Craft Beer Industry Looks To The Future With Metal Packaging

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Philadelphia, PA – September 21, 2011. As the economy continues to improve, the craft brewing industry saw sales grow by 12 percent in 2010, up 7 percent from 2008 (Source: Brewers Association). Part of that growth can be attributed to the evolution of craft brews to include metal packaging in their portfolio, enabling brands to keep up with the active lifestyles of today’s consumers and reach outdoor venues where other packaging formats are discouraged. CROWN Beverage Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) (Crown) (, has provided support to several craft brewers seeking to expand their packaging options and increase exposure with consumers.  

Upslope Brewing Company Chooses Metal Cans

Metal has several intrinsic properties that make it an ideal choice for craft brews. Beverage cans are durable, portable and lightweight and serve as a powerful barrier against light and oxygen, helping extend shelf life and preserve freshness and taste. They also chill more quickly than other packaging formats. 

For the Boulder, Colorado-based Upslope Brewing Company, it was the sustainability benefits of metal that drove interest in packaging its hand-crafted ales exclusively in cans. Metal packaging is 100% recyclable and can be recycled repeatedly without loss or alteration in quality.

“Colorado residents value products that are not only safe for the environment, but also fit into the outdoor-driven lifestyle that defines the state,” Matt Cutter, Upslope Brewing Company’s founder, explained. “From day one, our business plan included metal packaging. We knew that cans were the perfect way to get people to take our brews on their next camping or fly fishing trip.” 

Cutter first put together that business plan, which identified craft brew as a growing industry, in late 2008 – after 20 years brewing beer at home as a pastime. Upslope was looking for a partner that was flexible with minimum orders and, after much research, Cutter met Thomas Hughes, Marketing Manager of CROWN Beverage Packaging North America, who was able to fulfill his small quantity needs. Shortly after the meeting, Crown began to package Upslope Brewing Company’s Brown Ale, Pale Ale and India Pale Ale in 12oz aluminum cans.  

“Craft brews are generating a loyal following because of the strong brand identities they have developed,” said Hughes. “Crown is well positioned to help both large and small craft brewers build on that foundation and convey a premium, progressive image to consumers while meeting the brand’s needs.” 

Avery Brewing Craft Brew Cans It was these very benefits that made Avery Brewing Company, a fellow Boulder brewer, want to have its popular White Rascal Belgian ale, Joe’s Premium American Pilsner, Ellie’s Brown Ale and India Pale Ale brands available in metal packaging.  Avery turned to Crown, after an introduction from Upslope Brewing, for its 12 oz. beverage cans as well as technical assistance during the transition. Crown also provided extensive support to ensure printing was of the highest quality and to keep graphics consistent with the labels used on Avery’s glass bottles. Like Upslope, Avery was new to metal packaging and sought a supplier who could serve their small order needs. Crown’s flexibility with minimum shipment sizes facilitated a smooth partnership.

“We had wanted to get into metal for some time, but needed the right partner to help us do it,” said Adam Avery, founder of Avery Brewing Company. “As we are new to packaging in metal cans, our orders were going to be very small and we needed a supplier who could accommodate this. Crown understood our need and was able to provide the low can volume we were looking for, helping us get to market quickly and easily. Their flexibility and technical support really set them apart. We’ve had such great success with metal that we continue to explore putting more of our other ales and lagers in cans.” 


About Crown Holdings, Inc.

Crown Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading supplier of packaging products to consumer marketing companies around the world. World headquarters are located in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:

In the United States: Ron Skotleski, Director of Marketing, CROWN Beverage Packaging; Tel: (215) 718-1303; Email:

In Europe: Caroline Archer, Marketing Director; Tel: +33 1 49 18 40 43; Email:

For editorial inquiries: Thomas T. Fischer, Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs; Tel: (215) 698-5266; Email: