Craft beer canner turns to subscriptions to help virus-hit brewers

A US beer canning service has come up with a novel way of helping coronavirus-stricken brewers make up for lost sales during lockdown by creating a canned beer subscription service.

Under Craft Alley’s initiative, customers who would have bought keg-packaged craft brews on tap from bars and restaurants can now pay a monthly or weekly fee to have a guaranteed amount sent to them in hand-filled 16oz crowler cans.

The Denver-based firm had been offering the service since before the pandemic, but more and more breweries have been signing up since lockdowns closed their main source of revenue.

“Obviously, it’s not a replacement for taproom sales, but it was an awesome way to have some extra revenue coming in, especially when times were really uncertain,” Jake Gardner, head brewer at Under Westbound and Down Brewing Company – which just signed up to the service – told The Know, an online news source.

Subscribers can order weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deliveries of beer that Craft Alley will curate from the dozens of breweries it services. Alternatively, they could hand pick their favourites from a list of hundreds. Same-day deliveries can be booked in the Denver area. 

“We’re doing everything we can,” co-founder Bryce Forester said. “We’ve heard breweries have had pretty good support at their taprooms, which is awesome to hear, but we’re definitely one of their main outlets, especially if they don’t have packaged products to get into liquor stores.”