A couple of weeks ago we launched our Session in 500ml Tallboy cans.
This is an exciting product launch for us as cans are the fastest growing format in the craft beer market. A couple of years ago, cans of craft beer in fridges were pretty rare - BrewDog and a handful of American beers. Then the introduction of Beavertown's wonderfully designed cans in summer 2014 kickstarted massive growth in this format. Nowadays you look in the fridges of many good beer bars, and more shelf space is allocated to cans than bottles. Indeed some breweries such as Beavertown and Magic Rock have stopped doing bottles altogether, and focus entirely on can for packaged format.
The rapid rise of the can is due to a number of advantages in comparison to bottle:
1) No UV light
2) No oxidation
3) Greener - more recyclable and efficiently transported (lighter and more stackable)
We would have liked to have been earlier to the party but the capex requirements (50,000 is the minimum print run and you need highly specialised equipment) held us back as a young company. By now some of the initial novelty around cans has worn off. There seems to be a brewery launching cans every other week. We asked ourselves what could we do different that still runs true with our identity?
Paul and I love going to club nights. Often these nights don't have draft options - they want something they can serve fast with the high volume of people. The option is always 500ml Red Stripe, mainly due to the fact its seen to have a party image. But pretty underwhelming for hopheads like us! Why can't you sup a fruity session beer whilst having a boogie to your favourite deejay? We believe there is a space in the market for our Session Tallboy to sit alongside Red Stripe at these venues as a more premium option. In addition, Session suits the larger can size as by nature it's meant to be drunk by the pint.
So far you can find our Session in the basement of Soup Kitchen and Islington Mill. A testament to the forward thinking mindset of these venues and a solid start to our goal of creating a premium version to Red Stripe. We are speaking to a few more clubs, it will be interesting to see how the Session Tallboy develops.