Inspired by Unit 16, Packaging Warehouse at Fourpure Brewery
It's now 3 years since Fourpure became the first UK-based craft brewery to start canning an entire range. It was noteworthy as the familiar, traditional brown bottle was symbolic of craft brewing – not shiny, space-aged aluminium capsules (first used by Pittsburgh Brewing Company a mere 55 years ago).
Since then, the craft beer market has evolved, and in a market where taste and quality rules, cans have proven their appeal. Cans are representative of the need to constantly innovate and improve. We believe that cans – with their protection from light and superior seal – keep a flavoursome beer in the best possible condition better than a glass bottle. As well as preserving a distinctive product, cans are lightweight and space efficient, with less of an environmental impact from production and transportation all that way through to recycling and re-use.
What cans also do – from a visual and educational standpoint – is tell the drinker more about the origins and character of the beer itself. It is obvious to point out that much fewer words fit on a bottle label (before a fidgety drinker starts peeling it), and of course cans are a terrific canvas for innovative graphic design. Think that’s not important? Well, walk into a bottle shop and you will see dozens of different beers – it’s a feast for eyes as well as the palette – and we need to get our message across, pronto.
In our humble opinion, cans are here to stay, so what’s next, you say? Well, happily, it’s all about bigger cans. In 2016 Fourpure produced a first run of 500ml cans, known as tallboys. We took something of a gamble launching a new beer in a new can size: yet clearly it was one of those moments when the fuzzy brewing stars aligned and the beer, the branding and the packaging all hit the spot. Juicebox was a bestseller in summer 2016, with sales bouncing along into December, proving demand for a great beer in a bigger can (it seems so obvious, when put like that). After hibernation, Juicebox is back, juicier and um … boxier (maybe). So will more beers be packed in 500ml cans? Absolutely, resoundingly, YES – but only the right product. Indy Lager has joined the big-can party already so watch this space.
Did we mention boxier? This year we have launched 12-can cartons. These smaller packs give drinkers the chance to grab a box of their favourite beer, rather than having loose cans in their bag. Smaller cartons give retailers and bars more stocking options too – and fewer open boxes in the storeroom. Hopefully a win-win.
Our most recent innovations have seen us install a Crowler filler in our tap room... you may be familiar with the growler premise - a bottle or flask that allows for take-home beer purchases straight from the tap. Crowlers afford us this capability only into cans! Fresh and protected from the elements for best possible taste and enjoyment. Finally, we will soon be able to shrink wrap small volume canning runs which will allow us to get even more of our unique small-batch brews out to you for home (or venue) consumption.
These innovations whilst clever and at times creative are always driven by the quality and unique character of the beer itself. Fourpure is a brewery, not a branding agency. Names and design concepts only happen when we are certain we've got something you’ll love to drink. Here’s to another year of getting great beer in to your hands…cheers