Bar-top corks with wood capsules are popular at the moment – it reflects a growing awareness about using sustainable packaging and a desire for an organic, natural look. When a client asks us what wood they should use, for their capsules, our preference is always for beech.
Beech is always best for us, because it is an extremely easy wood for us to work, so it means that when shaping the capsules, we get very few cracks and the finish is invariably smooth. Furthermore it is takes a stain very well, so we can get a consistent finish to stained capsules and because it has a relatively low porosity it will also take varnish very well. Finally, printing or heat branding beech with a logo works very well, because of the smoothness of the surface and the naturally light colour.
But the reason we love beech is not just because it makes it easier for us to produce high quality capsules, it is also a very practical wood for bottling as it is relatively hard and not prone to gouging or chipping in bottling machines. And finally it is a naturally beautiful wood, with a gentle grain that adds texture and subtle shifts in colour.
We are passionate about using natural cork whenever possible, because of the amazing environmental stories behind natural cork (it can be classed as carbon negative, as trees are not cut down to make cork, only the bark of the tree is removed, after which it naturally regenerates). Agglomerated cork is still a great option compared to synthetics, but it is not 100% cork. So if you are going to use natural cork for the shank of your bar-top cork, using a sustainable capsule is a compelling option and all the beech wood we use is sustainably harvested.
So for bar-top corks, beech is best! Beautiful, practical, flexible and sustainable – just like cork itself….