Canning with the help of Gamer Packaging allowed 32 North Brewing in San Diego to differentiate its product within an already saturated market, also contributing to the craft brewery’s huge success.
The process of finding a supplier for their signature cans wasn’t easy. According to 32 North founder and owner Steve Peterson, “These big canning guys aren’t workable for a small company. They’re built for the big breweries.”
The US market is monopolized by three huge canning companies. Typically, they won’t even respond to small and medium-sized businesses, choosing instead to only fill big orders by large distributors.
32 North was looking for the option of printed cans to package their brand new brew. The appeal was twofold: not only are cans less expensive than bottles, but Steve had come across other craft brewers reporting that cans are actually better for the beer itself.
“When you use cans, light doesn’t affect the beer, and they’re generally more stable containers. We saw mid-sized breweries going into canning. That started to spark our interest and we wanted to be able to figure out a way ourselves,” Steve said. In search of cans and unable to find a supplier for his medium-sized business, Steve placed a quote request on Kinnek and found supplier Gamer Packaging. He had never heard of the company before searching on Kinnek’s platform.
“Gamer is a smaller company whose sole purpose was to help us go through the canning process,” he said. Gamer sees itself as a resource for smaller and medium-sized companies, helping to educate them about the best packaging options and solutions. In addition to being a supplier, they aim to be a partner.
The match with Gamer fundamentally altered 32 North’s business. Because of their choice to use cans, it made their craft product unique in San Diego, since other craft breweries typically use bottles. Using printed cans for their product added an authority that’s less compelling with bottles. Steve says, “People assume you need to have a really large brewery to find cans, whereas we were able to do it as a small brewery. It gives us legitimacy, plus it’s cheaper per unit.”
Finding a great supplier that enabled Steve to use cans was a key choice for his business. This past year, 32 North brought out some great talent brewing wise, and they’ve grown to 3 or 4 times their original size, spreading out to Orange County, Arizona, and Philadelphia. They’re currently looking to further expansion on the East Coast, including the tri-state area.
For more information about Gamer Packaging, visit www.gamerpackaging.com/beer-beverage/.
For more information about 32 North, visit www.32northbrew.com.
For more information about Kinnek, visit www.kinnek.com
“The focus is on bringing our customer’s vision to life,” says Anderson. “We’re a full-service partner for them. They don’t have to go to six different suppliers because we handle it for them.” This can mean using molds or decorations to customize stock bottles, or refreshing a look with closures or boxed packaging.
“One example is a customer with a highly decorated bottle across multiple SKUs,” says Smith. “We worked with their production staff and branding/marketing agency to get everything right. It came out beautifully, and it was great to work with all the necessary parties. Everyone came together with Gamer facilitating the process.
“We’re proud of our constant effort to improve existing and establish new manufacturer relationships to ensure we’re current in our capacity to offer different factory options,” she adds. “We’re a nimble team that helps put our customers’ vision on the shelf.”