Frequently asked questions from our clients…

When did The Start-Up Drinks Lab open?
Monday 11th June, 2018.

Where is The Start-Up Drinks Lab based?
Unit D4, Kelburn Business Park, Port Glasgow. PA14 6BL. We are based a 25-minute drive from Glasgow City Centre and 10-minute drive from Glasgow airport. There is a train station on site called Woodhall, with trains going directly to Glasgow Central Station twice an hour.

Can The Start-Up Drinks Lab work with alcohol?
We are an HMRC Bonded Site which means we can receive cider and spirits duty suspended. We can dilute and/or mix spirits or receive finished ciders then fill them into bottle, label and box. We cannot brew or distil on site but we can provide this service through our trusted partners.

Does The Start-Up Drinks Lab help get the right recipe for my liquid and beverage development?
We can help to do this through our 4 highly skilled food scientists.

What happens if The Start-Up Drinks Lab haven’t produced my product before, or if the product is new to my range?
For any new product (to us), whether it exists in your range or is new, we need to run a trial day. This is because we need longer to set up, go through the manufacturing recipe, make any adjustments required at the time as well as time to have you on the production line, answering any questions.

How do I progress my order?
1. You’ll have an initial introduction meeting with a member of The Start-Up Drinks Lab. This can be in person, video conference call (Google Hangout, Skype or Zoom) or conference call. This allows us to hear all about your business and your needs.

2. Following this meeting, we are happy to sign an NDA so that you feel confident that none of your recipes or concepts will be shared with anyone outside The Start-Up Drinks Lab team.

3. Upon this documentation being completed, we will then require you to send us your approved manufacturing recipes, your bottles size and your target batch size in Litres. It is 500 Litres for the Trial Day, then it goes in batch sizes of 1,000 Litres thereafter (we can produce 1,000L per day if its not a trial day).

4. Upon approval of manufacturing recipe, you will be allocated a slot on the production line that is suitable for both parties. Full payment of your order will be due 10 working days before your production date.

5. All your ingredients and packaging to arrive with us 5 working days before your scheduled production date. We can accept them earlier however due to limited space, we have to charge a storage fee of £50 per pallet per month.

6. Your batch is produced and is available to collect after 5 working days from your last day of production. Please note we can store if required for the stated storage fee. We do not currently offer a delivery service but we can introduce you to trusted couriers (pallet delivery).

What type of closures can The Start-Up Drinks Lab apply?
We can do screw cap (28mm/29mm ROPP), Crown Cap (26mm) or we can hand apply corks for spirits or non-alcoholic spirits.

What types of packaging formats does The Start-Up Drinks Lab offer?
We can produce in a wide variety of glass bottle sizes and crown cap aluminium bottles. As of October 2021, we also offer contract canning for a range of drinks.

What types of labels can The Start-Up Drinks Lab apply?
On our labeler, we can automatically apply many label shapes including a front label (including a full wrap around bottle body) and/or a back label and a neck label. We can also hand apply labels. We cannot apply a full shrink wrap to bottle.

Does The Start-Up Drinks Lab supply glass bottles?
No, but we can do as we work with several of the glass bottle suppliers and can happily make introductions. Your preferred bottle must be round and have a neck diameter of 26mm (crown cap) and 28/29mm for a screw cap – this is to ensure our machinery can automatically apply the closure.

Does The Start-Up Drinks Lab have existing labelling suppliers?
Yes – we have a relationship with a handpicked selection of high quality local label suppliers who have ability to service drink brands around the world with their labels. We will happily make introductions for you to liaise with them directly.

Can The Start-Up Drinks Lab source ingredients?
Unfortunately not. If you are using our Recipe Development service then your ingredients will be sourced, costed and recommended suppliers listed for you to purchase from directly. We can offer Citric Acid, Sugar and/or Fructose for 2p per unit as they are store cupboard items for us.

Is The Start-Up Drinks Lab a bonded site by HMRC?
Yes – we can receive goods duty suspended.

Does The Start-Up Drinks Lab have an accreditation?
Yes – we are a SALSA approved facility. We have also passed several client audits from TATA Beverages, Distell and Morrison’s supermarket.

Does The Start-Up Drinks Lab do micro testing after each batch to check stability?
Yes – we will automatically send 1 bottle from each of your batches to an accredited external lab. They shall test the liquid then provide a certificate to show its stable. This comes with a fee per batch of £50 which will be split out on all your future bottling invoices.

What kit does The Start-Up Drinks Lab have available for different methods and processes?

  • We have a 1,200L kettle which can create infusions (can go up to 95 degrees)
  • Hi Shear mix for homogenization
  • Product filtration to varying levels
  • Chilled agitation
  • Carbonation
  • Glass bottle filling (we do not offer PET)
  • Crown cap and ROPP closure options
  • Can hand apply corks with heat seal
  • Water bath pasteurisation
  • Labelling (front, back and neck)
  • Videojet printer to spray on date code and batch number in black ink to neck of bottle
  • We pack into cardboard boxes onto pallets currently (we do not have a tray and shrink machine)
  • UV filtration
  • Cartridge and bag micron filtration

Does The Start-Up Drinks Lab have a Fork Lift?

What packaging is available?
Glass bottles from 200ml upwards. Neck diameter to be 26mm for crown caps and 28mm/29mm for ROPP. We can also mini-fill depending on your requirements.

Are there minimum order quantities?
Trial Day is up to 500 Litres and thereafter 1,000 Litres.

Is hand finishing possible?

Are there allergens on site? 
No, there are no allergens on site.

What is the water quality (e.g. filtered/uv/demineralised)?
Scottish mains water carbon filtered.

Does The Start-Up Drinks Lab do small batch canning?
Yes, we have just added contract canning as a service.

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