Friday, October 13, 2017

Localization Technology - Beer

In the spring I wrote about disruption in the liquor industry here in Oregon. One of the items listed is called a "crowler" which is a 32 oz can of beer that is created while you wait at the bar from a keg on tap of your favorite beer, carbonized, and sealed.

Recently they took it to the "next level" by even offering a professional label on the can - from the time I requested it, to filling it, sealing it, and applying the label was about 1 minute. The beer comes out ice cold from the tap so you can take it out of the bar and drink it right away (say if you are a guest at a dinner party) or take it upstairs and put it in your refrigerator and drinking it later.

The beer is a bit foamy if you drink it right away - as if you got it out of a keg - which isn't that much of a problem just something to remember if you open it up in the middle of a friends' living room, for instance. You don't want to find out about that the hard way.

It is interesting to think of how much the savings would be in terms of shipping costs, avoided waste / slippage along the way, and also in over-purchasing beer in large quantities (6, 12 or 24 packs) when you could just buy 1-2 32 oz cans for a mild evening. You could also buy just what you felt like drinking right then rather than guessing in advance.

Cross posted at Chicago Boyz


Overload in Colorado said...

If you're at a brewery, why not a refillable 32 or 64oz container? Growlers and half growlers are available most places. These are reusable, resealable, and usable at other breweries.
I see very few advantages to the Crowler:
1- It can be sold in a liquor store.
2- It has a lower cost per unit vs a growler, but you need expensive specialized equipment to be able to load them.
3- Aluminum is less fragile than the classic glass growler, but my growler and half growler are stainless steel.
4- Aluminum is lighter than a glass container of the same size.

I see more and more breweries offering Crowlers, especially as they were developed here in Colorado, but I just don't get it.

Carl from Chicago said...

I agree with all your comments. The benefit of Crowlers for me is that there is a bar right in my building that makes them and I can just order it and take a can upstairs. Or if I am traveling and go to a bar and want to take a can home with me to the hotel.

They are more of a novelty than anything that would be done at scale. The Growler is much more practical.