beer cans

Breweries Turn to Innovative Strategies to Solve Craft Beer’s Can Shortage

The craft beer boom has brewers scrambling for limited resources. One of these precious resources is beer cans, and they aren’t exactly easy to find. The high demand for cans has inspired breweries to use a few innovate solutions to keep up with a thirsty public.

Why cans?
The craft beer marketplace is crowded, but also fairly friendly and innovative. Breweries want to supply their thirsty customers with creative and functional packaging. Cans have become the go-to avenue for packaging that’s cheap, lightweight, and appealing.

The aluminum beer can is a cheaper solution than bottles, not to mention easier to seal and less susceptible to damaging effects of light. Cans are also much more welcome on outdoor adventures and sports events.

Standing out in the crowd
About five years ago, craft brewers began turning to cans to carve out a unique place as they competed with high-profile corporate beer producers. Canning was a quick solution to the problem of being crowded out in a world full of brown bottles.

As the beer marketplace became eager for canning, a shortage developed. To keep up, breweries began to release 16oz and 24oz cans to claim their visual dominance as well as cut costs. Larger cans show up on the shelf and help smaller breweries showcase their brews with fewer packages.

Mobile Canning sparks entrepreneurial insight
American craft breweries are popular and numerous in areas like the Portland, San Francisco, and Denver. Smaller craft breweries sometimes can’t afford their own canning facilities. When these breweries began to run into long wait times for their canning needs, some entrepreneurs saw a chance to provide a solution.

Mobile canning outfits purchase full systems to can and label, put them on a trailer or box truck, and drive from brewery to brewery fulfilling their canning needs on-site. The ability to can, clean, and label about 5,000 beers each day ends up being a perfect match for craft breweries looking to compete.

Mobile canning operations and larger can sizes are two ways craft breweries are competing in a market fighting for precious cans. As resources become more scarce, watch for brewers to keep innovating to stay ahead of the game.

Photo credit: Greencolander via Visual Hunt / CC BY