Crux Fermentation Project really shoots for non-traditional brewing methods like decoction mashing, open fermentation, oak barrel aging, wild yeast strains and experimental hops — the type of stuff rarely contained by mortal devices such as cans and six-packs. But that is starting to change.
Crux Fermentation Project is introducing two of its most popular beers — Crux Pilz and Cast Out IPA — in new-to-Crux six-pack formats. Crux Pilz will be offered in a six-pack of 12-ounce cans, while Cast Out IPA will be available in a six-pack of 12-ounce glass bottles. All of the beer is bottled and labeled (and now canned) in small batches right at the brewery.
The six-pack is a new concept for Crux. Since its opening in June 2012, Crux has distributed beers exclusively in 375-ml and 500-ml single-serve bottles. The introduction of Crux beers in six-pack formats creates broader availability in specialty bottle shops, supermarkets and grocery stores throughout Oregon and Washington beginning next week.
Crux Founder and Brewmaster Larry Sidor says that this decision was born out of direct feedback from the Crux fan base.
“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from folks right here in Bend and from places like Corvallis, Portland, Tacoma and Seattle asking us to make our beer available in six-packs. Especially with the spring and summer seasons coming up — this will be a game-changer. This move makes it much easier for our friends to enjoy and share our beer with their friends during all their outdoor adventures, social gatherings and events.”
So why cans and bottles? And how are they executing it? Sidor gave us the scoop:
Q: Why both cans and bottles?
Crux: We’re new to the multipack format and new to cans. We wanted to get our feet wet before diving in and felt it prudent to take a diversified approach to our initial six-pack offerings to understand which was a better fit from both operational and customer demand perspectives.
Q: How are you handling both formats?
Crux: We brought in mobile canner Craft Canning out of Portland, Ore., to assist us with Crux Pilz here in our facility. We handled all packaging aspects of the Cast Out six-pack bottles. We have a small Meheen six-head filler in house.
Q: Why is one in cans and the other bottles?
Crux: To date, Crux Pilz has only been offered in draft. It’s new to package, so we thought it appropriate to introduce it in the new format of cans. And, with it’s lower ABV, we felt it was a great fit for cans given the spring and summer seasons around the corner. We’ve been offering Cast Out in single serve bottles since the early days, so it made for a natural transition to six-pack bottles.
Get to know the beers
Crux Pilz, “A New-Old-World Pilsner”
5.2 percent ABV, 35 IBU. Available in six-pack 12-ounce cans
This is not your father’s pilsner. It’s more like the pilsner that belonged to his stern father, the one with all the rules but who gave you treats whenever your parents weren’t looking. Brewed with traditional Pilsner malts, imported Czech Saaz and local Oregon Sterling hops, this pilsner’s first sip shows up with clean lager flavors, and then opens with surprising complexity and softness— developing biscuit flavors, spicy herbal notes and a hint of lemon.
Cast Out India Pale Ale
7.6 percent ABV, 60 IBU. Available in six-pack 12-ounce bottles
Many breweries procure their hops right here in the Northwest. But this beer features the Galaxy hop from Australia, a country famously populated by England’s cast out convicts. Cast Out IPA employs these hops aggressively from hop back to dry hopping stages. Yet the result is a balanced and bronzy ale, with medium hop bitterness complemented by moderate maltiness, showcasing aromas and flavors reminiscent of passion fruit.