In Session 4 of the Breaking Brews Podcast, Jason Cercone is joined by Ian Staab, Co-Owner and Brewer at Yellow Bridge Brewing Company in Delmont, PA, to discuss one of the biggest phenomenons in the craft beer industry today: cans. Without question, cans have helped put many breweries on the map with sleek label art, increased accessibility, ability to be transported, and, of course, because of the great liquid inside. There are numerous advantages to cans and many breweries are factoring in cans to their initial business plans today.
We start off the show hearing about Ian’s background, then learn about how Yellow Bridge came to life in 2016. From there, Ian shares how he and his crew started canning beer around their one-year anniversary and haven’t looked back. They’ve tried many methods of canning and have invested in a canning line that helps them get 20+ cases of beer ready for consumers to grab on-the-go. We talk about how this has helped generate additional revenue in their taproom and led to increased brand exposure for Yellow Bridge as their beer has landed in various parts of the country it normally wouldn’t thanks to the trade market.
If your brewery is considering canning or looking to improve current practices, this is the podcast for you.
Catch up with Ian and Yellow Bridge online:
MUSIC CREDIT: Music in this session is courtesy of purple-planet.com
“For the second year, we were packaging by hand. There was a lot of room for error and it was a tedious process. We weren’t really able to get that many cans produced and we’d sell out in a night or two. It would leave us in a pinch until we could dedicate another 8-hour day to canning 15 cases of beer.” — Ian
“Our current canning line is putting out 20-25 cases an hour. Much, much smoother and we are much happier with the quality perspective that it brings to the table. We know we are getting minimal oxygen introduction in those beers. It’s overall been a big improvement for us.” — Ian
“Cans travel well and, from a quality perspective, there’s no chance for light to be introduced once the beer is packaged, and technology has come a long way with the cans themselves and you’re not having the issues with aluminum cans that breweries have had in the past.” — Ian
“Even the breweries who have made their mark with packaging in bottles have started to go down the road of cans. I’m in the same mindset: it’s a much more convenient way of transporting beer, recyclability (if that’s a word), and, I’m just speculating, but the cost of cans is less expensive than bottles.” — Jason
“It’s always good when a beer comes together and no crabs are harmed.” — Jason
“We are doing can releases every other week, but we are able to package more beer now. We see an initial bump in sales the day those cans release. But what we’re seeing that the people who wouldn’t stop before they didn’t have time for a pint of beer or didn’t want to deal with drinking a growler within a couple days, they’ll stop in and grab 4-packs.” — Ian
“We’ll still look at the taproom and say, ‘The taproom isn’t crazy busy today, I wonder what’s going on.’ Then I’ll check sales and see that we sold many cases of beer but those people didn’t stick around. So it’s a net positive for us because we see the sales increase and our customers are able to enjoy the product for a longer period of time.” — Ian
“I’ve never talked to a brewer who said ‘I wish we wouldn’t have gotten into canning.'” — Ian
“If you’re putting together a business plan for a brewery now, it would behoove you to add the canning process into your plans to make sure you’re keeping front of mind. It can significantly impact your bottom line.” — Jason
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