Tuesday, October 13th 2015
Big Choice Brewing Introducing First Resealable Craft Beer Cans
Q & A with Nathaniel Miller
The growing popularity in canning over the years has bred a number of incredible innovations that have truly changed the brewing industry. From the rapid rise in mobile canning technology - to removeable lids - to the almighty Crowler - the canning game is constantly changing for the better. Now, Big Choice Brewing out of Broomfield, Colorado has announced plans to release the first can featuring a resealable tab. Ever since Westword broke the news we've been curious about how it all came together and what this might mean for the craft beer industry. We reached out to Big Choice and threw a bunch of questions at Owners/Brewmaster Nathaniel Miller. Cheers Nathaniel!
(CC) Where did the idea for this come from? How did you hear about the technology?
(NM) We were originally approached by XO Solutions during one of our canning runs. They were interested in seeing if we’d be interested in testing a couple lids to see if we could use them. We were pretty hesitant at first, because not often will a 12oz can need to be resealed. We weren’t sure how we could use them.
(CC) Speaking of technology, who is manufacturing these cans and how is this particular modification made in the process?
(NM) XO Solutions is the company who manufactures the lids. Their headquarters are in Munich, with a sales office right down the street from us in Lafayette, Colorado. They have done several years of R&D to make sure the lid will perform in both it’s open function for pouring, as well as the sealed function for freshness. The lids have been used primarily in the energy drink industry. These lids are compatible with the standard 202 lid from the other manufacturers, and fit the seamers that are designed for the 202 lid. We have had to make no modification with our current canning line.
(CC) What are the major benefits behind this form of canning/packaging?
(NM) When we took a serious look at using this lid, we were looking to find a way to use cans instead of bottles for bigger beers that traditionally came in a 22oz “bomber” glass bottle. We package our other beers using our own canning machine, but for bombers we had to get a bomber filler on loan from somewhere else. It didn’t seem efficient in production to try and use a process that we didn’t use already. We wanted to see if this lid could help us use larger cans to supplant what we felt was a standard “bomber” beer instead of bottles. The major deciding factor was that the bigger beers are not usually drank in one shot—this lid allows for the consumer to enjoy some of the beer from the can when they want to instead of having to finish the beer before it loses too much carbonation. For the consumer, there is less waste from old, flat beer with this resealable lid. CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW THIS TECHNOLOGY WORKS
Cans of OBEAH go on sale on October 21st
(CC) What can you tell us about OBEAH, the first beer going into these cans? Sounds amazing…
(NM) The first beer we decided to use for this can/lid combo is a pull from things we have experienced in our lives. It is a Russian Imperial Stout base beer, but we couldn’t leave well enough alone. We had to make it “ours” by adding Caribbean jerk spices and aging it in rum barrels. We had spent a few years in the Cayman Islands many years ago, and the smells of jerk stands still tantalizes our taste buds, and the Caribbean is known for rum. We did a couple test batches to try and get the right balance of jerk and rum influence. It has a rich, chocolate taste, permeated by light taste of rum and just a hint of spices. It is not cloyingly sweet, but finishes dry with a kiss of heat from the scotch bonnet.
(CC) Any plans for future beers utilizing these tabs?
(NM) This first beer will definitely be watched for performance. We have other beers waiting for packaging in the coming months, so it is a good possibility these lids will be used sooner than expected.
(CC) Are any other breweries using these tabs?
(NM) From what we are told, we are the first craft brewery in the world using these tabs. Miller Genuine Draft utilized them in some fashion in Russia, but to what extent we don’t know.
Posted by Russ
Labels: Canned Q & As
Friday, October 9th 2015
21st Amendment Debuts Ridiculously Awesome Mixed Pack
(San Leandro, CA) – 21st Amendment Brewery co-founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan couldn’t agree on what to stock the fridge with at their new San Leandro brewery, so they divvied it up and created the brewery’s first ever seasonal variety pack. Freccia chose Fireside Chat, the brewery’s fall seasonal winter spiced ale and Back in Black, dark IPA, “my every occasion beer.” O’Sullivan chose his flagship Brew Free! Or Die IPA and went a step further, brewing a brand new beer, a Mexican-style lager called El Sully, available only in the variety pack.
Named for Brewmaster O’Sullivan’s alter ego, El Sully is brewed with Pilsner and Vienna malts, flaked maize and Mexican lager yeast to create a bright, refreshing flavor that rings in at a drinkable 4.8% ABV and 19 IBUs.
“The release of El Sully and the new variety pack format are perfect examples of what the San Leandro Brewery is allowing us to do,” states Freccia, “It’s important to us that we’re providing beers that everyone can enjoy, and now you can pick up a variety pack and crack open a Fireside Chat one night by the fire or enjoy El Sully if you feel like something lighter.”
The fall variety pack hits shelves on October 1st in all of 21st Amendment’s current distribution territories and will be available through the New Year. Pick up a pack in CA, OR, WA, AK, ID, MN, OH, ME, NH, VT, RI, MA, NY, NJ, DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, GA, NV, NC, SC and IL, and keep your eyes peeled for more variety packs to come! For up-to-date availability, events and promotions, visit www.21st-Amendment.com.
ABOUT 21st AMENDMENT: In 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan opened the doors to the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighborhood with Freccia managing the restaurant and O’Sullivan spearheading the brewing process. In addition to quickly becoming one of the city’s favorite pubs, 21st Amendment began expanding beyond the Bay Area by helping to pioneer the movement to canned craft beer. Known for their witty names and delicious brews, 21st Amendment offers year round selections, as well as seasonal offerings and their infamous ‘Insurrection Series’, a once-in-a-while limited edition release. Today, 21st Amendment operates out of its new San Leandro brewery headquarters and is among the top 50 craft beer brewers in America and is sold in 24 states.
Posted by Russ
Labels: Canned Beer Release
Monday, October 5th 2015
Deep Ellum Releasing Hop Seeker Fall Seasonal Wet Hop Beer
Hop Seeker - Wet Hop American Pale Ale
Let wet hop beer season begin! Here's a new can coming from Deep Ellum Brewing Company in Dallas that should have the mouths of many a hophead drooling.
From the brewery...
This is Hop Seeker, the 1st installment of our quarterly IPA series. Hop Seeker is a 100% wet hop ale, meaning we used fresh cut Centennial hops in the initial boil and will use fresh cut Equinox hops in the dry hop! Equinox is a newer variety that has a pronounced aroma profile with citrus, tropical fruit, floral and herbal characteristics, including lemon, lime and papaya. By using such an unholy amount of wet hops in copious late additions, we coaxed aromas of citrus, melon and resin from the green beasties. Wet hops all the way through!
ABV 5.6% IBUs 63
Hops: Centennial, Equinox
Malts: Pale Ale, Munich Ten, Wheat
Yeast: English Ale
For more visit www.deepellumbrewing.com
Posted by Russ
Labels: Canned Beer Releases
Saturday, October 3rd 2015
Victory Brewing Releasing New Vital IPA in Cans Only
What If We Lived In a World With Only One IPA Choice?
Downingtown, PA - Victory Brewing Company (Victory) is hoppy to introduce Vital IPA, a sharp looking golden IPA with rich aromas of pine, and juicy tropical and luscious stone fruits in easily transportable 12 oz. cans. Victory’s newest addition to their family of popular brands is so satisfyingly jam-packed with freshly complex citrus and spicy flavors, the package confidently announces it’s ‘the only IPA you need’. Vital IPA is Victory’s first beer brand to be introduced exclusively in cans.
Posted by Russ
Labels: Press Releases
Thursday, September 24th 2015
Oskar Blues Expands With Plans for Brewery in Austin, Texas
LONGMONT, Colo. and BREVARD, N.C. - Funky little Oskar Blues Grill & Brew started just under 18 years ago when Dale Katechis and his high school sweet-heart stumbled across the small town of Lyons, Colorado while on a road trip north from their home in Alabama. In 2012, that Rocky Mountain trip continued east as Oskar Blues Brewery expanded to a second home in the rolling hills of Pisgah National Forest of Brevard, North Carolina. Now, Dale and Oskar Blues are heading south to Austin, Texas, the Live Music Capital of the World, as another place to call home.
Oskar Blues, named "The hottest place to be on a Saturday night in Colorado" by Rolling Stone because of its roots in the Colorado music scene, will open a brewery and taproom in Austin, TX by April 20, 2016. The brewery will continue its tradition of soul-savin' live music with a music venue as part of the taproom.
"North Carolina and Colorado are filled with amazing communities and experiences mingled with live music and Fu-CAN great craft beer scenes. The passion and rebellious nature of Austin locals, along with the food, craft beer and live music scenes create a vibe that already feels like home," says soul-founder Dale Katechis.
The brewery secured a 50,000 square foot brewery space including a 5,000 square foot taproom/music venue location at 10420 Metric Boulevard. Oskar Blues will brew the full line up of cans and draft with an initial capacity of 30,000 BBLs per year with potential build out capacity exceeding 100,000 BBLs.
"We continue to look at options to grow our brewery to the next level and the experience of opening a smaller, intimate taproom and brewery on a grassroots level in Brevard was a hell of a lot of fun. As we grow, it's important to find ways to stay small, engaged and intimate within the communities we want to spend our time in," says Dale.
Oskar Blues is known as the first craft brewery in the country to brew and hand-can their beer, which began in November 2002. Since then, Oskar Blues has continued explosive growth and is regarded as one of the fastest growing breweries in the country. In 2015, Oskar Blues earned a position in the top half of the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America for the fifth year in a row and is ranked number 24 on the Brewers Association Top 50 Breweries list.
As the brewery and Colorado restaurants have been blessed with growth, Oskar Blues also works hard to keep that hands-on, grassroots feel by kicking off small projects like The Crowler, B Stiff & Sons Old Fashioned Root Beer, Hotbox Coffee Roasters, North Carolina's REEB Ranch and handmade mountain bikes with REEB Cycles.
Check out Oskar Blues Brewery's NEW website at www.oskarblues.com and the Oskar Blues Austin Facebook page / @OskarBluesATX twitter for additional details. #OBAustin
About Oskar Blues Brewery
Founded by Dale Katechis in 1997 in Lyons, Colorado, Oskar Blues Brewery launched the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse with hand-canned, flagship brew Dale's Pale Ale. Today, Oskar Blues is one of the fastest growing breweries in the country and operates breweries in Longmont, Colorado and Brevard, North Carolina, while approaching 200,000 barrels in 2015. The original canned craft brewery continues to stay innovative with releases like The Crowler. Oskar Blues Brewery currently distributes to 44 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., as well as parts of Canada, Sweden, and the U.K. To keep up with all things Oskar Blues, visit http://www.oskarblues.com.
In 2013, Oskar Blues founded the CAN'd Aid Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity that community puts its spin on doin' good by supporting Tunes, Treads + Trails and Love Yur Mama programs in communities around the US.
Posted by Russ