The Rise of Craft Brewing and Glass Etching:
Where do we begin with the game-changing duo of glass etching and brewery pint glasses? It starts with history:
Over the last several decades, craft breweries and their enthusiasts have disrupted global beer markets, bringing an end to the last century’s globalization that led to a handful of beer producers to form a monopoly. This all changed when handfuls of weekend warriors and innovative hobbyists started brewing their own beer in their respective garages and basements and the craft brewery industry was born.
Due to the diversity of beer making societies and varying historical methods of brewing, there is not a concrete definition of what exactly qualifies as a craft brewery. There are, however, some commonalities between them which include the following:
● Pride in one’s product
These values are reflected in every aspect of craft brewing and are integral to starting a small business. From selecting a unique blend of grains and hops to experimenting with crazy new flavors, individuality and innovation are at the heart of craft brewing, and nowhere is this truer than in branding and marketing. Every brewery has a unique name and logo that it proudly displays on its merchandise. This is arguably most important when it comes to glassware. No craft brewpub is complete without scores of pint glasses with the brewery’s name and logo etched into them in fine detail. But how can this be achieved by small businesses that do not have the means to mass-produce their merchandise? The answer, laser engraving, is the perfect match for an industry pioneered by hobbyists and entrepreneurs.
Introduction to Glass Laser Etching:
One might think that having a logo brand name and logo engraved in a pint glass would require a large production line and massive initial investment. However, this does not have to be the case. A laser engraver can be used to etch a company logo into a glass at a relatively low cost. Like the recent trend of 3D printing, laser engraving is becoming a very popular DIY hobby. How exactly does this work? A cutting machine uses a laser to etch intricate patterns and phrases into metal, wood, plastics, and glass but to understand how this is possible, one must be familiar with how lasers function.
How Lasers and Laser Engraving Works (Simplified):
A laser functions similarly to a sound amplifier. An amplifier collects various noises from a microphone and then emits these sounds at an amplified volume into a specific area. Similarly, a laser collects light from a light source and amplifies it before directing it into a single dot. Back to the sound analogy, if we can isolate a certain frequency (also known as a pitch or tone), interesting things happen. For example, here is a fascinating video from the BBC showing how amplified sound of a certain frequency can be used to shatter a wine glass. This occurs because all objects have certain frequencies at which energy can be efficiently transferred to them via sound (another name for this is resonance). Lasers operate on a similar principle, except using light instead of sound. In the case of a laser engraver, light is amplified and directed into a small area at a certain frequency which transfers large amounts of energy into the area. If this laser has mechanisms and software that allow it to point to several areas on a material for certain periods of time, it can create intricate patterns and letters by melting or burning the material.
There are two types of laser engraving machines that OMTech Laser provides. The first is the CO2 Laser Engraver and the second is a Fiber Laser Marker. Each of these possesses its own unique applications and benefits which are highlighted below.
CO2 Laser Engraver:
Ideal for non-metallic materials such as plastics, glass, acrylic, and wood.
Ideal for DIY and hobby applications (such as pint glass logo etching).
Has the ability to cut thicker materials.
Lower initial cost.
- Capable of glass etching
Fiber Laser Marker:
Ideal for metallic materials.
Ideal for creating high-contrast markings such as serial numbers, barcodes, and data matrices on metal objects.
Greater energy efficiency.
Brand Placement and Connection:
Craft brewing companies could benefit greatly from using OMTech laser engravers to customize their pint glasses and other merchandise. This is because our laser engravers have several benefits for small organizations and hobbyists such as the following:
Low startup costs.
Quick turnaround time.
Excellent support staff.
Imagine this scenario. You have recently opened a small craft brewery and want your name and complex logo featured on each of your pint glasses in detail. You do not have the resources to mass-produce such an item nor want to deal with the headache of an outside consultant/manufacturer. While you need a relatively small number of pint glasses, they do break relatively frequently and need to be replaced. Likewise, you might find your logo and name fall out of style within a few months and now you are back to square one. What is the ideal solution? A laser engraver from OMTech capable of glass etching. These devices are perfect for those who are fiscally responsible but do not want to sacrifice quality. You will be able to engrave your company name and logo quickly and precisely onto your pint glass after customizing it as you desire. As with any new small business venture or hobby, you want to be able to do as much on your own as possible. OMTech has a phenomenal user interface and requires minimal maintenance all at a reasonable price. However, if you should need any training or assistance, our highly skilled and motivated staff will be eager to help.
About the Author
Author: John O’Donovan
Mr. O’Donovan is a mechanical engineer from Portland Oregon. He has an extensive background in technical writing and has authored many articles, blog posts, technical documents, and spec sheets for several organizations including Daimler AG, Hyster Yale, and the Port of Portland. At Daimler AG, John wrote blog posts and articles on behalf of the facilities engineering department to inform the public of Daimler’s sustainability policy and projects. His team’s main goal was to find ways to optimize the energy performance of several auto manufacturing plants throughout North America and to explore ways that his organization could switch to greener forms of energy. The focus of his career thus far has been in manufacturing and he specializes in the maintenance and smooth operation of manufacturing plants. Being from the Pacific NorthWest, John enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, archery, and fishing. He is also an experienced traveler and has spent over five years of his life living abroad. Most of this time was spent in Europe and Asia. He has a passion for learning new things and loves simplifying complex topics so that they are easily digestible for readers.