Can it be magic?

by Dan Izzard

25 January 2018

Beer cans are more popular than ever, and for good reason

It's been an interesting 83 year ride for the humble beer can. After shedding their lager lout image of the 90's, cans are now highly regarded as an efficient way to store beer, and they look damn good while they’re at it.

The craft beer community is loving them too; they're lighter, more portable. We like the fact you can take them into festivals. In fact, just a stone's throw from the pyramid stage of Glastonbury, is home to can mavericks Wild Beer . A familiar name in the craft beer world – with a HQ in Shepton Mallet and popular bar in Wapping Wharf. They still sell a range of bottles, but are embracing the benefits that canning brings.

Wild Beer are on a mission to hold off the dreaded enemy of packaged beer - oxidation. That's what happens when air comes into contact with the beer itself, and although bottles may seem completely sealed, air does manage to sneak in over time. Simon Dehany, their marketing and comms manager knows a thing or two about the benefits cans bring.

“Keep the air out, and you’ve got a much more stable environment;IPA’s, DIPA’s and pale ales all deserving to be drunk as fresh as possible.”

So it’s vital that the beer is canned quickly (or drunk!). This reduction in canning time vastly reduces the oxidation process you see. You can’t argue with science.

Why now?

“The craft sector is rife with innovation and progression, so the move to can in the last few years is no surprise. Different formats have also proved successful with choices between 330ml and 500ml cans now on offer," says Simon.

Varying can size has led to another welcome addition. Bigger labels with a lot more room for fun and visually striking designs. With large 500ml cans costing upwards of £5 each, each individual product needs to be as beautiful on the outside as they are tasty on the inside.

Kingdom and Sparrow get to do just that. A food branding company based in Cornwall, you may have seen some of their work on the newest range of Electric Bear cans.

Johnny Paton is creative director at K&S and has much more of an eye for these things than we do. With cans he says being more “fluid and movement led, you need to be holding it in your hands to fully appreciate the 360 experience. What was once seen as a cheaper product is now a better, more premium product. The perception of what it means to drink from a can means has changed.”

Shiny cans and fancy fonts aren’t just about making things look good and taste nice. Branding has an important role in conveying a company, its values, and its products. Capturing the fun and personality as a brewery as well as giving a sense of character to the beer.

As such, “working with a brand like Electric Bear really is a collaboration,” says Sophie Cowles, brand director at K&S. “They live and breathe their beers so they know what kind of image they want to create for each unique brew.”

Let us know your favourite beer can design over on Facebook or Twitter, and remember to tag your beery shots on Instagram with #CrumbsSnaps .