A new San Francisco business wants to bring craft beers to a wider audience, while reducing the beverage’s environmental impacts.
The Can Van is a mobile canning service for small Bay Area breweries, bringing canning equipment directly to the brewers themselves to save them time and money. Many small breweries distribute their craft beers in glass bottles or kegs – instead of aluminum cans – because they don’t have the resources or space to maintain their own canning equipment.
But aluminum cans offer multiple advantages to both beer makers and drinkers. Aluminum cans are permitted in many locations where glass bottles are not – including airplanes, campgrounds, pools and beaches – helping breweries sell their product in broader markets and allowing consumers to enjoy their favorite craft brew in more places. They also keep beer fresher for a longer period of time.
Aluminum cans also benefit the environment, as they are lighter and easier to stack than glass bottles, cutting down on pollution caused by the beer’s shipping and transport. Cans are also the most recycled beverage container in the U.S., according to The Can Van.
The startup is a model of collaborative consumption and part of the “sharing economy”: The business conserves resources by sharing equipment.
The new business, started by five friends who met at the Presidio Graduate School’s Sustainable MBA program, plans to start working with breweries in January. With their canning equipment purchased, they are currently raising funds to purchase a truck and trailer through IndieGoGo until Dec. 7.