Barkville Brewing Co.’s exterior. OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

Quesnel brewery goes all-in on green beer rings

Test batch of compostable four-pack beer can carriers well received by customer base

Barkerville Brewing Co. has ordered a year’s supply of compostable beer rings to package four-packs of their cans in liquor stores.

After a successful trial run starting in September, sales manager Meghan Lackey says they received some great feedback from their customer base on the new packaging.

“We put out a survey for about two weeks after the trial period was over and received overwhelming response that was positive,” she says.

“Even people who said they hadn’t tried them said they would look for them and try to support us because they believe so much in the product.”

The brewery opted to go with E6PR — Eco Six Pack Ring — a company based in the United States.

According to the firm’s website, their product will degrade in less than 200 days — depending on the eco-system — even if disposed of improperly.

While the idea sounded great, the brewery wanted to make sure the new packaging would not break down before the customer takes it home.

“In the survey, we asked how they performed,”Lackey says, “Did they work just as well, the same, better or worse than the other ones? Most said they worked just as well, some said a little bit better and a couple people said a little bit worse.

“Most people said they would definitely buy them again, they would definitely use them again, and they will recommend them to other people as well, so we took that as a sign that people were happy with them.”

Also of significant importance were the opinions of the retailers who have to lug the product around and arrange it attractively for their customers.

“People were really excited and supportive of them,” Lackey says. “A couple people said they actually stack better within their coolers.”

Barkerville Brewing Co. is looking to roll out the new packaging over the next several months as new batches of beer are ready to ship.

“There’ll be a bit of a transition period where there’ll still be some on the shelf with rings and some with the new ones, but it shouldn’t be too long before we’ll have everything converted over,” says Lackey.

Although there are not any grand new green plans that match the rings, Lackey says the brewery and its staff are constantly looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint.

“We’re already super green here,” she says. “We recycle spent grain and give it to farmers … and we’re always looking for ways to reuse things.

“Even our grain bags. We reuse those as garbage bags, so we’re not purchasing plastic just to throw away, and we have also used them to re-cover the stools in the tasting room.”

READ MORE: Quesnel brewery trying out eco-friendly beer rings

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