When Cuvée Coffee's Black & Blue in nitro cans from Ball Corporation (ball.com) won BevNET's Best of 2015 Award for "Best Packaging Innovation of the Year," it was the culmination of a multi-year quest by Cuvée Coffee CEO Mike McKim for the perfect packaging for his growing beverage brand.

"I'm a craft beer enthusiast, and I love all the advantages cans bring to the table for premium beverages," McKim says. "Black & Blue in Ball's widget can is like taking home the exact same nitro coffee we serve on tap – with the smooth, foamy pour that helps create a memorable drinking experience. You can enjoy it anywhere you go, and thanks to Ball's widget technology, the product tastes just like it does in our Austin, Texas, Coffee Bar."

BevNET cited Cuvée as "the first cold brew brand to market a nitrogenated offering," adding "it's really the first time in 'third-wave coffee' where a shelf-stable format is truly a straight replica of something you'd buy in the shop." Cuvée's Black & Blue is packaged in innovative 375mL cans from Ball that include a nitrogen widget in the can that creates a soft, frothy head upon pouring. Black & Blue is currently available at hundreds of retailers across Texas and was recently released at all Whole Foods locations in the Northeast region.

"Today's consumers, particularly millennials, view cans as a convenient, portable and sustainable package that can go anywhere they go while protecting the beverage inside from oxygen and light," says Bruce Doelling, vice president, sales, for Ball's North American metal beverage packaging business. "Cans also offer a 360-degree billboard for brand messaging and high quality graphics, making cans a fun package in any setting. Cuvée Coffee is taking advantage of those benefits to deliver a unique experience to people who love coffee."