Samuel Adams engaged Ideo to undertake research and development into a new can, which was honed with the help of sensory expert Roy Desrochers from GEI consultants.
One of the findings was that much of what is perceived to be taste is actually smell, so the opening has been moved slightly further away from the edge of the lid and nearer to the drinker’s nose to help accentuate hop aromas.
A flared lip and wider top have been introduced in an attempt to emulate drinking from a glass, delivering ‘a more pronounced, more balanced flavour experience’ according to Desrochers, who says the extended lip makes the drinking experience ‘smoother and more comfortable.’
An hourglass ridge creates turbulence ‘to push out the flavour of the beer’ according to Samual Adams, which says that all of the modifications to a standard can design work in concert to improve airflow and aroma.
Prototype on the right
The can was tested to assess how it impacts flavour, and how its ergonomic form controls flow and the way beer hits taste receptors on the drinker’s tongue.
Samuel Adams is saying the difference between the new can and a standard one ‘will be modest’ but drinkers should notice the difference.
When the format launches in the US this summer it will be the first time Samuel Adams has been available in a can.
Founder and brewer Jim Koch says, ‘I wasn’t convinced that Boston Lager would taste as good as it does from a bottle.’
In other beer-can news, Budweiser is set to launch a bowtie-shaped can, which is structured to mirror the brand’s logo.
The can will launch in the US next month, but will not be available in other countries.
Pat McGauley, vice president of innovation for Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser’s parent company, says, ‘This can is incomparable, like nothing you’ve ever seen before.’
He adds, ‘We explored various shapes that would be distinguishable in the marketplace, but also viable from an engineering standpoint. Aluminium can be stretched only about 10 per cent without fracturing, which requires that the angles of the bowtie be very precise’.
According to Budweiser, the development of the can by Anheuser-Busch engineers required ‘major equipment investments’ at Budweiser’s can-making facility in Newburgh, New York.
It adds, ‘Significant capital investments also were required to upgrade packaging lines at the Budweiser breweries in Los Angeles and Williamsburg, Virginia, the first breweries with capability to package this unique can innovation’.
The can, which has been in development since 2010, will only be available in eight-packs, and will not replace the traditional Budweiser can.
The slimmer design means the new cans hold 11.3 ounces of beer compared to the traditional can’s 12 ounces.
The brand says there is ‘no written documentation on the origins of the Budweiser bowtie’, but that the double-triangle bowtie logo was introduces to emphasise the full Budweiser name ‘when too many people were using the “Bud” bar call too frequently’.
The brand says the bowtie symbol was first used in a Budweiser national advertising campaign in 1956.
The launch of the can on 6 May is being supported with a marketing campaign that includes digital, print and television. It will be available in US grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and liquor stores, according to the brand.
Via Design Week