Colorado boasts one of the most robust craft brewing industries in the world, with more than 425 craft breweries to its name. Most of these breweries don’t distribute — they operate small tasting rooms and serve their beers on tap or in growlers to take home.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, brewpub revenue all but evaporated. With beer drinkers unable to go out and tasting rooms unable to operate as usual, hundreds of craft breweries were stuck with thousands of gallons of beer and no way to get it to their customers.
Mobile canning was a lifesaver for these breweries in the second half of 2020, with most mobile canners able to package roughly eight barrels in an hour and empty the tank of a small craft brewery in a day. But while mobile canning offers a great interim solution for our favorite craft breweries, many have begun exploring on-site canning solutions to be truly self-sufficient. So what’s the value in investing in on-site canning?
Diversified Revenue Streams
Mobile canning is a viable solution on occasion, but during the enormous spike in demand that accompanied the pandemic, mobile canners found themselves unable to keep up. Brewers were put on waitlists, going without distribution for weeks on end while waiting for a canner to help them package and distribute their product.
If your brewery is capable of packaging on-site, you won’t be beholden to anyone else’s schedule. And with the small footprint offered by Twin Monkeys machinery — our tabletop Mancos is capable of canning 1.5 barrels per hour on a 3’ x 4’ footprint — you can keep up with distribution demand and bring in revenue from people who are unable to visit your brewery in person.
Limiting your business to taproom services is a viable option when your business is small, but it also allows few opportunities for growth, especially with the current indoor dining restrictions. Customers want to take your product to go, and there are limitations to the versatility of glass growlers — they’re heavy, cumbersome, and not allowed in camping areas or parks.
There are only so many people a taproom can handle in a day before you’re faced with a choice: open a new taproom or start canning your beer. Opening a new taproom is a daunting proposition, while canning is much more straightforward. Even if you don’t want to pay for shelf space in grocery stores or liquor stores, you can sell cans from your own brewery, offering pickup or delivery to make the distribution even more convenient for your customers.
The primary benefit of on-site canning for craft brewers is the cost savings over mobile canning. A typical mobile canner charges between $3.00 and $4.80 per case for their services — an amount most brewers can stomach in a pinch. Over time, though, those costs escalate dramatically.
A brewery producing 3,000 barrels per year is equivalent to roughly 41,000 cases, which will cost anywhere from $120,000 to $200,000 per year to process through a mobile brewer. With Twin Monkeys’ range of canning machines, your brewery will be able to keep up with your brewing and canning needs at a far lower cost.
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Canning is the future of the craft brewery industry. Cans are more portable, more durable, and cheaper than bottles, and they allow craft breweries to distribute their product and their brand far outside their taprooms.
If your brewery is ready to take its capabilities to the next level, now is the time to get in touch with Twin Monkeys about our versatile range of modular canning systems. With Twin Monkeys machines ranging from the tabletop Mancos to the customizable Cimarron, you can broaden the reach and capabilities of your brewery without renting a warehouse or spreading yourself too thin. Get in touch with Twin Monkeys today, and we’ll build the canning solution that’s right for you.