This ​Package Format Could Set Up a New Option for ​Brewery ​Sales

If your brewery is to the point of looking for new market share, entering convenience store retail or entertainment venues could be the next step.

Many craft breweries are entering the space more now and a new avenue of sales can be the addition of a 19.2-ounce can to your portfolio.

West Sixth introduced its flagship IPA into the “stovepipe” format more than a year ago now and Kelly Hieronymus — the Lexington, Kentucky brewery’s Creative Director — explained to Brewer that it re-introduces the company to current customers and in on-premise spaces where that format dominates. That can include music and entertainment venues, ballparks, and such.

“We’re automatically talking to a tourism-heavy audience just by the space this unique format occupies,” she said. “The craft consumer in those spaces may be prone to grab the new 19.2 from a local brand they haven’t tried yet, and the ‘long time listener/first time caller’ beer drinker is opting into this size automatically in these spaces. Let’s get more craft in 19.2s.”

Hieronymus added that the single-serve format was born for convenience, but made for craft to capitalize.

“Trying a new product in a single-serve is ripe for seasonal ​SKUs and rotator styles​,” she said. “So much more opportunity for folks to try something without purchasing the whole package.​”

READ MORE: ​Finding Success in New Packaging Formats

West Sixth is about to trial ​”premium” 19.2 styles in ​its taprooms — with the release of two different products at once.

​”​We price all our 19.2s at a 2 for $__ price, so this will allow for mix and match​,” she said. “Additionally, we’ve run almost ​two​ years with our flagship IPA in 19.2s — it’s a best seller in every other package format, and 19.2s speak directly to those consumers we’ve already convinced.

​”​It gives you something new to talk about, even if the product isn’t new. The ​c​-store space is ripe for growth, and especially in Kentucky, we’re seeing lots of these stores looking to add craft without adding more cooler space — all we need to do is get into that single slot​.”​

West Sixth creates price points based on batch cost/yield and packaging costs.

“Yield and our efficiencies are already maximized with a flagship product and packaging is a little cheaper with 19.2s because 1) no PakTechs and 2) (it has a) very bare-bones and simple cardboard case box,” she said. “The introductions of new varieties this summer are going to be a way for us to maximize our canning line already being changed over for 19.2s — we’ll tack them on to an IPA packaging day.”

​Although, she​ added, the logistics toward ordering anything from suppliers are chaotic right now, the brewery has not seen problems getting the quantities they need.

“Labeling brite cans is an easy way to stay flexible, and our flagship brand is selling well so we are able to meet printed MOQs,” she said.

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