Craft beer is at its best when it’s at its freshest. Just look at the explosion in the wet-hopped IPA segment or craft beer juggernaught Boston Beer buying back its beer that’s past the freshness date for proof that craft beer drinkers are looking for the freshest beer possible. That’s why so many breweries are hopping on the date coding bandwagon. Mike Hess Brewing, the first licensed nano-brewery (defined as producing beer on a four-barrel brewing system or less) and the first brewer to install a canning line in San Diego, tapped Domino Printing to provide date coding systems that work well within the limitations of unique, compact production lines.
As a craft brewer, freshness is a key to their beers’ appeal. Thus, adding a legible date code to their cans was a top priority. According to brewery Founder and Owner Mike Hess, “Consumers want to know when a beer was packaged because they want fresh beer — and we want them to have fresh beer. It’s the best experience they can have.”
Mike Hess produces 26 different beers across 14 different beer styles. On some of these brews, in addition to the date of production, they print a batch number on each can. This is especially important for varieties such as their Solis dynamic IPA, where the recipe ingredients vary each time the beer is brewed. “Customers can see the batch number and go to the website to learn exactly what malts and hops were used in that particular batch,” Hess said.
After considering several sources for the coding equipment needed for its line, the fast-growing brewer determined that Domino met all its needs. “Domino was the one company that … not only had smart people on the ground here at our brewery in San Diego, but also could support us since we’ve had it installed,” Hess added. Mike Hess Brewing uses both Domino’s A320i and A420i continuous inkjet printers. Both printers feature advanced technology in their design and ink system to offer low operating costs.