The founder of the country’s largest craft brewery, the Boston Beer Company (BBC), announced yesterday plans to allow other craft brewers the opportunity to use a patent-pending can package that Koch spent two years and $1 million designing.
“We’ve decided to make the patent-pending design available, without any royalty or license fee, to all craft brewers who would like to use this can,” Koch wrote on the Brewers Association message boards. “We’re still working out the details with Ball, our can manufacturer, but we anticipate that any craft brewer will be able to purchase this unique can from Ball sometime this fall.”
In February, BBC announced that it would begin canning its flagship Boston Lager after years of snubbing the aluminum package. The company worked with Ball Corporation to create a new can design that boasts a wider lid and mouth, which they believe will increase air flow and position the drinker’s nose closer to the hop aromas of the beer.
Koch is no stranger to helping out his fellow craft brewing brethren either. Last June, Koch dug into his hop supply, sharing 30,000 pounds of hops with other craft brewers. He did the same thing in 2008 when small producers were struggling to obtain the bittering ingredient during the hops shortage of 2008.
Koch and Boston Beer Company also assist craft brewers through its Brewing the American Dream program, which provides loans and industry-specific coaching, mentoring, and educational resources to business owners who have difficulty accessing the capital and guidance needed to grow their businesses.