Stadshaven Brewery dives into digitally printed cans

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Making a splash with sea creature designs and NOMOQ

Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 25 October – Stadshaven Brewery dropped anchor in the harbour of Rotterdam a little over two years ago. In that short time, they have become the Netherlands' second largest independent craft brewery and produce Rotterdam's most sustainable beer.

Where beer, history and sea creatures collide 

The brewery recently decided to include canned beers in its portfolio, starting with two brews – the Octopus Blond and Moray IPA. Every beer at Stadshaven has its own storyline that involves a crew setting out on an adventure for exotic fruits, and on each expedition they encounter a different sea creature. The nautical theme and fruit are woven into the branding as well as the brewing. 

Stadshaven’s location in Rotterdam’s Merwe-Vierhavens has a long history that inspired how the brewery makes craft beer. The site was constructed 100 years ago and became one of the world’s largest fruit ports. The building where Stadshaven now resides was once a warehouse for citrus fruits in the 1970s, which the brewery takes great pride in. 

“For us, it's beer plus fruit,” says Stadshaven’s marketeer Nina Landl. “At the end of the brewing process, we put fresh fruit in the hop gun so it’s not very fruity, but it’s a subtle twist that enhances the flavour. In this way, the history lives on, at least in our beers and branding.” 

To sleeve or not to sleeve 

It was essential to Stadshaven that their new cans stand out while revealing a story and honouring the harbour’s past. Another crucial element of the decision process was the sustainability factor, which is a core value for Stadshaven. From 1000 solar panels lining the building’s roof to repurposing spent grain, the brewery strives to be a leading example of a circular economy.  

“With digital printing, you can use the entire can for the content and illustration, so you're not limited like you are with labels,” says Nina. “We also like that the cans are infinitely recyclable, and not having plastic labels is better for the overall recycling process.”  

Cans without sleeves have a better chance of recoverability, according to the Aluminum Association’s design guide, which explains that digital printing technology is now price competitive with shrink-wrapped cans, while maintaining the recyclability of the aluminium. Digitally printed cans also avoid releasing hazardous emissions during the de-lacquering thermal treatment when plastics or adhesives burn. 

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One hurdle for businesses to utilise printed cans is the minimum order limit. Enter NOMOQ, which stands for No Minimum Order Quantity. As the first to offer digital can printing in Europe, NOMOQ helps beverage companies and breweries with any size order.

Stadshaven wanted to start with canning two brews and felt digital printing would align with its values as well as provide a premium look. This is where the partnership between the brewery and NOMOQ blossomed. 

“Working with industry heroes who see things differently is what NOMOQ loves to do. We will continue helping partners like Stadshaven, who want a more sustainable option and cans that are works of art, not just a label.” 

The brewery’s new cans recently debuted at the Gastvrij Rotterdam event, with over 500 food and beverage participants in attendance. 

“We received many compliments on the look and feel of the cans at Gastvrij. People commented on how the illustration really pops out and that even the texture feels like quality,” says Nina. “We started with the Octopus Blond and Moray IPA for the trial run, but everyone is already asking when the next cans will come out, so first impressions have gone really well.” 

About NOMOQ 

The dynamic packaging company was set up in 2022 in Switzerland by a passionate team of craft beverage lovers who love to turn cans into works of art. NOMOQ’s first production site is located in Kirchheimbolanden - Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. A new site in the UK is NOMOQ’s second production site. There is No Minimum Order Quantity, hence the name, and this is what makes NOMOQ unique and accessible for smaller budgets or for small production lines, creating high quality perfectly decorated beverage cans, whatever the order size with a quick turnaround. Full colour digital can printing is available in 250ml slim, 330ml sleek and 330ml, 440ml and 500ml standard. All cans are fully recyclable without unnecessary plastic sleeves or labels. See our works of art on our Instagram page and to order your own free sample or for more details visit

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