Cans have become a staple of the craft beer industry as brands plan their aesthetics around the sleek, clean and eye-popping look that aluminum renders. Breweries have lauded the superiority of cans versus amber glass as they cut UV exposure (i.e. there is none) and have environmentally friendly production because they are more compact for shipping. Simultaneously, the onset of mobile canning has become a cheaper, streamlined option for smaller scale facilities that can ill-afford the tens of thousands of dollars needed to purchase a canning line for themselves.
With the gargantuan growth of breweries over the past 10 years, canning has become a highly popular standard for production in the beer community. Here are three recent headlines showcasing that continual trend toward canning craft beer.
Michigan’s Upper Hand Brewery launches 12-ounce cans
Upper Hand Brewery announced packaging changes from 12-ounce bottles to 12-ounce cans beginning in Spring 2018. The cans, packaged in six-packs and specialty four-packs, will feature a new look that pays homage to the original labels, while establishing a stronger tie to their Upper Peninsula roots.
“Part of the allure of living in and visiting the U.P. is the amazing opportunities for outdoor recreation. Cans can go more places than bottles — whether exploring the trails, campgrounds, or beaches, we want our fans to feel comfortable bringing us along on their adventures,” said Laura Bell, CEO of Bell’s and Upper Hand Breweries.
The switch from bottles to cans also comes with a change to Upper Hand’s beer portfolio. Flagship brands UPA, Yooper Ale and Escanaba Black Beer will remain a part of the year-round brews offered by Upper Hand Brewery. In addition, an all-malt light lager, dubbed Upper Hand Light, will join the year-round brands upon their release scheduled for March. Upper Hand will release its first IPA in Summer 2018. The IPA, with a name to be determined, will join the four aforementioned brands in year-round production.
Seasonal and specialty favorites Laughing Fish, 906 Ale and Double Ringer will be available in cans only upon their 2018 and 2019 releases. Upper Hand will continue draught offerings for its core brands, seasonal offerings, and select specialty beers.
Maui announces Mosaic Mo’Betta Double IPA available in cans
Maui Brewing Co. announced the limited release of Mosaic Mo’Betta Double India Pale Ale, available in cans for the first time. Originally brewed in December 2015, this imperial IPA has become a favorite among Maui Brewing fans.
Brewing Supervisor Matt Ponichtera described his experience, “It was through the trials of designing the dry hop for POG IPA that I fell in love with the flavors and aromatics of Mosaic hops. Despite these hops having great potential for the POG IPA, at the last minute I decided to remove it and create an entirely separate IPA in which Mosaic would be the featured hop. To me, it’s just one of those hops that has the ability to make any IPA ‘Mo’ Betta!'”
MBC brewed 500 barrels of Mosaic Mo’Betta which utilizes 2-Row, Munich and Wheat malts with Simcoe and Mosaic hops. The result is a deep golden appearance, tropical citrus aroma and notes of tropical fruit, berries and citrus to round out the juicy flavor. Mosaic Mo’Betta, at 8 percent ABV and 75 IBUs, will be available in 4-pack cans and draft in Hawaii, with limited availability of draft (only) on the mainland.
The opportunity to enjoy Mosaic Mo’Betta DIPA began on Sept. 15 in all Maui Brewing Company locations: Kihei, Lahaina and Waikiki. MBC will offer a special “Keep the Glass” commemorative can glass for customers to add to their flagship glassware collection, which launched during the 2016 holiday season and are attainable online.
MadTree launches Pilgrim cans, helps combat food waste with La Soupe, partners with Busken Bakery
MadTree Brewing Co. is releasing Pilgrim Fall ale in cans for the first time on Sept. 21. Fall is a time for friends and family to come together and Pilgrim is the perfect, approachable companion. This lightly hopped beer combines cranberry and vanilla to complement the pleasant lemon and berry flavor of Pilgrim hops. Give thanks for a bountiful harvest, good friends and great beer.
MadTree will host a can release party to celebrate the new beer and support La Soupe, a local non-profit that rescues otherwise wasted produce to create delicious and highly-nutritious meals for customers, non-profits and food-insecure families. In 2016 alone, La Soupe rescued 125,000 pounds of perishable food from going to the landfill (“ugly” or over ordered produce from grocery stores) and donated almost 75,000 servings to people living in food insecurity. They are on track to double their impact in 2017.
“Pilgrim is a beer we’ve wanted to offer in cans for a long time but we never had the production capacity to do so,” said MadTree Brewing taproom GM, Chris Stokley. “The taproom and retail accounts always fly through this beer when on draft so we are really excited to offer this on a much larger scale to more people. Plus, being able to partner with La Soupe and their unique approach to eliminating food waste makes it all the more special.”
MadTree also teamed up with Busken Bakery to create the Pilgrim Cranberry Mountain cookie. Just up the road from the brewery, the bakers at Busken Bakery will be offering their Pilgrim Cranberry Mountain cookie just in time for the Pilgrim tapping.
“The Pilgrim Fall ale reminds us of ‘Thanksgiving in a glass’ and this was our inspiration for the cookie,” said Brian Busken, Vice President of Busken. The hearty PCM cookie contains chopped walnuts, cranberries and bittersweet chocolate chips with a subtle vanilla finish. You will be able to sample the cookies for free at the upcoming release party, as well as purchase them at Busken’s flagship Hyde Park location for a limited time.
The can release fundraiser will be held on Thursday, September 21, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the MadTree taproom (3301 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209). A portion of the proceeds of the sales of Pilgrim cans, shirts, and posters will be donated to La Soupe. Catch-A-Fire Café will offer some special Pilgrim-themed menu items, along with their full menu all day. The cost is $10.50 per six-pack (including tax).
Can and draft distribution to restaurants, bars and retailers will begin Monday, September 25, in all markets that MadTree serves.