The craft brewing scene has exploded recently, providing opportunities for thousands of small-batch brewery owners. For example, this movement has resulted in a taphouse boom, providing breweries with an additional revenue channel. In a taphouse, a professional brewery sells 25% or more of its beer on-site. While beer is primarily produced to sell in taprooms, many breweries are taking advantage of other revenue streams.
When these breweries invest in their brands and communities, they open many other doors within the industry, ranging from local events to beer distribution. Although there are several options, few are as easy to implement in a taphouse as the distribution of cans. This channel keeps on giving, providing breweries with an additional source of revenue and increased brand awareness.
So, as a craft brewing taphouse, is now the time to invest in canning?
Canning Is the Future of Small-Batch Brewing
In recent years, there has been a significant shift toward beer canning. There are several reasons for this, including quality. When beer is put into a can, it’s darker than a take-home bottle, helping the beer stay fresher longer. The packaging is also convenient for both breweries and consumers. Brewery tap houses can creatively display cans, cohesively marketing their product with their brand in mind, and consumers can easily take their favorites home, mixing and matching from the available cans.
In the past, when visiting brewery tap houses, if beer enthusiasts wanted to take beer home, the option was typically 64-ounce growlers. This option was clunky, and the beer would often go flat. You can still find this take-home vessel in many breweries across the country, but this method of packaging beer is quickly going out of style. For this reason, brewery tap houses of all sizes are adding canning solutions to their business models.
Some of the other benefits associated with canning include:
- The ability to package access beer reduces potential losses and allows breweries to switch up beers.
- Marketing outside of one’s neighborhood to increase distribution and brand awareness.
- A higher average revenue per customer. Not only will beer drinkers take home cans of their favorite brews, but they may also purchase beer for others. Cans are an approachable product. Not all customers want 32 or 64 ounces of the same beer.
The key for brewery tap houses is to get people into their taproom, connect with their customers by pouring pints, and effectively market their canning operation. This approach is more profitable than the wholesale beer game and is more personable — which is great for branding purposes. For example, when pouring pints and selling cans, tap houses can make 40% to 50% more than selling their product to a wholesale distributor. The idea here is to cut out the middleman.
What Canning Solutions Are Available?
The concept of canning makes sense, but how does one transition from the conception phase to the production phase? More importantly, how do you find canning solutions you can count on?
The answer depends on your needs, space, and desired capacity. Canning machines are available, ranging from The Eagle, a fully automated micro-canner, to the Mancos CP, perfect for packaging high-carbonation and warmer-temperature products in cans.
Once you pick a base canning machine, you can customize it. Technology allows unique add-ons that significantly boost productivity. Whether a brewery’s goal is to can five or 100 beers per minute, reliable canning machines make this possible.
Marketing Opportunities Associated With Canning
Canning beer to create a take-home option is only half the battle. Marketing those cans and the brand is the other crucial piece of the puzzle — it’s also an exciting opportunity. With each can a brewery sells, it’s an opportunity for its brand to spread throughout the community and beyond. For some, that means marketing themselves as a sustainable company; for others, it’s all about the cans’ labels — the ultimate canvas to showcase creative branding.
A brewery taphouse has the advantage of meeting with those who sit in their taproom, bonding with them over a shared passion for beer, but once a brewery’s product leaves the building, it’s up to the marketing team to bridge that gap. Once canning machines are in place, adding an automated labeler is easy. With careful planning, a brewery’s brand will grow based on where its cans go — and that’s a powerful thing.
Now Is the Time to Invest in Canning
Whether the goal is to save money, achieve business growth, or diversify revenue streams, investing in a complete canning line can help breweries remain competitive. Craft brewing is here to stay, and cans are the solution to many ongoing challenges. Being a more portable, durable, and cheaper alternative to bottles and growlers, you can take your brewery’s capabilities to the next level.
Twin Monkeys has everything you need to implement the ultimate canning system. Contact us to learn more!