The trend for 33cl cans of craft beer shows no signs of slowing down and the Theakston family has joined the party with a new Black Sheep range for the on-trade.
Bottles have historically commanded a premium in the UK, but it is now catching up with other countries in realising that cans are often a better option.
Technological advancements mean they preserve the taste well, they are less prone to oxygen contamination or breakage and they are easy to store and environmentally friendlier.
It is 33cl cans leading the way – the 50cl cans can remain the preserve of off-licences and supermarkets – and one of the new Black Sheep offerings is created in homage to Black Sheep’s founder, Paul Theakston, an early pioneer against bland beer and mass corporations when he founded the Masham-based brewery in 1992.
The brewery has scaled up the production of its craft beers, Pathmaker and Glug M’Glug, to 33cl canned format, and the cans feature hand-drawn designs.
Pathmaker, a 5.6% abv pale ale, honours Paul Theakston, while the 6.2% dark IPA Glug M’Glug is named after a mythical creature created by a relative of the Theakston family, who hid in the Yorkshire Dales preying on slow walkers, and was the subject of the family’s bedtime stories.
Paul’s son Jo Theakston, sales and marketing director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: 'We promised a number of surprises and initiatives for our 25th anniversary year celebrations, and this is another exciting offering to our pub trade partners. The trade is evolving and we at Black Sheep are moving forward with the trend by producing our craft beers as a canned alternative.
'It is the first time we have produced these new beers in cans and it is only fitting that the two beers recognise tales of our brewing dynasty, to coincide with our silver anniversary. The hand drawn designs of both Pathmaker and Glug M’Glug will be striking additions to any bar.
'Our brewing team are always ahead of the curve and continually producing award-winning beers, and we are always pushing the boundaries in the spirit of Dad and his legend when he founded Black Sheep. We still have plenty of exciting surprises to come by the end of the year, as we celebrate our landmark anniversary.'