Buying glass bottles in philly.
November 26, 2011 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Where can an individual order a small number of glass bottles in the Philadelphia area?

My wife and I are looking to distribute (freely) some home-made liqueur, and we'd like to get some glass bottles for the task. Since the number of bottles we're ordering is small (~100), shipping costs are a significant factor, as we discovered when we did something similar last year.

So — does anyone know a company in the Philadelphia area which would be willing to sell a small number of glass bottles?
posted by dzkalman to Shopping (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How large do you want the bottles? When I think of cheap glass bottles, I think of American Science and Surplus.
posted by KathrynT at 10:03 PM on November 26, 2011

I've used these guys with good results before, helping a friend with her hobby business. The 'wholesale' costs for even small amounts are good.

They're in Seattle but the shipping costs to the east coast were very good, and despite my worries about delicate breakage, the survival rate was 100%.
posted by rokusan at 10:40 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Check homebrew suppliers in your area. Home Sweet Homebrew has a variety of beer/wine bottles in their catalog (pdf); this Chowhound post mentions a few other local suppliers.
posted by stefanie at 10:42 PM on November 26, 2011

I get my glass bottles for similar purposes at Fante's in the Italian Market.
posted by desuetude at 11:14 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding specialtybottles, shipping is about half the price, but it still ends up being cheaper then anything I have been able to find locally.
posted by St. Sorryass at 11:16 PM on November 26, 2011

I got several dozen Grolsch-top beer bottles for home brewing from posting a request to People sometimes have bottles in their garage or attic that are just gathering dust, and are only too happy to give them to a good home.
posted by parrot_person at 1:24 AM on November 27, 2011

I don't know how close the nearest one is to Philadelphia, but the (admittedly godawful) Christmas Tree Shops can be good for this kind of thing.
posted by mskyle at 6:54 AM on November 27, 2011

We got vases at the A. C. Moore on Columbus Blvd for amazingly cheap (for our wedding). Might be worth checking them out!
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:56 AM on November 27, 2011

Thanks for all the suggestions. I am looking for liqueur bottles, so the homebrew sites didn't seem to be as helpful.

Here is what I've discovered:
specialtybottles is pretty decently priced. Most bottles are between $0.75 and $3, with shipping at around $15-$25 to Philadelphia.

Fante's is way overpriced, even though it is local.

Another site, sks-bottle, has more or less the same selection as specialtybottles, but with slightly lower bottle and shipping costs (at least to Philadelphia).

Thank you all for your help!
posted by dzkalman at 12:50 PM on November 27, 2011

Be aware that from my quick browsing of the specialtybottles site, that's really not what you want to be using for wine/liqueur. Wine bottles have a straight cork and a nice, straight neck to accommodate that cork. The combination of straight cork and straight neck makes for a very large sealing area, which is why corked wines can store for so long.

Bottles with a contoured or tapered neck, and especially with tapered corks, are really more decorative than practical. Worse is the combination of tapered cork + straight neck, you get a very small sealing area and your wonderful liqueur is sure to spoil or leak/spill.

Stick with your local homebrew supplier; the bottles and corks they have there are exactly what you need. Plus, they'll also have sanitizer (sodium or potassium metabisulfite) which is a good idea to use on your bottles to keep the nasties from growing, especially with concoctions with lower alcohol content. Most homebrew suppliers also love to talk shop, and you're sure to pick up lots of helpful tips while supporting local business!
posted by xedrik at 7:54 PM on November 28, 2011

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