What started off as an idea at a local college football game has turned into the launch of a new craft brewery and a speedy product to market: Chapman’s American Ale Cider. Combining a love for the local area’s abundance of apples and sweet cider, along with a passion for craft beer and a need to support the local economy, Scott Ferguson – Chapman’s Brewing company founder and CEO – turned concept into reality in less than 18 months.
The result is their distinctive Ale Cider – a cider combining malted barley and cascade hops in a the brewing process to produce a sophisticated, deep amber beverage that appeals to both beer and cider drinkers. The finished product is the combination of both traditional cider making and beer brewing – crisp, slightly sweet cider with the best of the ale color, head and mouth feel.
With no other product like the Ale Cider on the market, the founders of Chapman’s wanted a package that was equally as unique. With the influx of craft beers on the market, the traditional packaging choice would’ve been a standard 12-ounce amber glass bottle. However, Chapman’s opted for a 16-ounce aluminum can for both aesthetic and functional purposes. “The sheer amount of labeling space allows us to fully present the logo, as well as a QR code to interact with our customers as we build our brand,” says Ferguson. “Cans also are recognized for their excellent packaging attributes in protecting the integrity of our product from light and air, as well as the reduction in energy costs in shipping and recycling.”
Kaufman Container, a frequent source for various beer packaging and decorating options, helped Chapman’s determine the best options to package their new Ale Cider in. “Kaufman was instrumental in helping us design our packaging around our canning machine as well as the layout of the design on the can itself,” says Ferguson. “They determined the warranty on the packaging and provided actual product color samples on the material to be used.” Kaufman also provided the initial launch of their 16-ounce screen printed souvenir glasses to help build brand awareness.
Opting for aluminum cans versus the expected amber glass bottles didn’t come without its challenges, however. The biggest of those challenges was order size. As a startup brewery, they placed a substantial order to achieve the desired price and look. The product is currently distributed throughout all of northern Indiana, with plans to enter the Indianapolis market. Chapman’s will also be expanding their product line with a new launch before the end of the year.
“We are completely satisfied by our decision to package our product in 16-ounce aluminum cans,” says Ferguson. “From an idea at a Trine University football game to a commercial scale brewery in such a short period of time is something that still amazes me! The university, the community, and our supplier and distributor partnerships have been instrumental in seeing Chapman’s become a reality.”