Food & Drink Awards 2019 Page 77 Traditionally, premium and craft beers are sold in the on-trade in bottles, with cans being seen as off-trade. From launch, Genius Brewing made a strategic decision that cans were the future. “Aluminium cans are infinitely recyclable,” explains Charlie Craig who oversees Genius Brewing’s operations, “And being far lighter and cheaper to transport and also quicker to chill, cans have a smaller carbon footprint”. Creative Director Jason Clarke was particu- larly drawn to the enhanced branding potential offered by cans, “I liked the larger ‘brand- scape’ available on cans on which to visualise and tell the Gen!us #smartdrinking story. We also wanted the lustrous, heritage gold texture which would have been very difficult to create using traditional bottle labelling.” Now that all the major craft brands are moving into cans, perceptions have totally changed. Labelling is particularly important to the Gen!us team who are not impressed at the lack of consumer information available on most beer packaging. “Shockingly, there’s no legal requirement to put calorie information on alcohol,” explains Jason, “Gen!us is all about transparency and ‘smart drinking’ which is why we put our 79 calories right on the front. And as our 330ml can is exactly 1 UK unit of alcohol, this is front-and-centre too.” From January, Gen!us will go even further, putting a full nutrition breakdown – carbs, sugars, saturated fats etc, - prominent on every can. Together with winning Best UK Craft Lager at the LUX Life Food & Drink Awards, Gen!us was a finalist in ‘Best Low & No Alcohol’ at the World Beverage Innovation Awards, the only beer selected. “We’re so proud to win the LUX Life Award,” says Charlie, “As the UK’s first lightcraft lager, it helps Gen!us to serve the fast-growing market for healthier drinking.” In 2020, look out for Gen!us launching in draft and becoming available in the UK’s major retailers. Being ethical is also about doing good. Genius Brewing are Official Fundraising Part- ners of the My Name5 Doddie Foundation. Scottish and Lions rugby legend Doddie Weir was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2017 and so established a charity to fund research and support current patients. Genius Brewing’s co-founder Jason Clarke played rugby with Doddie and his wife’s father died of MND, “We launched Gen!us not long after Doddie launched his foundation and so it felt a natural partnership. MND is a terrible disease and hopefully our donating of 5p from every can of Gen!us will help improve the lives of future sufferers.”