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We champion the can in a number of ways, from award-winning events to help craft drinks brands get into can, to innovative education campaigns.

Indie Beer Can Festival

Indie Beer Can Festival is the first UK-wide search for the very best independent beer in cans, launched by the Can Makers in partnership with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) in 2014 and returning by popular demand again in 2016. Every independent brewer’s beer, regardless of current pack format was offered the chance to be showcased in cans at the Indie Beer Can Festival final to potentially be crowned the winner. The 2014 campaign won a prestigious PRCA B2B Campaign of the Year Award as well as The Grocer’s Best Trade Campaign of the Year, and was also a  finalist for Best Campaign at the CIPR Awards.

Selected judges decided 12 Festival finalists based on over 100 entries. Each of those not already in cans received an exclusive limited production run provided by the Can Makers. In 2014, Adnams Ghost Ship by Adnams was awarded the title ‘best independent beer in a can’. Second and third place went to 13 Guns from Thwaites and Breakfast Stout from Arbor Ales respectively. In 2016, Uprising Treason by Windsor & Eton won overall ‘Best in Show’. Other categories winners included Uprising Treason by Windsor & Eton Brewery for Best Ale, Brotherhood Lager by William Bros. Brewing Co. for Best Lager and Fireweisse by Firebird Brewing Co. for Best ‘Other’. Uprising Treason was also awarded best ‘New to Can’. Winner of Best Design was Steam Lager, Redwell Brewery.  Less than four months after the 2016 final, all winners from the Festival were commercially canning their beer, including brews from Williams Bros Brewing Co. and Firebird Brewing Co.

The market had grown from four brands in can in early 2014 to hundreds, inspired by the success of the events.

Indie Drinks Can Advice Service

The Indie Drinks Can Advice site aims to help all craft drinks makers get their drinks into cans. Whether a brewer, soft drink maker, winemaker or distiller, the site provides all the information a newcomer needs from a single source.  Run by the Can Makers, the site includes interactive insights, video content, expert interviews and an all-important list of suppliers who can help those looking to can their beverage. 

A thought-provoking insights section features interactive articles and whitepapers to educate on the market and options available, while video content gives insight into mobile canning and the recycling benefits of the can. Those exploring the can as a packaging option can also draw inspiration from interviews with successful companies such as Dalston Cola and CanOWater (newly stocked in Waitrose and Selfridges respectively). A suppliers and contacts database makes life easier for those building their brand, while a news section keeps visitors up-to-date on developments in cans.

Can Creator

The Can Makers’ free Can Creator app offers a quick and easy way to try out different design ideas for your drinks can, uploading your 2D creations to view as 3D cans. You can try out different can sizes and finishes, rotate your can 360 degrees for a view at any angle and share can designs with clients.

An enhanced version of Can Creator now allows users to apply artwork to a label template for virtual application onto a 33cl can. There is also a new option to test your design on a black, as well as a silver can.

Thousands of designers, brands, students and manufacturers have used it to bring their print-to-can designs to life across a variety of can sizes, and with a variety of finishes.

Student Video Competition

A student video competition was run by the Can Makers in partnership with the BFI. The ‘Myth Busting – what happens to your can when it’s recycled’ competition challenged students to bust common recycling myths in a way that would resonate with young people.

Winners:

Overall Winner and ‘Wittiest’ category winner – prize £1,500 and premier at the BFI

  • ‘Can Heist’ by Jens Christensen, Louis King and James Hurst (The Basterds Production Company), Goldsmiths University

Two other Category winners – prize £500

Three Commendations – prize £300

Cans as High Fashion

Can Furniture

A fashion-themed campaign was developed in partnership with leading British designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to create a bespoke chair made out of recycled drinks cans.

The Can Can Chair has been instrumental in communicating the recycling key messages and after featuring in City Hall in London the chair embarked on a European tour.

The team faced their biggest challenge to date – how to continue the fashion legacy left behind by Zandra Rhodes and her limited edition can. To overcome this and continue the great work, the team briefed globally renowned British shoe designer Georgina Goodman to create a pair of couture shoes from recycled drinks cans. The challenge was one of the biggest of Georgina’s career as it involved taking her signature style, reworking it to include metal, finding ways to make metal perform the same duties as leather and ultimately creating something that would be worthy of a spot on a catwalk and in the pages of Vogue rather than the “nice-try-but” bin.

The result, as illustrated in the picture, is nothing short of breath taking and was received with acclaim the minute it was launched. Georgina did her bit, conducting interview after interview to promote the world’s first pair of recyclable, high-fashion shoes. The results spoke for themselves with a 30-min webchat streamed live across 14 of the most influential fashion sites, print interviews across Metro, Daily Express, Daily Mail and the Evening Standard, a 25 minute interview on LBC and a 30 minute programme dedicated to her work on Euromaxx TV which was seen by over 31 million people.

During London Fashion Week, an up and coming fashion designer was commissioned to design a dress made from recycled cans. The dress was modelled by Nell McAndrew and helped to demonstrate the recycling qualities of cans, as pictured.

Marketing Magazine Competition

The Can Makers, working with the Design Business Association and the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, held a competition with design agencies from around the country. The design agencies were asked to provide a graphic design for a drinks can. The product for the new design was left to the agencies discretion.

The initiative was designed to encourage those within the design community and the key marketers within the retail and drinks industry to think of using drinks cans when launching new products.

Ten winners were chosen by a judging panel including designers and can manufactures and all of the winning entries promoted in full page adverts within Marketing Magazine. The adverts which appeared can be viewed by clicking on the images shown below.

Designers Workshop

The idea for the Workshop came out of the competition that the Can Makers held in conjunction with the DBA and the Packaging Museum where the winning entries were featured in a series of advertisements in Marketing Magazine.

The purpose of the workshop was to share experiences and to increase knowledge and understanding of what can be done with cans – both for drinks and other products packed in drink cans. The event was planned to encourage discussion and interaction between the can making industry and the design community.

Designers heard presentations on the wide range of available features, system economics and the environmental benefits of drink cans. Displays were laid out around the room to provide first hand samples of the features being discussed.

Overall the Workshop was a great success and the designers found the event informative and interesting.

  • SIBA Beer X
  • Indie Beer Can Festival 2
  • Indie Beer Can Festival 1

March 2017SIBA Beer X

The Can Makers sponsored the first ever Can Bar to appear at SIBA BeerX, in 2017.

Based in the “Festival of Beer Brewers’ Yard”, the Can Bar featured more than 65 different independent beer brands in a can.

Neil Walker, SIBA PR & Marketing Manager commented: “More and more SIBA members are putting their independent craft beer into cans and we’re seeing real growth in the popularity of the format with both retailers and consumers. As an organisation we are recognising this growth by introducing a dedicated can bar at this year’s BeerAlive! craft beer showcase for the first time ever and are proud to be partnering with The Can Makers on this exciting development.”

Martin Constable, Chairman of the Can Makers said: “The can is of growing importance in the craft beer world. Brewers clearly recognise the benefits the can brings them in maintaining the integrity of beer, protecting their drink, keeping it fresh, sealing it from light and air and making it quick to chill and therefore enjoy. The can is the ideal pack for brewers and consumers alike.”

Martin also delivered a presentation in the Beer Garden on the importance of can design. It focused on the rise in bold, colourful can designs, with which brewers have found fresh ways to connect with audiences and celebrate their creations.

Indie Beer Can Festival 2016May 2016

The award-winning Indie Beer Can Festival returned by popular demand in 2016.

The market had grown from four brands in can two years before to over 100 based on the success of the first event. Uprising Treason by Windsor & Eton won overall ‘Best in Show’. Other categories and winners included Best Ale (Uprising Treason by Windsor & Eton Brewery), Best Lager (Brotherhood Lager by William Bros. Brewing Co.) and Best ‘Other’ (Fireweisse by Firebird Brewing Co.). Uprising Treason was also awarded best ‘New to Can’. Winner of Best Design was Steam Lager, Redwell Brewery. 

It was judged by Ben Hulme, Head of Beers, Wines and Spirits at Lidl UK, award winning writer and journalist Adrian Tierney-Jones, renowned beer Sommelier Annabel Smith and Chairman of the Can Makers, Martin Constable.

Less than four months after the final, all winners from the Festival were commercially canning their beer, including brews from  Williams Bros Brewing Co. and Firebird Brewing Co.

Martin Constable, Chairman of the Can Makers commented: “When we launched the Indie Beer Can Festival we wanted to demonstrate to independent brewers how cool canned beer could be; we have achieved that. When you see that a brewer, which entered the competition to trial their beer in can, has been convinced of its potential and formally invested in the pack, buying their own line, co-packing with others or outsourcing to filler: that’s when you know you’ve made a positive impression on their business and the market.”

Indie Beer Can Festival 2014September 2014

Indie Beer Can Festival was the first UK-wide search for the very best independent beer in cans, launched by the Can Makers in partnership with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). Every independent brewer’s beer, regardless of current pack format was offered the chance to be showcased in cans at the Indie Beer Can Festival final to potentially be crowned the winner. The campaign won a prestigious PRCA B2B Award, and was a finalist in The Grocer and CIPR Awards.

Selected judges decided 12 Festival finalists based on over 100 written entries. Each of those not already in cans received an exclusive limited production run provided by the Can Makers. Adnams Ghost Ship by Adnams was awarded the title ‘best independent beer in a can’. Second and third place went to 13 Guns from Thwaites and Breakfast Stout from Arbor Ales respectively.

Influential judges including Chiara Nesbitt, Beer Buyer for Tesco, industry experts Adrian Tierney-Jones and Jane Peyton, President of Cask Brewing Systems Inc, Peter Love and Graham Fenton, former Chairman of the Can Makers, put each of the 12 to the test.

Graham Fenton, Chairman of the Can Makers, said: “It has been a privilege to sample such a great range of beers and to select our fantastic winner. It’s also been gratifying to see how successfully Indie Beer Can Festival has tapped into the rapidly growing trend for independent beers in cans. Cans are convenient, light, quickly chilled and they look great. In America canned independent beers are the height of cool, it won’t be long before the same can be said in the UK.”

Nick Stafford, SIBA commercial director, added: “We’d like to extend our congratulations to the deserved winner, Adnams. There are many superb independent beers in the market which pay tribute to the craft, quality and innovation of the industry. We’re pleased to have been involved in this competition, which has generated huge interest in cans and encouraged SIBA members to explore it as another way of bringing their beers to the growing number of craft beer drinkers.”

Making it easier to recycle

Our partner organisation, Every Can Counts aims to make it easier to recycle your drink cans and make a difference.

It is a partnership between drinks can manufacturers and the recycling industry, which encourages you to recycle more whether it be at work, at college/university, at an event or festival or whilst you’re out and about. Aluminium and steel – the materials used to make drink cans – are infinitely recyclable.

Every Can Counts was launched back in 2009, by the then Minister for Waste, to target drinks cans used by people at work and whilst on the go. To date, they have signed up thousands of organisations to the programme and there are more than 13,000 Every Can Counts branded recycling points around the UK.

MetalMatters helps Local Authorities promote their kerbside metal recycling

MetalMatters is one of the most cost-effective ways to motivate residents to recycle more.

It is a proven communications programme designed to support the UK’s current kerbside recycling schemes. It can be run in a single local authority, to target a select demographic group (e.g. by ACORN or Mosaic classification) or across a waste partnership area.

Thanks to the value of the additional metal packaging collected the campaign pays for itself in just a few months, delivering outstanding return on investment for local authorities and their waste collection partners.