Kona Sets Sights on C-Store Craft Beer Drinkers With 24-Oz. Can

Will feature brewer's flagship Longboard Island Lager

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii -- Kona Brewing Co. is rolling out a new 24-ounce can this month, which will position the Hawaiian brewer among only a handful of domestic brewers offering craft brews in a can this size. The can will feature Kona's flagship Longboard Island Lager and is especially targeted at the convenience store channel.

Hitting stores the week of April 1, it is the third can launch for the brewer and follows the new Hang 10 Pint pack in March 2013 and the Longboard Island Lager in six-pack cans in March 2012.

Because the Kona consumer tends to be active and on the go, the company said, they appreciate the transportability and lightweight properties of cans as they are easy to bring to the beach, lake or pool where bottles often are not allowed.

Initially a West Coast launch, the new can will debut in c-stores and select venues such as sports stadiums and outdoor amphitheaters from Hawaii to Texas.

The can is the result of a growing partnership with Ball Corp. The can is a sustainability success story in itself, said the company, as cans contain an average of 68% recycled aluminum. Because cans are airtight and oxygen-free, a growing number of craft beer drinkers are coming to understand the benefits they offer. The versatile size of the 24-ounce can allows for an extended beer-drinking session for one, or it can also be poured and shared among friends.

"We're barely in the first quarter of 2013, and we're very proud of the leadership role Kona is taking with its expanded canning capabilities," said Kona Brewing president Mattson Davis. "2013 will be the year of innovative packaging for us, and we're taking the bull by the horns in terms of capturing the convenience store crowd as craft beer sales have been growing there significantly over the past several years."

He added, "As our beer becomes more widely available throughout the U.S. and abroad, these new packaging offerings allow us to introduce more new drinking occasions for the craft beer lover. The 24-oz. can is so versatile--crack one open for pau hana after a long day or with friends at the beach or pool."

Kona Brewing introduced Pacific Golden Ale (now called Big Wave Golden Ale) and Fire Rock Pale Ale to Hawaii in bottles and kegs in 1995. It added Longboard Island Lager three years later. It brews approximately 10 other styles of beer on a regular basis, served its pubs and serving a select few at some finer restaurants and markets. Today, it distributes the three flagship beers throughout Hawaii. It distributes Longboard Island Lager, Big Wave Golden Ale, Fire Rock Pale Ale and three Aloha Series beers Koko Brown, Pipeline Porter and Wailua Wheat in 36 states and nine other countries.