Tuatara, a brand that set the agenda when it came to edgy (literally) bottle design, has finally moved into cans, following the market trend.

Tuatara today launched four new beers, with two of them — Optical Hazy IPA and Reptilian West Coast IPA — available in cans, which is Tuatara’s first time in this format in the brewery’s 22 years.

The Paraparaumu brewery, founded by Carl Vasta in 2000 and sold to DB Breweries in 2017, was one of just a handful of breweries in New Zealand still totally in glass until today’s launch. And it was easily the biggest brewery using only glass, with others being smaller players such as Brave and Emporium.

One of the reasons Tuatara took so long to transition was the distinctive “lizard skin” nature of their bottles, with raised glass designed to represent the tuatara. The caps also featured a design representing a tuatara’s eye.

tuatara cans
The distinctive Tuatara bottle and cap.

Sam Forrest, senior marketing manager at DB Breweries, said in a statement, the move was needed to meet the market demand for cans.

“The move to cans was a natural selection for Tuatara, excuse the pun, as the can format continues to dominate the craft market in New Zealand. Almost 60% of craft beer is now sold in cans, with this number up 46% on last year. From a consumer point of view, convenience is a factor, as cans stack easily in the fridge, plus they are easy to chuck in a bag on the way to a BBQ. From our perspective, we’re excited about the extra space available for beautiful and eye-catching designs.”

tuatara cans

With just two new beers in cans, the bottles will be around for a while yet, Forrest said.

“The famous lizard-skin like embossed bottles are not fossils yet — they will continue to exist in the core offering and limited, 500ml seasonal releases,” he said.

Both the Optical Hazy IPA and Reptilian West Coast IPA will retail for $23.99 for a 330ml six-pack.

tuatara cans