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Tuesday, November 29th 2011

Big Sky to Release IPA in Cans

Missoula, Montana's Big Sky Brewing Company is planning to release cans of their IPA for the first time this spring. The brewery has three new fermenters arriving next month which will allow for this addition to their canned lineup.

From the Big Sky site:

"In Montana, many classic memories are made right after someone says, “Hold my beer and watch this.” These bold, assertive moments deserve a bold, assertive beer – Big Sky IPA. A distinct hop presence and malty backbone will leave you refreshed and ready for your moment of glory. Hang on tight and enjoy the ride. Big Sky IPA has 65 IBU's, 5% alcohol by weight, and 6.2% alcohol by volume."

Big Sky offers both their Moose Drool Brown Ale and Montana Trout Slayer Wheat Ale in cans year-round and has done limited canned releases of their Scape Goat Pale Ale and Summer Honey.



Posted by Russ

Friday, November 25th 2011

Goose Island to Begin Canning

It's not a big surprise to learn that Goose Island's 312 Urban Wheat Ale will be headed down the canning line soon. It was just a little over six months ago that Goose Island was bought by brewing behomoth Anheuser-Busch for close to $39 million dollars. Since then, a bulk of the brewery's production has shifted to the town of Baldwinsville, New York (pop. 7,053)  and the A-B plant. It's sort of funny when you think about it, Goose Island is a brewery which still depends on its origins in Chicago for marketing purposes whose beers are now being brewed and packaged in a tiny town in upstate New York. It's even funnier when it's this beer whose name signifies the Windy City's area code and it's so close to Baldwinsville's area code which is 315!

In all seriousness we wouldn't be too disappointed if Goose Island started putting their IPA in cans. Hint, hint. Look for 12 oz. cans of 312 Urban Wheat Ale sometime before summer of 2012. Cheers! 

From the Goose Island site:

Brewer's Notes:

Inspired by the city of Chicago and densely populated with flavor, 312’s spicy aroma of Cascade hops is followed by a crisp, fruity ale flavor delivered in a smooth, creamy body that's immensely refreshing.

Recipe Information

Style: Urban Wheat
Alcohol by Volume: 4.2%
International Bitterness Units: 20
Color: Hazy Straw
Hops: Liberty, Cascade
Malts: 2 Row, Torrified Wheat

Posted by Russ

Tuesday, November 8th 2011

Cigar City Unveils Can Designs!
Q & A with Artist Geiger Powell

Ever since we first heard that Tampa, Florida's Cigar City Brewing Company was going to start canning their beers we've been excited. Very excited. Which of their beers would they be canning? What would the cans look like? When and where can we find some of those cans? Questions like these have been filling our thoughts, well, along with the awesome notion that we'll soon be able to crack open a cold can of Jai Alai IPA. 

Until just recently we didn't have many answers to the Cigar City canning questions. That was until Geiger Powell, Media and Marketing Director at Cigar City and the artist behind the brewery's labels and now can designs, got in touch with us. Talk about making our day! Geiger was kind enough to share the graphics he designed for five different brands of Cigar City beer. He was also kind enough to answer all the questions we had been wondering about for some time now. Cheers Geiger- awesome job with the cans, they look great!

(CC) What was it that ultimately pushed Cigar City to look into canning some of their beers?

(GP) We feel that cans are a better container for beer than bottles for numerous reasons. The infinite recyclability, the lighter weight, the impenetrability to light...the list goes on. Cans truly are the superior container for beer.


"Cans truly are the superior container for beer."

(CC) What sort of timeline are you looking at as far as getting the canning line up and running and the first cans being shipped?

(GP) Hopefully by the end of the first quarter of 2012. We already purchased a canning line, we're just waiting on everything else to fall into place.

(CC) Which of your beers do you expect to be in cans first? Will all five brands that you've done can designs for make it into cans in 2012?

(GP) First and foremost we'll focus on five brands: Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, Tocobaga Red Ale, Hotter Than Helles Lager and Florida Cracker White Ale. We're also exploring some others, including Table Saison and Hot Blooded Foreign Stout, and possibly a brand new beer we've not brewed before, as well as potentially some very special beers.

(CC) Will your canning line have the ability to package both 12 and 16 ounce cans?

(GP) We're looking into it, but it should have the ability to do multiple size cans. We're certainly interested in exploring the idea beyond just 12 ounce cans.

(CC) Will cans of Cigar City be available in all of your current markets? Will cans enable you to expand distribution?

(GP) We'll focus first on our home base in Florida but eventually the cans will leak out to other markets. And we're focusing on our current markets for the near future before expanding much further beyond current projections.

(CC) What will the move to cans mean for Floridians? What can they do and where can they go with cans that they couldn't go with bottles?

(GP) For Floridians, canned beer means they can take their beer to the beach, to some parks that allow cans, boats, tailgating, and other activities where bottles are a hassle, or outright not allowed.

(CC) As the designer of Cigar City's cans. What was the biggest challenge? What about the benefits of the can as far as graphics go? 

(GP)The challenge was to come up with designs that popped as well as spoke true to what the beer inside is. We went over tons of prototypes before settling on where we are now, which is more closer to our bottle designs. The benefits of the can is being able to completely cover the vessel with our design. This creates a much more eye-popping product.


(CC) Is the world ready for Jai Alai IPA in a can? We say, Hells Yes!

(GP) We like to think so. There is still a minor stigma associated with cans and craft beer, but we look to change that.

"There is still a minor stigma associated with cans and craft beer, but we look to change that."

Coming to Cans in 2012!

Posted by Russ

Saturday, November 5th 2011

2012: A Pint Can Odyssey

Is the 16 oz. pint can the craft beer vessel of the future?

Are craft beers meant to be housed inside the walls of 16 ounce cans? Yes. We CAN't help but feel that this is a wave that the craft brewing industry is going to continue to ride and many breweries are helping to prove our point. Next year we're going to see some pretty familiar labels faces on 16-ounce cans as well as some new ones that just might have those bottle lovers shaking their heads.

Major brands like Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues and New Belgium are all planning to release 16 oz. cans in 2012. Why? Why not? Aluminum is like gold in the craft brewing world right now and the move towards bigger cans is on.

Oskar Blues has been doing some major renovating and upgrading at their brewing facility in Longmont, Colorado. One of the big additions to the brewery is a new canning line that will allow for packaging of 16 oz. cans. They shook things up a bit when they announced that their Deviant Dale's India Pale Ale would be the first of their beers to appear in pint cans. The 8% hop-forward beer won a silver medal at this past GABF and has previosuly only been available on draft. Expect to see those cans in the spring and perhaps a few old favorites will also make it into those bigger cans.

Ahh, Sierra Nevada. The world is still waiting to see those first green cans of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Torpedo Extra IPA. Slated to hit shelves in their home state of California before the end of the year, the cans should be nationwide in early 2012 - or so we keep hearing. Torpedo Extra IPA weighs in at 7.2% and is one of the brewery's more aggressively hopped beers. We can't wait to have some of those cans on our hands.

New Belgium Brewing Company made some major news recently with their announcement about overhauling their canning abiltiies and upgrading to a bigger, faster, much more expensive line that will allow for the filling of 16 oz. cans. Look for tallboy cans of Ranger IPA (hooray) and their flagship Fat Tire Amber Ale in January or February. To add a bit of mystery to all of this the brewery has also announced that it will put a "a new, yet-to-be-named beer" in the larger format cans as well. What could it be? I guess we'll have to wait and see. 


Other Tallboy Notes. 

Uncommon Brewers has announced that they'll be adding a fourth pint can to their current offerings. Look for cans of their Bacon Brown Ale, yes BACON, on shelves in 2012.

Fort George Brewery out of Astoria, Oregon is going big with plans to put their Cavatica Stout in 16 oz. cans. Cavatica is an Imperial Stout and clocks in at close to 9% ABV. UPDATE: Fort George will also be putting their Quick Wit and Oatmeal Pale Ale in 16 oz. cans next year.

LA's Golden Road Brewing had a soft opening during LA Beer Week with plans to release their two initial canned offerings in 2012. Both their Hefeweizen and their Point the Way IPA will be in 16 oz. cans.

Tampa Bay Brewing Company will be entering the canning game in 2012 when they begin putting their Olde Elephant Foot IPA in 16 oz. cans.

Finch's Beer Company will enter their second year in 2012. They've got plans to add Threadless IPA to their current tallboy lineup.

Rochester Mills Brewing Company will be releasing their Milkshake Stout in 16 oz. cans sometime in the next couple months. It will join their Cornerstone IPA as the brewery's second tallboy can.

Missouri's Piney River Brewing should be releasing their first two 16 ouncers in the coming months. Look for their Missouri Mule IPA and McKinney Eddy Amber Ale on shelves soon.

We're also hoping confirm that Brewery Vivant, makers and canners of Belgian-style brews, will be putting their Zaison (a "Super Saison" ale) in 16 oz. cans in 2012.

Crabtree Brewing Company will be working with Mobile Canning to release their Syzygy Black IPA in pint cans sometime in the early part of 2012.

If you know of any that we missed please give us a shout! Cheers and Viva la Can!


Posted by Russ