One bad thing leads to another. First the coronavirus pandemic shuts down the world causing a national “candemic” that has caused one Colorado brewery to get creative…
Here’s the deal…
It’s been a perfect storm of circumstances. Thanks to a brutal worldwide pandemic there’s been a run on aluminum cans that’s challenging the nation’s brewers both big and small.
The coronavirus has led to bar, taproom and restaurant shutdowns across the US, effectively putting the brakes on kegged beer sales and sending canned beer sales through the roof, as consumers stocked their pantries to wait out the pandemic.
Almost overnight kegged beer destined for restaurants and bars was diverted to cans for consumers now sheltering-in-place and brewery can supplies were decimated by the unexpected transition.
On July 17 analysts from the banking advisory firm Evercore Inc. warned of “rampant and unprecedented” beer out-of-stocks from the nation’s largest supplier due to growing can shortages.
And on July 31 the Boulder-Colorado-based craft beer trade organization, the Brewers Association warned of medium to long term aluminum can shortages that could further challenge American craft breweries already in survival mode.
Add President Trump’s recent announcement that he was re-imposing aluminum tariffs against Canada into the mix and it’s a total disaster…
And as the aluminum can shortage continues to grow many craft brewers are facing supply issues at a time when cans have never been more in demand. But for one pioneering canner, Ska Brewing, this latest hurdle presents opportunity.
For many reasons, things like old inventory that was never used, misprints (it happens), or errors in forecasting (that too), millions of aluminum cans go unused each year.
And harnessing the moment, Ska Brewing saw a chance to kill two birds with one stone.
“We approach most of our issues with a mindset of sustainability,” said Ska President and Co-founder Dave Thibodeau. “Here we saw an opportunity to reuse old cans and solve a new problem at the same time by labeling over them and sending them to market.”
Ska fans will soon notice the Durango, Colorado-based brewery’s candemic packaging. And this new label plastered over a previously printed can for another beer altogether might come as a bit of a shock, especially for a brewery known for a strong graphic look.
But it is, what it is, and what once were mistakes are now looking like gifts from the gods…
“It’s certainly not going to be the clean look we’re known for, but at the same time we’re also known for our creativity, and the benefits of this creative solution far outweigh the disadvantages,” said Thibodeau. “Just don’t be surprised if you see a white or blue can extending above that iconic green Modus label!”
If the ‘candemic’ lasts well into 2021, as some expect it will Ska will continue to source old cans and run labels on them indefinitely.