Craft Distillers Say Good Morning Baltimore!

The American Distilling Institute held their annual Craft Spirits Conference and Vendor Expo in Baltimore last week, from April 3rd through the 6th. Liquid Packaging Solutions joined the event last Tuesday and Wednesday for the Expo portion of the show and once again had the pleasure of both meeting distillers new to the scene and connecting with distillers that we have worked with in the past.

From historic Camden Yards to a bustling downtown, Baltimore welcomed distillers and vendors from across the nation and around the world. In addition to a variety of states, LPS met industry professionals from Canada, the UK and even a number of distillers from Australia.

WIth many classes and workshops, the ADI Conference and Expo attracts a number of new or potential distillers along with the industry veterans. While many different pieces of equipment were discussed with many different representatives of distilleries, the main focus for a majority of the businesses was on the process of filling the liquids. More than any other topic, LPS representatives discussed the difference between the gravity filler and the overflow filling machine.

In the distilled spirits industry, the two fillers mentioned above are the two main types of filling machines that dominate the landscape, each with a different filling principle. The first is the gravity filler, which fills bottles by volume. Given the regulations surrounding the industry, it is no surprise that most new distillers are interested in a volumetric liquid filler.

However, given that many spirits are packaged in clear bottles or containers, the overflow filler offers a fill to level system that can benefit the distiller, typically without any worry regarding the volume of the fills. Overflow fillers will fill each and every bottle to the same level regardless of the interior volume of the bottles, adding to the shelf appeal of the product. The main concern of distillers is the non-volumetric fill, meaning there will be slight variances in the amount of liquid in each bottle.

In almost every case, the manufacture of the bottles will not leave a variance in the interior volume of the bottles that will cause the volume to fall outside of the allowed volume. In fact, LPS representatives could only remember one occasion where the interior volume of the bottles caused an issue due to a unique and hand-crafted container for a distilled spirit. In fact, due to the ability to fill every container to the same level, the overflow filling machine has become more popular than the gravity filler among LPS customers. Of course, a conversation with the bottle manufacturer is always a good idea, and testing of volumes can be performed during the manufacture of the machinery when samples are provided to LPS.

To learn more about gravity and overflow liquid filling machines, browse the Filling Machinery section of the LPS website or call to speak with a representative. All of us at LPS would once again like to thank the American Distilling Institute, Baltimore and all of the distillers who visited Baltimore for another great show!