Customer Stories, Spirits

Bruinwood Estate Distillery Case Study: Small Run Labels Enable Constant Adventures

It is easy for Jeff Barringer and Danise Lofstrom to identify what they enjoy most about running Bruinwood Estate. Their particularly adventurous distillery, located on a five-acre property in Roberts Creek, BC, is most fun when they have guests over to sample spirits. That’s when they get to see those guests’ eyes light up with pleasure, the telltale sign of a repeat customer being born. And those repeat customers always have the same question when they come to visit: “What’s new?”


To service a customer base like this, one that’s hooked on the constant experimentation of true connoisseurs like Jeff and Danise, agility is key. That’s why having access to smaller runs of labels has made all the difference for this boutique outfit.

Bruinwood is known for doing with spirits what few distillers would attempt. Flouting the floral-botanical traditions of gin, they’ve created a savoury version with beef. They are producers of the only Dutch-style Advocaat in Canada. They’ve made an ube liquor with the Filipino purple yam. In their view, the sky’s the limit.


Knowing that their customers expect innovation suits Jeff and Danise just fine. They’d “get bored” if they weren’t constantly creating new things. Plus, their professional background has prepared them well for the task. Before they were distillers, they had a career in television producing numerous series featuring food, wine, and travel. They understood a thing or two about hunting down the latest trend, and the richness and possibility of a global approach. Spirits, rather than wine or beer, enabled them to indulge themselves fully creating—as Danise puts it—a true playground of flavours.

The Situation

However, an approach of maximum experimentation, especially for a smaller-scale operation like Bruinwood Estate, raises specific challenges. If “small batches and plenty of them” is the way you want to run your business, how can you ensure that packaging remains affordable? Bruinwood often needs a smaller run, albeit with six different SKUs. Conventional label printers might not service this need—which is why Bruinwood reached out to Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC).

The Solution

By digitally printing the labels, GLBC is able to produce smaller runs and customize print jobs at a moment’s notice. Multiple SKUs? No problem. Because digital runs don’t require the creation of expensive plates they can be easily adjusted at any point and the overall cost is lower. By opting for digital over analogue, GLBC was able to match Bruinwood’s agility with its own. Plus, high-end digital printers ensure the quality of the print, which is vitally important for a boutique brand like Bruinwood.


The Result

GLBC’s work with Bruinwood helped the company to:

  • Enhance the brand: the crisp, vivid, high-end labels communicate the elegance of the Bruinwood brand.
  • Ensure affordability: digital printing means avoiding expensive start-up costs like creating plates.
  • Support its special purpose: the ability to purchase short runs of labels enables Bruinwood to innovate freely.

When Danise reflects on the difference that accessing short-label runs has made for Bruinwood, she says that it has “given us our wings…if we couldn’t do what we do, and always make new products, it wouldn’t be worth it to us.”

As anyone who has sampled Bruinwood’s spirits knows, what Jeff and Danise do is well worth it. Visitors to the Sunshine Coast, do check out their gorgeous apiary, and experience a spirits tasting with the actual distiller present—it’s a rare and truly fun opportunity.




Blog Categories