Hoping to capitalize on one of the hottest package trends in craft beer, Wisconsin-based Stevens Point Brewery has added a four-pack of 16 oz. cans to its SKU mix with the release of Point Special Lager, appropriately dubbed ‘Big Charlie 16.’
Company spokesperson Julie Birrenkott said Stevens Point decided to introduce the new package after receiving requests from an increasing number of convenience store accounts in its home state of Wisconsin.
Recent Symphony IRI data puts craft, 16 oz. four-packs up over 1,000 percent year-to-date (ending 7-8-12) in U.S. Supermarkets with over $2.5 million in sales. Steven Point’s release is competitively priced with a suggested retail price between $3.99 and $4.99 per four-pack.
Stevens Point joins a laundry list of breweries experimenting with the larger format offering, including the country’s second and third largest craft brewers – Sierra Nevada and New Belgium – which both offer 16 oz., four-packs of Torpedo Extra IPA and Shift Pale Lager respectively. And although there are no immediate plans to can additional brands in the 16 oz. package, Birrenkott said distributors can expect both limited and seasonal releases to find their way into the larger can in 2013. A regional brewer, Stevens Point produced 58,000 barrels in 2011.
The complete press release is below.
STEVENS POINT, WI – Point Special Lager fans are making room in their refrigerators and coolers for the Big Charlie 16, the brand’s new 16-ounce can package. Many craft brewers have discovered the advantages and consumer appeal of aluminum can packages, and 16-ounce cans in particular are becoming more popular in the craft-beer segment, according to Joe Martino, Stevens Point Brewery Managing Partner.
Sold at retail in four-packs or singles, the Big Charlie 16 fills a niche for consumers who prefer larger packages, he said. From a marketing point-of-view, the Big Charlie 16 gives Point Special Lager a distinctive entry in the highly competitive single-serve market in convenience stores, liquor stores and supermarkets.
“Shelf space is key in the beer business, especially for singles, and our off-premise retailers are making room for Big Charlie 16. They know a winner when they see one,” Martino said. “The 16-ounce can is becoming more popular in on-premise retail accounts, too. “Because the Stevens Point Brewery is committed to providing the brands and packages our customers want, introducing this new can package for our best-selling brand was a no-brainer,” he said, adding that more Point brands may follow in the Big Charlie 16’s footsteps.
Inspiration for the catchy name comes from Stevens Point Brewery’s colorful history. The original Big Charlie was a 64-ounce “picnic” bottle in the 1930s and early 1940s — so-called because it was the perfect size for small groups venturing outdoors to enjoy food and beverages. The largest bottle package ever produced by Stevens Point Brewery, the Big Charlie was named after Charles Schenk, a longtime brewery manager in the early decades of the 20th century.
About Point Special Lager:
The Steven’s Point Brewery’s flagship brand – Point Special Lager is an American classic: a full-bodied pilsner-style beer brewed with the finest barley malts, grains and hops from Washington’s Yakima Valley for a rich aroma and distinctive, refreshing flavor. The brewery’s only major brand for decades, Point Special Lager played a major role in establishing the reputation for hand-crafted brewing excellence it enjoys today. Beer competition judges have honored the brand with numerous awards in recent years, including: * Gold medal in the American Premium Lager category at the 2003 Great American Beer Festival, and silver and bronze medals in the same category at the 1995 and 1996 GABFs, respectively; * Silver medal 2012 United States Open Beer Competition; and * Silver medals in the 2010 and 2011 World Beer Championships.
Stevens Point Brewery, founded in 1857, uses only the highest-grade barley malts, specialty malts, grains and the choicest hops to brew their handcrafted beers. In addition to Point Special Lager, the brewery’s year-round specialty beers include Point 2012 Black Ale, a robust dark ale; Point Belgian White, a Belgian-style wheat ale; Point Burly Brown American Brown Ale; Point Cascade Pale Ale, a hoppy American-style pale ale; Point Drop Dead Blonde Ale, a golden ale; and Point Amber Classic, an American-style amber lager.
The brewery’s year-round craft beers also include the Whole Hog Limited Edition Brewmaster’s Series of “big beers,” including year-round Whole Hog Six-Hop India Pale Ale, seasonal Whole Hog Raspberry Saison, Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout, Whole Hog Barley Wine Ale and the Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale.
Seasonal specialty brands include Point St. Benedict’s Winter Ale, a dark, abbey-style ale available from November through February; Three Kings Ale, a K├Âlsch-style beer; Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat, an award-winning unfiltered wheat ale; and Point Oktoberfest, a Bavarian-style M├ñrzen beer for the fall.
Gourmet soft drinks from the Stevens Point Brewery include Point Premium Root Beer, Point Premium Diet Root Beer, Point Premium Orange Cream, Point Premium Vanilla Cream and Point Premium Black Cherry Cream Soda. Point Premium Root Beer, made with pure cane sugar, natural vanilla and Wisconsin honey, was awarded a gold medal by the Beverage Testing Institute.
For more information about the Stevens Point Brewery, visit www.pointbeer.com or call 1-800-369-4911. Tours of the brewery are available, with schedules listed on the web site.