What Is A Crowler?

Because the appeal of craft beer has grown over the last decade, so has the desire for take-home beer.

Craft breweries responded by selling both conventional beer cans and refillable beer growlers to their most loyal customers. Breweries and beer drinkers, however, were limited by these two possibilities.

Growlers were overly enormous and went totally flat within several days of being taken home from the taproom, and standard six pack beer cases just aren’t enough for customers anymore.

what is a crowler
This was my favorite local brewery before they closed due to the pandemic.

Breweries sought to investigate alternative packaging options for craft beer to address the issue of shelf life – as well as other issues such as making the seals on beer cans airtight and protecting the beer from UV light. 

The collaboration led in a beer-can revolution: a prototype on-demand seaming machine that seals one can at a time, resulting in a combination of the can and growler – the crowler was created. 

This article will discuss crowlers and how they have revolutionized craft beer drinking. 

What Is A Crowler?

Craft breweries utilise crowlers, which are giant 32-ounce aluminium beer cans with an airtight seal, to pack and sell alcohol in their taprooms. 

Crowlers are designed to be easier to take back to customers’ homes and to keep beer fresher for longer. This makes them attractive to consumers and better for the brewery selling them. 

How Do Crowlers Work?

Crowlers begin with an unfilled can with no cover. The unique label or logo is then applied to the can using a beer labelling machine.

The crowler can then be fed with CO2 using a tube that runs out from the beer line to the bottom of a can. The CO2 is then evacuated from the can, and the empty crowler is swiftly filled and vacuum sealed with beer.

What Are The Advantages Of Crowlers?

While crowlers provide numerous advantages for beer enthusiasts and breweries, the following are the primary reasons for their recent popularity:

1. Seal That Is Airtight

Crowlers are sealed using a machinery that creates an airtight seal, which keeps the carbonation in the can while it’s being transported or stored.

2. UV Light Reflection

UV radiation affects the taste of alcohol, which is why growlers are made of dark, tinted glass. Crowlers have solid aluminium packaging, which means that all light is bounced off the can.

3. Increased Shelf Life

Because crowlers are vacuum-sealed with specialized canning equipment, they have a longer shelf life than other types of beer packaging.

4. Flexibility

Crowlers are 32-ounce aluminium cans that are easier to mail to clients, return home, transport to events, and take on trips.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Crowler?

A crowler preserves its quality and distinctive fizz for up to 3 weeks because of its vacuum-sealed canisters. 

Crowlers can have a lower shelf life if the canning process isn’t done properly or if the beer is stored in improper circumstances – so make sure to carefully follow canning instructions for crowlers. 

Crowlers: How To Sell Them At Your Brewery

Crowlers give producers another option for packaging and selling their craft beer.

There really is no reason for craft breweries not to take the opportunity to sell crowlers when the barrier to entry is so low. 

You need to make sure that your customers are aware of the benefits by advertising crowlers online and at your brewery. 

1. Locate A Crowler Manufacturer

To begin, you’ll need to locate a crowler can supplier. Crowlers are only available from one manufacturer, the Ball Corporation, however there are several wholesalers.

Crowlers have become increasingly popular among craft brewers in recent years. Many breweries have struggled to keep up with demand as crowler sales have skyrocketed. 

Breweries seem unable to replenish the supply of crowlers, causing a disruption in their supply chain.

2. Choose Your Crowlers’ Labels

The next step is to create your beer’s labels. Pressure-sensitive labeling or shirk labels are the two kinds of crowler labels available.

For your crowlers, branding is crucial, and you’ll want to purchase a label design that appeals to the customers and helps your brewery stand out in the craft beer industry. You must also adhere to the legal requirements for beer labelling.

According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), anyone selling beer must include the following information on the label:

  • Beer Class Designation by Brand Name (ie. Ale, IPA, Stout)
  • Brewey’s Full Name and Address
  • Table of Contents
  • Specific Ingredient Alcohol Content Disclosure
  • Statement of Health Concerns
  • Country of Origin

To get professional-grade labelling for your cans, you’ll also need to purchase a beer crowler labelling machine.

3. Invest In A Beer Canning Machine.

The next step is to get beer canning equipment for your crowlers. Remember that the key method of selling crowlers is indeed the product’s long shelf life. That’s why finding a reputable source of beer-canning machines is critical.

There are several crowler-canning machine vendors for craft breweries, including MoreBeer, Cask, and IC Filling Systems. 

4. Make Your New Crowlers Known

It’s finally time to publicise your new crowlers. Make sure your brewers’ online menus are up to date, and publicise the product on your webpage, social networks, and in local marketplaces.

Remember that crowlers are a fairly new idea, and many people outside the industry will be unfamiliar with the phrase or mistake it for a growler. 

Make a plan to educate your consumers about the benefits of crowlers via signage in the taproom, on the brewery’s menu, and other mediums.

Final Thoughts

While crowlers are a new concept, there are many advantages to using them such as an airtight seal, UV protection, increased shelf life and flexibility which will be both helpful to you and your customers. 

Remember it’s important to make your crowlers known and adhere to rules surrounding labelling procedures.

If you follow the guidelines outlined above, you will find that investing in Crowlers is a great way to increase your brewery’s customer base.

Robert Kaser
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