Great Lakes Brewing Co. (GLBC) teased its new canning line and warehouse facility in Strongsville, Ohio, back in August. The brewery actually began construction on its 67,000-sq-ft facility in late 2019, first adding cold storage and nine truck bays and culminating with the installation of a state-of-the-art canning line with the capability of packaging up to 310 cans per minute.
Here’s an interesting factiod about the operation: GLBC will transport beer brewed at its Ohio City production brewery to be packaged 20 miles away at this new Strongsville facility via a fleet of two 200-bbl tanker trunks. Previously, GLBC had tankered its beer including brands like flagship Dortmunder Gold Lager and new Hazecraft IPA to a partner facility for packaging.
This is GLBC’s first permanent canning system, which gives the brewery the opportunity to offer year-round, seasonal and limited releases in a sought after and rapidly growing package. In 2021 GLBC’s new facility is expected to produce approximately 66,000 bbls or over 900,000 cases, worth of cans in a variety of packages.
In addition to the packaging aspect of the facility, the new site includes ample warehouse space, streamlining movement of packaged beer from brewery to market. Previously, GLBC had utilized longtime partner Superior Beverage’s facilities for storage of packaged product and raw materials. GLBC’s new warehouse, which has been functional since late September, 2020, will help get fresh beer into the market more quickly and efficiently, and afford the brewery increased ownership over quality assurance and delivery performance.
GLBC CEO Mark King acknowledges the importance of this investment, “We’ve known for a long time that the future is in cans — that’s where the growth is, so that’s where we need to be. Heading into 2021 we’re hyper-focused on offering the right brands in the right packages. We’ve dipped our toe in the water with a few canned brands in 2020 to fantastic results, and we’re confident that our new facility will set us up for even more success.”
Customers can expect to see some of their favorite brands transition from bottles to cans in a variety of packages as production ramps up at the new facility. Hop-forward favorites Commodore Perry IPA and Burning River Pale Ale will join Dortmunder Gold Lager, Great Lakes IPA, and new Hazecraft IPA in cans in 2020, along with the seasonal classic Christmas Ale.