Alley Kat Switches to Cans Based on Market Demand Edmonton's original craft beer arrives in cans for the first time in spring of 2020
Edmonton, AB: Alley Kat Brewing Company has announced that after packaging almost exclusively in bottles since releasing its first beer in 1995, the company is switching to cans in the spring of 2020. The first cans to hit shelves will be filled with the latest Double IPA from the brewery’s Dragon series. African Queen Dragon, hopped with African Queen hops imported from South Africa's Western Cape province, will be available after March 12th at the Alley Kat Brewery and select liquor stores. The rest of the Alley Kat lineup will roll out in cans as bottle inventory sells out throughout March and April. The decision to switch to cans from bottles was made based on market demand and has been under consideration since 2018. “We’ve been watching the market closely for years and the trend from bottles to cans shows no sign of slowing down,” said former co-owner Neil Herbst who recently sold the brewery but remains involved in day-to-day operations. “Based on these market conditions, we decided in early 2019 that we had to make this switch in order to provide craft beer drinkers with their preferred beer drinking experience.” According to statistics provided by Beer Canada, the percentage of packaged domestic bottled beer sold in Alberta has dropped significantly over the last several years:
2012 Bottles: 24.5% Cans: 75.5%
2016 Bottles: 17.9% Cans: 82.1%
2017 Bottles: 16.2% Cans: 83.8%
2018 Bottles: 15.0% Cans: 85.0%
2019 Bottles: 12.6% Cans: 87.4%
Although the company was already well into the process of switching to cans when they purchased the brewery in February of 2020, Alley Kat’s new owners, Cameron French and Zane Christensen, see several advantages to canned beer. “Cans are perfect for all kinds of summer activities, whether it’s golfing, camping, or outdoor festivals. I can’t wait to see Alley Kat cans at the first barbecue of the season,” said French. “Plus the can design allows us to provide the consumer with tons of information about the beer they’re drinking, along with a few other fun surprises.” Alley Kat has always prioritized sustainability whenever possible, and maintaining that priority was very important to the company. “As a brewery, we remain focused on environmentally friendly business practices and that was at the heart of every decision made throughout this process,” said Christensen. “For example, we’ve chosen can liners that are BPA-free, and we’re using WaveGrip carriers that are fully recyclable, photodegradable, and use 75% less plastic than conventional craft carriers. We also want to remind people that cans are recyclable. In fact, aluminum is the most recyclable of all materials and can be recycled indefinitely. After you’ve enjoyed an Alley Kat, please recycle the can. Cans aren’t trash!” Alley Kat’s core beer range (Aprikat Apricot Ale, Main Squeeze Grapefruit Ale, Scona Gold Kölsch, Buena Vista Brown Ale, Full Moon Pale Ale, and Fish Bone New England IPA) and seasonal brews (e.g., RazzyKat Raspberry Sour to be released April 2), will be sold as six-packs of 355ml cans. The ever-changing Back Alley Brew series and Dragon IIPA series will be sold as four-packs of 473ml cans. The Alley Kat brewery and taproom will be the venue for an open house on April 16th to introduce the full can lineup to the world. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the new cans up close, speak to staff about the switch, win prizes, and even tour the brewery including a look at the brand-new canning line. Details about the event will be released on Alley Kat’s social media channels. About Alley Kat: Alley Kat is Alberta’s fourth longest operating brewery and continues to be a driving force in the industry. Last year it was awarded the distinguished title of Brewery of the Year at the 2019 Alberta Beer Awards. The brewery recently opened a tap room at its 99th Street location and continues to expand its product offering. In 2020, Alley Kat celebrates 25 years of purr-fect craft beer. Wherever possible, Alley Kat works with local products and local suppliers. Alley Kat Brewing Company is locally and independently owned.