The Case for Cans and Craft Brew

Young man enjoying a beverage outdoors
Monday, April 3, 2017

Metal cans are increasingly popular vessels for craft beer, so much so that nearly 500 craft beer brewers nationwide use aluminum cans to package more than 1,700 different beers.1 And there is still more growth to come.

If you’re a craft brewer thinking about making the shift to metal packaging, here are some facts about the value of the format as well as some important points to consider during the transition.

  1. Know the value of metal
    Beverage cans are acclaimed for their portability, durability and sustainability. Metal also offers a powerful barrier against light and oxygen, two key enemies of craft brews, as they can have an adverse effect on flavor and freshness. It also chills faster than other packaging types.
  2. Take the appropriate steps
    If you’re transitioning from another packaging format to metal cans, consider the changes that will need be made to your existing packaging lines and processes ahead of time. It is important to note that the changes don’t have to be costly or complex. For example, Crown advises its customers to consider purchasing expandable equipment that will enable them to grow their product lines quickly and easily, as the market requires.
  3. Recognize the differences between other formats
    For craft brews, perhaps more than any other beverage, the graphics associated with a particular beer can be more important to a brand than the name. Metal cans allow for a level of artwork and image quality that is similar to what can be produced on printed labels, but the process will be very different. Part of that is due to the large 360-degree platform that beverage cans provide. Crown works closely with its customers through the graphics stage, including executing trial runs for approval before going to press.
  4. Optimize your packaging partnership
    Early communication is key. Crown proactively engages its customers in discussions about order turnaround time, minimum runs, and which periods are considered to be the high season as the process gets underway.
  5. Choose the right partner
    Crown looks at its relationships with customers as more of a marathon than a sprint. Our goal is to form long-term partnerships and offer technical support whenever it is needed – not just in the case of emergencies.

Visit CROWN Beverage Packaging North America at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference, (April 11-13, Washington, DC; Booth 2462) to learn more about the value that metal packaging can deliver to craft brews.


1http://www.aluminum.org/product-markets/aluminum-cans