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Top tips for getting into canning

Ever considered producing your beverage in a can? If not, why not? These days it is easier and more cost-effective than ever for you to put your brew in a canned format.

The can is brimming with benefits for you and your customers. If you use eye-catching designs that pop on the shelf, the consumer will naturally be drawn to the pack. They are also lightweight, chill quickly, are easy to carry and are of course infinitely recyclable. What’s not to like?

If you’re interested in canning but are unsure where to start, here are the answers to common questions we hear from drink brands.

Is the can right for my drink? Will it affect the taste?

The quality of an independent beer in a can is usually better than in other formats. The technology involved in making and filling cans is advanced – unlike bottles, they protect from light and other elements, ensuring that the beer isn’t compromised in any way.

When people think that their beer tastes ‘off’, it’s usually the result of oxidisation. When beer is exposed to air, chemical reactions take place that make the taste of the beer change rapidly. Cans are air-tight; seamed ends mean there is no way that air is going to get in until someone pops the ring-pull.

And you needn’t be concerned that placing your cherished brew into a new pack will force you to alter its intended characteristics. Canning your indie beer will not require you to change your fizz/gas levels and you can easily place an unpasteurised beer into a can. Trust us, if you pour your beer into a glass you will find it very hard to tell how it was packaged.

Great! So how do I get started?

The first step is to assess how many cans you want to fill and at what speed. For a consistently large volume, you might want to get in touch with a major supplier such as the following Can Makers members: ArdaghBall or Crown. If, however, you are planning on a smaller volume (micro-canning), consider a contract canner, employing a mobile canner or setting up your own line.

An advantage of using a mobile line or contract canner is that you don’t have to buy your own packaging equipment or train up a team to use the machinery. It’s the perfect way to explore canning without any long-term commitment.

Take a look at our resources for suggestions on suppliers and contacts for canning your drink.

How do I go about creating my can design?

Once you’ve decided to can your drink, you will need to think about the design for your finished product. Whether creating your own design or working with a professional designer there’s a handy design tool that we recommend.

Can Creator can help you to visualise your final product, in 3D, in seconds! Available for Mac and Windows, it allows you to download a template and try different features, finishes and colours. You can even rotate your can 360 degrees to view from any angle. It also allows you to share your creation with clients, friends and colleagues, so you can showcase your final design with pride.

Whatever stage you are in your canning journey, the resources you can find on our Can Makers and Indie Beer Can Advice websites are intended to help answer your burning questions and teach you more about the exciting and growing can market. Alternatively, email to ask us a question directly.

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