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21 July, 2022

WIREHOODS FOR BEER AND CIDER: European market corking traditions

Good bottle capping is a very important factor for preserving the quality of carbonate drinks like champagne, cider, or beer. Moreover, capping is not only a seal but also an additional element of identifying goods with a certain brand. Different brands use unique style bottles and closures to be immediately recognizable.

Cork and wirehoods are an integral part of the traditional capping system for champagne or sparkling wine bottles. Since the Renaissance, wirehoods have been used to cap bottles of carbonated beer and cider as well.

Each bottle of champagne contains 49 million CO2 bubbles, which squeeze the cork out of the bottleneck under pressure. At first, winemakers used a rope to hold the cork in place, but this was not convenient, durable, or reliable, as mice and rats living in the wine cellars and holds of the ships where the wine was stored and transported easily gnawed the ropes. The revolution in bottle capping and winery technology was made by woman, despite the prejudices and superstitions of medieval traditions. Young widow Madame Clicquot, having inherited vineyards and wine cellars, decided to modernize wine production. According to legend, she took the wire out of her corset and twisted the first prototype of modern wirehood. However, a patent for steel wirehoods was granted only in 1844 to the French winemaker Adolf Jackson. He suggested inserting a tin plate between the cork and the wire cage. The construction of a twisted wire cage with a plaque on top, we used to see as a wirehood.

TECHNOLOGIA JSC has already specialized in wirehoods production for 10 years. The first four automated wirehoods manufacturing machines were launched in 2012. Today we have dozens of machines and produce all kinds of wirehoods for sparkling wines, which are used in the modern bottling industry. Wirehoods with free ring to use on modern high-speed bottling machines, wirehoods with a decorated top disk for branding or brand protection, wirehoods without top disc, wirehoods with a fixed leg for budget lines, or tape wirehoods for sparkling drinks sealed with plastic stopper.

In addition, our production facilities also allow us to produce wirehoods for beer and cider. Today we want to introduce you to the production of wirehoods for beer and discuss the history and usage features of wirehoods as a means of corking bottled beer in Europe.

Interesting about beer brewing history

During the Middle Ages, beer was consumed fresh because carbonisation was not yet available to brewers. With the advent of barrel production, the world saw the first container that was physically capable of holding the gas fluid under pressure. As early as the 1700s, brewers had a good tradition of making sparkling beer. Interestingly, they used the knowledge of carbonating drinks sooner, better, and faster than winegrowers. They filled the beer into the bottles, sealed them, and fixed the cap with a wirehood to hold the pressure created when the beer was finally fermented inside the bottle. This bottle conditioning gives the final beer the effect of whistling champagne.

The leaders in brewing at that time were Belgium, England and Germany. Nowadays these countries keep a tradition to fill beer into 0.75L bottles and to cap them with wirehoods over the cork.

Proper bottling and careful capping for beer

A glass bottle is the best option if you will keep the beer for more than a few months. Choosing the appropriate closure for a beer bottle is an important requirement for the future carbonization of the beverage and its proper storage. Mistakes at this point will result in unpleasant consequences like sour beer or broken bottles.

You may be the best brewer with the best brewing technology, but the wrong choice of packaging, closures, or storage methods for a finished product may undo all efforts. We propose to consider the most common mistakes in bottling and capping beer to prevent similar problems when producing it.

Typical mistakes when filling and capping beer to be avoided

Filling and capping mistakesProbable consequencesHow to avoid
Excess oxygen in the bottleOxidation of the drinkLeave no more than 2-3 cm of free space in the bottleneck
Poor sealingSour beerCareful capping with a special device
Use twist-top for glass bottlesOxidation and souring of the drinkUse airtight closures

To protect a beer bottle from damage or explosion:

Popular closures of beer bottles on the market

It is important to pick the right bottle and the right closure for the safe and proper storage of beer. For example, the crown cap is popular now. But if you brew a unique craft beer and want to stand out on the supermarket shelf among other brands, you can choose a bottle with a swing-top closure or use a traditional wirehood over the cork.

This is the most common closure for beer bottles. It seems that brewers always corked beer bottles with such caps, that is they look so obvious to us today. However, brewers of the 19th century were not attracted to such caps. Today, crown caps are most often used to seal beer bottles and bottles of cider and other soft drinks.

For carbonated beverages in the late 1800s, the most used bottle cap was the «swing-top» closure designed of a ceramic cork and gasket that was held in the bottleneck by wire tensioning. Such corks were not easy to make and attach to bottles, and in addition, they did not always perform their function well enough, so bottles with swing-top closures often leaked. However, before the advent of the crown cap, the dominant method of sealing beer and mineral water bottles was swing-top caps. Such a closure for low-alcohol carbonated beverages you can find in the market today as well, especially among Dutch beer.

Beer bottles like champagne ones can be also capped with cork and wirehood. This capping method is most popular among Belgian and French brewers who brew highly carbonated beer. Wirehood is set over the cork for bottles of champagne, sparkling wine, or beer and cider to keep the high pressure of the carbonated drink inside the bottle. Wirehoods ensure a better seal that slows the airflow in the bottle so that the beer ages slower than in the bottles under the crown caps. This is a key technical difference between these closures.

Wirehoods for beer and cider features

Modern wirehoods manufacturing is mechanized with modern high-tech automatic machines. For wirehoods production, we use only high-quality European tin and wire. To make the wirehoods more personalized, we can produce wirehoods with a top disk and finishing decoration. Depending on the design and preferences of the customer, we can make classic silver, gold, black, or multi-colored wirehoods, print the logo and brand name on the top disk, and offer various finishes and brand protection options.

Wide technical possibilities of modern manufacture by TECHNOLOGIA JSC allow us to make wirehoods for your brand an object of art desirable for collectors.

Why use cork and wirehood for a beer bottle?

The answer is obvious: it’s all about carbonation pressure. According to the brewing technology, the fermentation of some craft beers goes on even after bottling. So, to ensure the tightness and avoid leaks, the brewers seal the bottles with corks and set wirehoods over to keep the cork in the bottleneck. All this because craft beer is under higher pressure inside the bottle than most traditional beers. For example, while regular beer has CO2 of around 2.0-2.5 kg/cm², many Belgian strong beers such as Bierre de Garde or Tripel will be carbonated to 3.3+ kg/cm² CO2. And Belgian Lambic and other bitter beers may reach 4.5 kg/cm² of CO2. At such high pressures, it stands to reason those corks secured with a wirehood will stay in the bottleneck more securely as they will have more surface area in contact with the bottle.


Anima is the brewery of the year in Italy according to New York International Beer Competition in 2014-2015 and our client as well, for whom we manufacture wirehoods for beer.

Every day, Anima brewers are passionate about creating craft beer from the best ingredients of the highest quality, not just to brew a drink for their customers, but to create unforgettable moments of gastronomic pleasure for them.

Every day, TECHNOLOGIA JSC professionals make every effort and energy to improve our own wirehoods manufacturing, so that our customers can implement their goals the best and achieve all-around perfection.

Write to our specialists at capsule@technologia.com.ua to find out how to make your brand stand out with special wirehoods.