Kulshan’s sleeved can

It seems Bellingham has been kicking out new cans every few weeks. Wander Brewing just released it’s second can offering, Single EyePA and Structures is about to release it’s first, this weekend. They are joining Bellingham’s canning gods, Aslan Brewing and Kulshan Brewing, who’s cans are ubiquitous up and down I5. Both Structures and Wander cans are limited to, essentially, the brewery Wander did offer a case of Single EyePA to a Seattle account.

Aslan Brewing uses printed cans for both of their canned offerings, Batch 15 and Dawn Patrol. Kulshan has used sleeves on its Party in the Woods Ale.

When Kulshan and Wander teamed up for their Raspberry Lager Bellingham Beer Week collaboration, they used sleeves.

Interestingly enough, neither Wander or Structures uses sleeves or printed cans. They are following the trend of other breweries such as Other Half Brewing from NYC,

Other Half Brewing, NYC

Surprisingly, these sticker labels are more expensive than the standard printed or sleeved cans. So why use them? Chad Kuehl, from Wander Brewing told me,

Our hand labeled cans allow for lower quantities than printed or sleeved cans. It is actually more expensive than either sleeves or printed cans, but we like the look of the exposed bright can above and below our labels. We are a craft brewery and our can labels are craft to us.

James at Structures told me they are using stickers because they want the chance to feature their friend Steven’s art. So we’ve established that stickers are more expensive, but allow you to order cans in lower quantities. Why does that matter? Well, buying aluminum cans is a sizable capital investment because the minimum order these days is somewhere around 100,000 for printed cans. That also puts a huge commitment on the brewer to then sell those cans and, at times, establish distribution, which then starts to control how much you brew.

If you order empty aluminum cans and plan to sleeve them or place stickers, the minimum can order drops considerably. Craft Brewing Business put together this great infographic to show you the benefits of sleeves and cans.


So what cans and labels do you like? What do you think of Bellingham’s can offerings? Let us know in the comments.