Against The Grain Brewery Doubles Sales

Laura Manfield | Eastman Company | Apr 24, 2018

Eastman material used by Verst Packaging to create innovative shrink labels for Against The Grain

KINGSPORT, TN, USA — April 24, 2018 Against The Grain (ATG), a Louisville, Kentucky-based craft brewery, collaborated with Verst Packaging and global specialty plastics provider Eastman to create unique shrink-labeled cans. Verst’s shrink-labeled cans, made with Eastman Embrace™ LV copolyester, have helped ATG increase revenue, reduce lead times and double sales with first-rate graphics for a holistic customer experience.

“From a fiscal perspective, we’re able to hold a leaner inventory, while maintaining a large number of SKUs. The quality control and lack of limitations with our graphics makes for cans that pop on the shelf,” said Sam J. Cruz, ATG co-owner and marketing visionary.

Prior to 2016, ATG used primarily printed cans, which necessitated purchasing a full truckload (150,000 cans) for each individual SKU design. Lead times averaged 20 weeks, and it was impossible to render graphics true to the artists’ intent. Since converting from printed cans to Verst-manufactured shrink-labeled cans, ATG has launched 24 unique SKUs and cut lead times in half. ATG has better quality control and can create richer graphics with a myriad of textures that set its products apart in the highly competitive craft beer market.

“Breweries were dying for an alternative to printed cans,” said Peter Parker, aka “The Can Guy,” director of business development for Verst. “Our shrink-labeled cans give brewers greater flexibility, better cash flow and superior graphics.”

Verst launched its turnkey solution for shrink-sleeved cans in 2016, giving brewers like ATG the ability to purchase up to six SKUs per truckload, thereby diversifying their product offering. (Read the case study.) Verst has doubled its sales since introducing shrink labels. The company will be exhibiting at the Craft Brewers Conference at Nashville's Music City Center April 30–May 3.

Eastman Embrace LV facilitates superior aesthetics, increased functionality and viable sustainable packaging with recycle-friendly, full-body shrink labels. Embrace enables differentiated labeling wrapped around contoured, complex and thin-walled containers for food, beverages, distilled spirits as well as household products and personal care.

Eastman’s Embrace™ family of resins for shrink films includes Eastman Embrace, Eastman RAS™ technology for roll-applied shrink film and Eastman Embrace HY, a naturally white, high-yield shrink film ideal for applications where light-blocking properties are needed. Additionally, Eastman now offers a de-seamable seaming adhesive that helps remove shrink labels from PET containers during the recycling process, improving recycled PET yields.

About Against The Grain

Against The Grain was established in 2011 by four brewers that wanted to go Against the Grain. Sam Cruz, Jerry Gnagy, Andrew Ott and Adam Watson founded the brewery in Louisville, Kentucky. Since then, they have opened a brewpub and a brewery and started production in Europe. ATG is distributed in 40 states, with 10 International ports of entry and expects to produce 11,000 barrels in 2018. For more information, visit

About Verst Packaging

Verst Packaging is a division of Verst Logistics Inc., a leading provider of fully integrated logistics services. Verst Packaging division provides decorative labeling and packaging services for a wide range of consumer goods manufacturers in food and beverage, health and beauty, distilled spirits, and household products. Based in Walton, Kentucky, Verst Logistics employs over 1,500 employees across its Fulfillment, Packaging, Transportation and Warehousing divisions. For more information visit

About Eastman Chemical Company

Eastman is a global advanced materials and specialty additives company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end markets such as transportation, building and construction and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in more than 100 countries and had 2017 revenues of approximately $9.5 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA, and employs approximately 14,500 people around the world. For more information, visit