Cider Corner: Can’t Find Cans? ​3 ​Alternate Packaging Ideas

​Canning products in a 12- or 16-ounce format​ hit many types of craft beverages quickly over the last few years, but because of aluminum shortages and the sheer volume of facilities looking to move from bottles into the format along with a variety of other aspects — the pandemic included – it’s harder and harder to have a consistent connection at times to put all the product your cidery wants in the packaging you want.

“Can supply is or should be a concern for everyone,” said Swilled Dog‘s Brooke Glover.

The West Virginia cidery has been paying attention to this issue for a while and Glover said they have invested in inventory.

“Alternate packaging is something that we have started to explore,” she told Brewer recently. “We are always exploring possibilities with our business in order to keep up with our increased demand and growth.”

​Here are some ideas to consider:​

Kegged Cider

The re-opening of bars and restaurants may allow offloading products to these on-premise locations for draft sales in a bulk format. It may also open up new avenues for sales that your cidery has not explored yet.

This also opens up the ability to sell more growler or crowler sales.

READ MORE: Fight for a Draft Line

Back to Bottles?​

“Cider in bottles matures. Cider in cans corrodes,” said Ploughman Cider‘s Ben Wenk. “We’re definitely happy to bottle our cider and sell off the stack of bottles over time.

Our increase in retail and direct to consumer marketing has allowed us to bet heavier on bottles.”

Peter Yi, the founder and Cidermaker for Brooklyn Cider House and Twin Star Orchards said that they treat cider more like a wine since it’s a fermented fruit. The cidery has both 750ml and 12-ounce bottles, but Yi said they are phasing out the smaller format.

“We will keep bottling 750s since that is what works for wine stores,” he explained, adding that recently they added cans due to popular demand.


Wenk said that he would love to do a little run of cider in bags.

“We haven’t looked into it too much yet but I’m smitten with the idea,” he said. “We [also] had one account reach out about filling cider for their cask lines as breweries step away from it.”

Minnesota’s Milk & Honey Ciders sells a bagged cider that comes in a 1.5L pouch, called a “bagnum.” More suited for still cider, mead, or wine, bagnums are a way to get a product to an off-premise facility or even sell from the tasting room to-go.

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