Are Bombers Going Out of Style?

Recognizing changing tastes and being able to make sound decisions in order to adapt to demand can be key to success in this market.

Lone Tree Brewing Company recently did just that.

The Colorado brewery was selling 22-ounce bombers along with 12-ounce cans for years. However, it seems that consumers are opting for the smaller cans much more often than the bombers.

“Cans were out pacing 22 ounce bombers by far the past few years,” said Dennis Stack, Director of Sales and Marketing. “Industry resources and surveys showed a large decline in bomber sales industry-wide including our home market in Colorado.

“Colorado consumers really preferred the convenience that cans provide when paired with other activities where glass becomes cumbersome, such as hiking, biking, etcetera.”

As part of its 2019 growth trajectory, Lone Tree is discontinuing its bombers in favor of the 12-ounce cans. Brewhouse production has grown 40% since last year, according to a press release, and Lone Tree added in four fermentation tanks as well as a labeling machine.

It also announced the release of two new limited-edition beers, including the one from the Branching Out series, Pineapple Sour, along with Centennial IPA for the Hoppy Little Trees Project. The Pineapple Sour is not the first of the series, but it is the first to be put in a can, and Centennial IPA is Lone Tree’s first single-hop IPA to be canned.

This presented a challenge since Lone Tree has always worked with fully printed cans for its core beers.

“We needed to find a solution that would allow us to change the artwork on a can to flow with the current needs of the market,” Stack said. “We upgraded our brite tanks a few years back to accommodate a busier canning schedule as we saw the trends moving towards cans.”

With the brewery’s new labeling machine added to the canning line, it is able to use partially printed cans along with new labels to give the look of a solid painted can without having to commit to the design, Stack added.

Lone Tree’s core beers are consistent and simple in style, and the designs of those cans reflect that. The new releases illustrate a move away from that simplicity, both in flavor and can design, featuring a more artistic flair.

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