Author Topic: Why don't more microbrews start canning?  (Read 6164 times)

Offline sienabrewer

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Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« on: March 10, 2010, 12:55:35 PM »
As I was making my list of top 20 beers for Zymurgy yesterday I couldn't help but wish that many of them were in cans.  So it got me thinking, why is it that breweries have not invested in canning some of their flagship beers?  Is it because it just costs too much, would be too much of an initial investment?  I kind of scratch my head as to why some of the larger micros (if they can still be called that), i.e Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, etc. have not put at least their most popular labels in a can yet.  I would think, aside from the novelty of it, this would increase the possibility of more people buying it.

Offline MrNate

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 01:02:46 PM »
I buy Yuengling in cans because it's cheap and cans fit in my kegerator much better than bottles. If SA or SN or anyone better canned beer, I'd be right there on the bandwagon with you.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 02:36:26 PM »
Avery is starting.  Mmmm...
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 03:04:56 PM »
Our goal as a production brewery is to go to cans. Its actually fairly affordable. But, the distributors are not 100% behind it for various reasons. Not that they would turn us down, they just have reservations. I told the distributor we are planning on going with that they actually have a "Canned Craft Beer Festival" and he was fairly surprised. Remember though - we are just now entering 1992 as far as "beer renaissance" goes in my area. Guinness is the closest thing to Canned Craft beer we get.
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Offline sienabrewer

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 06:13:06 PM »
Our goal as a production brewery is to go to cans. Its actually fairly affordable. But, the distributors are not 100% behind it for various reasons. Not that they would turn us down, they just have reservations.

I'm interested in what those reservations might be.  I guess I'm thinking that there are so many more advantages to go the can route than glass (cheaper, more stable shelf life, more portable, overall convenience).  I was at my local beer "depot" last night for the first time in a while and I saw that Bass now comes in the can with a widget, and Brooklyn is putting their flagship lager in 16 oz tall boys.  It's not as if I have an aversion to buying craft beer now because it is in bottles, there is just something very appealing to have some good craft choices in a can.  Just think: fishing, camping, bbq, outside in general, etc. 

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 06:47:24 PM »
Quote
I'm interested in what those reservations might be.

I realize the convenience and the nonbreakable aspect of them, but I don't like licking metal. I would not try and distribute craft beer in cans.

Offline babalu87

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2010, 06:56:52 PM »
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I'm interested in what those reservations might be.

I realize the convenience and the nonbreakable aspect of them, but I don't like licking metal. I would not try and distribute craft beer in cans.

You drink out of cans?

I dont even drink out of the bottle anymore.

The big mental block I see is cans are known for MEH beer
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2010, 07:14:12 PM »
It's a marketing thing, all about perception.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010, 07:37:25 PM »
The distributors have an issue with the "image" thing, mostly - they have a huge issue with 16 oz and charge a lot more for shelf space. Obviously real beer geeks know that cans are a superior package (unless you are concerned with BPA - nudder story). I like the idea of cans because it keeps the beer fresher and because they are more recyclable, lighter, non-breakable and impervious to light. eventually most craft beer will probably move to cans. I can't wait until I open that first Orval from a can. (yeah .... right...  ;))
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brewboy

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2010, 09:54:29 PM »
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Obviously real beer geeks know that cans are a superior package.... 

Superior???

Two of the same beers, at the same price, on the shelf, I'm going with bottles. I'm looking for the best taste. I'm not buying good beer to save the earth.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 10:00:36 PM by brewboy »

Offline a10t2

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2010, 10:11:00 PM »
Superior???

Two of the same beers, at the same price, on the shelf, I'm going with bottles. I'm looking for the best taste. I'm not buying good beer to save the earth.

Cans reduce oxidation, reduce skunking, are less likely to break, cheaper to produce and package, less likely to break, and allow more beer to be shipped/stored in a given volume. I can't think of a way they *aren't* superior.

If taste is your main concern, you should prefer cans.
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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2010, 10:12:39 PM »
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If taste is your main concern, you should prefer cans.

Not if I'm drinking directly from the container. Aluminum, lined or not, still has a metallic taste.

If your primary goal is to get beer to the consumer in the cheapest possible way, then cans are your vessel.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 10:24:58 PM by brewboy »

Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2010, 10:22:44 PM »
From all the canning brewers I have spoken with and the staff at breweries I have spoken with the bottom line is that
it is a PITA especially since for the majority they bottle. It tends to be a pain to switch to can some of the stock.
But it is usually only some batches or one particular style. I can only think of Oscar Blues in Lyons CO that cans
everything...

It has been 3-4 years since I heard this though. It may be easier now...
Ruben * Colorado :)

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2010, 10:38:18 PM »
Not if I'm drinking directly from the container. Aluminum, lined or not, still has a metallic taste.

Well, no offense, but if someone is drinking directly from the container, taste (or at least aroma) can't be a huge concern for them.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Why don't more microbrews start canning?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2010, 05:38:28 AM »
Well, BrewBoy, as usual you and I don't see eye to eye. If we ultimately do decide to go with cans (we may or may not) it certainly won't be because we are trying to find the "cheapest" way to get our product to the consumer, rather it will be because we are trying to find the best way to get our beer to the consumer. Perhaps you are not aware of all of the benefits cans offer to the consumer (all mentioned above, no need to rehash). Of course, if the issue is you just prefer to drink beer from bottles, well that is entirely subjective. Our intent would be for people to pour the beer in a glass, regardless of bottle or can.

That said, I actually do agree with you on one thing: Sometimes I enjoy drinking a cold lager from a long neck bottle - and I probably always will. But, in the case of Oskar Blues beers, I really would not consider drinking that beer from a can or a bottle. I would pour it in a plastic cup at the very least.

Edit: I remembered reading THIS article so I dug it up. Here's a pretty good quote:

Quote
That brings us back to the big question: Can you really say that beer in cans is as good a beer in bottles?

DK: Yes.

But what about the aroma (hops and malt) you that we expect and enjoy from a beer like this?

DK: Well, no, not directly from the can. I tell people, when I drink a LaChouffe, I don't drink it right from a bottle. I pour it into a glass.

People see the can and think they need to drink right from it. You'd never drink a full-flavored beer from a bottle. This is a better, safer package than a bottle. It's draft beer in a mini-keg, and you don't drink draft beer right from a full-size keg.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 05:51:59 AM by majorvices »
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