Jackalope Brewing Co. has partnered with Toucan Mobile Canning and Domino Printing to create a canning and date coding system that is affordable and efficient for its quickly growing craft brewery. Since opening in May 2011, the small Nashville-based brewery has grown rapidly with local support, producing just 800 barrels (bbls) in its first year and now projecting distribution of more than 4,300 bbls by the end of 2015.
As new brewers with limited production space and budget, owners Bailey Spaulding and Steve Wright knew their greatest challenge would be the packaging and distribution of their specialty beers as demand and their supply footprint increased.
“One of the big challenges for us, especially as a small brewery, is how to actually get our beer to customers,” Wright explained. “For us, the idea of purchasing our own canning equipment was going to be a very big challenge.”
That’s when Mo Oekler, founder and managing partner of Toucan Mobile Canning, approached Jackalope with an affordable turn-key solution that would not only package their beer in cans, but also provide clear legible date codes using Domino’s A320i inkjet printer.
“Date coding is a really important part of our canning process because we’re an unfiltered, unpasteurized brewery,” Spaulding said. “Freshness is important to us.”
Toucan’s mobile equipment allows Jackalope to conduct the entire canning process — sorting, sanitization, date code printing, CO2 purging, filling, lid seaming and packaging preparation for distribution — within its own facility without making the significant investment of purchasing its own equipment. Beyond cost savings, the result is quality assurance for both distributors and consumers knowing they have the freshest beer in rotation on their shelves or in their fridge at home.
“Theoretically, somebody could buy a beer, pick it up, look at the date and see they have the freshest possible beer,” Wright beamed.
“Every step of the way with our beer, we focus on quality,” Spaulding added. “It’s really important that we work with somebody that has the same high standards that we do. By using the date coding, Toucan really gives us the icing on the cake, making sure our beer is the freshest possible.”