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Bottles and Cans, Case by Case

October 16, 2018 -
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It’s no surprise to see that the production of craft beer has exploded in the recent past. One question we in the packaging industry keep wondering is how do all these brewers decide on the packaging to house their brew? It is easy to think of a beer you enjoy that you always find in a bottle, whereas some beers are so familiar to us in their can encasings. While there are benefits to using both types of container, research has shown us some interesting changes in the industry.

In terms of sustainability, aluminum cans seem to reign strong. Due to their lesser weight, cans are easily cheaper to transport, and far more easy to recycle in most places. Beyond the ‘green’ aspect, cans are more easily customized. In an article by CODO design, “with the rise of digitally-printed sleeves and pressure sensitive labels, more breweries are embracing full raster photos (an image composed of pixels, versus an infinitely scalable and simpler vector graphic) in their packaging…this is a refreshing new look from the more simple aesthetics that have defined craft beer branding over the last several years,”

Numbers are also very telling, with more than 30% of beer packaging in 2017 being cans, the versatility of design capabilities on cans is a very attractive option. Despite the apparent popularity of cans in the craft beer industry, the article by the Brewer’s Association also notes that the biggest changes in use of cans spurs from the sheer growth in actual breweries around the nation, while existing brands seldomly change their packaging from bottles to cans.

While cans seem to be all the rage, it is noted by MarketWatch that some consumers note a distinct taste when consuming beer from aluminum cans. According to Jason Notte, “the idea that canned beer tastes “metallic” — despite decades of improvements to can liners that are meant to eliminate that flavor — hasn’t dissipated…” Despite some beer drinkers preferring bottles to cans claiming better taste, but cans can sometimes be hard to come by. Andrew Boyd, president of  Blue Label Digital, mentions,”labels on cans – or bottles – allows the brewery to buy a large quantity of ‘generic’ cans, and then label them appropriately in much smaller batches,”

Whether you are looking to be canned or bottled, let Coloredge be your partner in all things packaging!