane fibre, as well as marble powder.

Can you export alcoholic beverages overseas?

Yes, over the last eight years we have distributed beverages to four continents – Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia. Using our logistics partners, we can export your product from our distillery in the UK under bond to the required destination.

Speak to an expert in contract bottling:

To chat about our blending, alcohol bottling and labelling services, drop us a message or email.