Are we bored of all of this canning news yet? Well, brewers aren’t, and these folks certainly aren’t. The can has become the new bottle in the craft brewing industry, and Madison, Wis.-based Ale Asylum is gearing up to release new fangled canned products into the market. It’s what the people demand!
Starting the week of April 20, Ale Asylum began releasing Hopalicious, Bedlam!, Demento and Unshadowed 12-ounce cans in 12-pack packages into their Wisconsin and Illinois markets. The brewery has timed this release to sync with spring and outdoor summer activities where cans are more suitable.
“Putting their beers in cans is not only a wise business decision in that it will allow Ale Asylum to sell their beer in more venues. It’s good environmental business as well,” explained Rob Richards, the wine and spirits manager at Madison’s east side Hy-vee. “Aluminum is obviously safer in outdoor venues than glass, but cost and environmental impact savings are just as important. Less fuel will be used transporting these delicious brews by both the brewery and their distributors, pumping less carbon into our atmosphere.”
The brewery’s custom-built canner was created by Palmer-Tech Services Inc. This is the largest project Palmer-Tech Services has completed for a craft brewery to date. The canning line will cover 1,000 square feet within the 8,000 square foot bottling line space and fills 200 cans per minute. The rotary filler alleviates risk of oxygen pick-up during the canning process, which ensures a longer shelf life. Other measures taken to deter oxygen invasion include a double pre-purge of CO2 into empty cans and a fobbing jetter to agitate the filled cans before the lids are sealed.
“The technological advancements made in the canning line industry will help us achieve a solid product that not only tastes as great as our bottled beer, but allows us to be more sustainable in the process,” explained Ale Asylum Brewmaster Dean Coffey. “Aluminum cans in a cardboard wrap is the greenest way you can purchase beer.”
The brewery strives to implement sustainable practices throughout its entire manufacturing process. In fact, it was the first in Wisconsin to sign the Brewery Climate Declaration.
On April 22, the brewery’s Tasting Room hosted an Earth Day event to celebrate the recent installation of its solar panels. A portion of the proceeds from tote bag sales benefited RENEW Wisconsin, an area organization that advocates renewable energy policies.
“How sweet it is to have solar-powered beer? Ale Asylum’s rooftop solar project demonstrates its corporate leadership in energy self-sufficiency and protection of our natural resources,” said Tyler Huebner, RENEW Wisconsin’s Executive Director.
The brewery is also collaborating with the solar panel installation firm SunPeak to unveil a monitor in the Tasting Room that will show carbon offsets as well as daily, annual and year-to-date production statistics.