28 February 2012
I’ve been following along as we see more and more innovative, convenient and environmentally friendly packaging make it’s way into the beer market. Just a few years ago it was considered ground-breaking for craft beer to come in a can and now it’s commonplace….so welcome to the next new package….The BEER POUCH…and I’m betting it will be big.
Just north of Capri-Sun and south of a juice box, today we have beer pouches. I’ll include all sorts of example photos, but it’s basically the same packaging used for children’s drink pouches, now re-invented in different sizes & forms for beer and other alcoholic beverages.
As you can see Parrot Bay is currently offering a few varieties of Fermented-Malt-Beverages (FMBs) in pouches, we’ve seen hard-cider take advantage of this package and I’m also hearing we can soon expect to see Four Loko start using pouches.
The Great Bear Brewing Co (Wasilla, Alaska) is already using iNcan pouches for at least one of their beers. It’s also interesting to note that while some have an actual cap, some rely on pouring the beer out into a glass or using a straw.
I think we may see some issues related to the pressure beer carbonation may place on the packaging, and the simple issue of “use”, i.e. will it stand up or spill, it is easy to hold & store, how easily does it fail…but I suspect most of these problems are already worked out. It should also be interesting to see if this package really is “green” at all so stay tuned on that one. I can definitely see how an aluminum can would be more recyclable than a pouch, but that remains to be seen.
Sizes range from 12oz to 64oz and there are already specialized fillers for tap/growler-type filling (Yes Growler Pouches too.) Pricing seems very competitive, especially for a startup. I realize a lot of breweries JUST made an investment into can-production, but I won’t be surprised when very soon a label comes through saying “Brewed and Pouched” instead of “brewed & bottled” or “brewed & canned…”