Mission Brewery’s 32-ounce “cannons” of Shipwrecked Double IPA and El Conquistador Extra Pale Ale are now in seven new states. “I guess it’s true: Americans like big cans,” said Martin Saylor, Mission Brewery’s national-sales director. “The quarts have been a hit for us and now our distributors in our other states want to get their hands on them.”
Mission released the pioneering cans in early October in California and Colorado. The cans are now joining Mission’s bottled and draft beers in establishments and stores in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. The first quart cans ever used by a U.S. microbrewery, the cans have spurred some hefty growth on Mission’s home turf.
“Our California sales for the past three months,” said Mission Brewery Founder Dan Selis, “are up nearly 300 percent when compared to last year.”
To help meet this increased demand for its beers, Mission has increased its production and staff. The downtown San Diego microbrewer has boosted its production staff by 40 percent, from 10 full-time production staffers to 14. Mission has also increased its brewing production by 40 percent. The brewery now runs 14 brewing shifts each week, up from a schedule of 10 brews each week.
“We’ve experienced a rapid upheaval of sorts,” said Mission Head Brewer John Egan, “with the release of the cans and a quick jump in demand for our beer. It’s very exciting for us and we want to stay in front of that surge. So we’ve made significant production moves to make sure our fans, retailers and distributors stay supplied with Mission beer.”
Selis points out that it’s not just Mission’s quart cans that are powering the microbrewery’s growth.
“Our heavy artillery,” Selis said, “has certainly created a big wave of consumer interest and sales for us. But in the past three months we’ve landed several hundred more placements thanks to Martin Saylor and our distributors. Our stores are taking in the cannons and bombers and six packs of the rest of our beers.”