Bob Pease, CEO/President of the Brewers Association the not-for-profit trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, looks at the growth of cans and what it means for the UK hospitality sector.

In the States, packaging trends over the last few years have shown an inexorable shift towards cans at the expense of bottles.  Cans continue to gain share but this is not being driven by a particular brewery size any more. Data suggests that in early 2020 we’ll see cans/bottles sales cross for the first time and they won’t cross back again during the year making 2020 the first year cans have outsold bottles in American craft beer distribution.  How does this impact the UK hospitality industry…..

More and more members of our Export Development Programme are available in cans in the UK.   It’s easy to see why – they are easier to transport being lighter, more ergonomic and more costs-effective, they are infinitely recyclable and they offer the full 360 degree marketing wrap.  Cans effectively block light and oxygen, two enemies of craft beer that degrade freshness and quality.

American craft beer in the UK includes well-known favourites such as Sierra Nevada  Brewing Co (available in can, bottle and keg) and exciting newcomers such as Hardywood Park  Craft brewery (can, bottle and keg), both are available from selected wholesalers.  American craft beer with its big, bold styles and innovative flavour profiles is an ideal accompaniment to food.  Stocking a range of creative and experimental styles in cans  (and keg where appropriate) will help your establishment stand out, increase choice and stimulate demand from your guests.

There’s no doubting the success of the American craft beer industry in just a few decades and one of the key reasons for its success is proximity to the freshest examples of highly sought-after hop varieties. By visiting the hop fields themselves American craft brewers are able to develop flavour profiles in beer that are difficult to match without the same level of control.  Combine quality and a freshness of raw materials with brewing expertise to understand why American craft beer is renowned for quality the world over, borne out by the number of medals and top honours American craft beer wins at high profile international beer competitions.

For beer and food lovers, tickets for SAVOR™, An American Craft Beer and Food Experience in Washington, DC, 15th May 2020 are now available.

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