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Wednesday, June 29th 2011

The Aluminum Association:
Q & A with Stephen Gardner

What do you know actually know about aluminum?

How much do you actually know about the material that's used to produce all those beer cans you consume? The Aluminum Association's Vice President of Communications, Stephen Gardner, reached out to us and we thought it would be good to ask him some general questions about both the organization he represents and about aluminum in general. We hope you learn something new. Cheers Stephen!

(CC) Can you give us a little background on the Aluminum Association?

(SG) The Aluminum Association is a trade association that represents the primary (new aluminum), secondary (recycled) aluminum producers and a number of companies that the supply the aluminum industry in the United States. We advocate for industry positions in Congress and various federal agencies. But most of what we do is to promote the use of aluminum in our three largest markets packaging (including cans), building and construction and automobiles.

The Aluminum Association is 78 years old and was started by an act of Congress. The Congress wanted aluminum companies to work together and be better aligned to help the country produce more aluminum during the run up to World War II.

 

(CC) Where does most of the aluminum used in this country come from?

(SG) Most of the aluminum in the US is produced here in the US and in Canada.

 

(CC) How many companies in this country produce aluminum cans?

(SG) By our count there are four main can manufacturers in the U.S. (Metal Container (Anheuser-Busch), Crown, Ball and Rexam)

 

(CC) Have you been surprised by the rapid growth in American craft breweries choosing to can their beers over the last several years?

(SG) We have been surprised and thrilled with craft brewers moving to cans. Right now most of the growth in aluminum cans is coming from energy drinks, but craft brewers are gaining on them. We’re especially thrilled about the craft brewers because by moving into cans the brewers are taking on the largest myth about cans, that the beer won’t taste as good in a can. That’s simply not true and every time a brewer moves their beer into cans, we know that we are tearing down that myth.

"...every time a brewer moves their beer into cans, we know that we are tearing down that myth."

 

(CC) When it comes to recycling aluminum cans, where does the US stand? 

(SG) We just released our 2010 recycling rate for aluminum cans. We stand at 58.1%. While we’re glad that the recycling rate has improved, it still is not where it should be. Aluminum can recycling in the US peaked in 1997 at around 62%. We’ve been struggling to get back to that level. Globally, Europe and South America do much better than the US (on average) on recycling. Brazil has a 97% recycling rate, there are countries in Europe that are over 90% as well. The US is basically dragging down the global recycling rate for cans.

We think that most people are not aware that we used to recycle in larger numbers than we do today. People seem to think that recycling is an old issue and that we’ve done all we can. We can do more.

 

(CC) What sort of recycling promotion is the Aluminum Associating involved with?

(SG) We do a couple of things to promote recycling. One, we’re always looking for legislation in states to encourage people to recycle more. Every state takes a different approach, so it’s a challenge. Second, we fund an organization called Curbside Value Partnership that works with cities and towns to maximize their curbside recycling and help them boost recycling rates. It’s a great program, but the problem is huge and it’s tough to have a national impact helping one-three communities per year.

 

(CC) Has the Aluminum Association been involved directly any breweries in this country?

(SG) We have not worked specifically with any breweries in the US.

 

(CC) What makes the aluminum can such a sustainable product?

(SG) The great thing about aluminum is that once you have it, you have it for a long time. A can will go back and be recycled over and over again. Every time a can is recycled that means that we are using less energy, we’re mining less, we’re shipping less. The benefits are tremendous. Because it’s so easily recycled, we have an extremely high recycled content. 68% of every can is recycled aluminum. Another benefit is the weight and shape. The low weight helps with shipping costs and lowering the amount of carbon needed to ship goods. You probably don’t think much about the shape, but by not having a long neck that a bottle has, you have more efficient packing and transportation. It’s called “cube utilization” and the can is easily the most efficient beverage container for shipping.

"68% of every can is recycled aluminum."

 

(CC) What sort of goals are there for aluminum can recycling rates in this country?

(SG) We’re trying to reach a recycling rate of 75% by 2015. It’s a serious challenge and one that we’ll need help in reaching. People have to be made more aware of how valuable the used can is and how much it helps the environment to recycle. Did you know that the recycling rate in the US is so low that we have to import used cans from Mexico to help meet demand in the US? That’s ridiculous. People need to recycle their cans.

 

"Did you know that the recycling rate in the US is so low that we have to import used cans from Mexico to help meet demand in the US?"

 

(CC) What is something people might not know about  aluminum?

(SG) Here’s some good trivia about aluminum. Before modern smelting of aluminum the metal was so rare that it was more valuable than gold. Napoleon had dinner ware made out of aluminum because at the time it was the most extravagant use of aluminum that he could imagine. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal on the planet (we have a lot of it) and the second most abundant element, period.



Posted by Russ



Friday, June 29th 2011

Pako's Eye-P-A
(Snake River Brewing Company)

Snake River Brewing Company has just put out two of their beers in cans. Both their Pako's EyePA and their Snake River Pale Ale are in aluminum and on shelves wherever their beers are being distributed. We were pretty excited to get some of these in the mail and beyond excited after we cracked open our first Pako's! Cheers Chris! 

From the Snake River Brewing site:

"Named for Pako (say “PACO”) the dog (No wait, Pako’s not a dog!) This full flavored, fully hop-evident IPA will have the hopheads rejoicing. 6.8% ABV and 60+ IBUs with explosive hop aroma from a pungent Simcoe/Columbus blend."

Here we go...


Pour - a beautiful golden orange color that's quite clear and produces about an inch of white foamy head that leaves some nice lacing. 


Aroma - before you even bring this beer to your nose you'll be smelling two things; grapefruit and pineapple. The nose on this beer is heavenly. Loads of big tropical fruit aromas along with the bitter pine and astringency of those simcoe hops. They've got the hop blend down perfect and certainly didn't skimp on those green little monsters.


Taste - bitter, tropical fruit, sweet oranges, loads of grapefruit, resiny and just about perfect. The weight of this beer and the sheer volume of hop flavor along with being nicely balanced and not too astringent is out of this world. It's light on the tongue and not too sweet and those pineapple and grapefruit flavors just keep coming. This is an outstanding IPA.


Overall - hands down one of the best canned IPAs we've had in awhile (or ever). I'd easily put this among the top 5 available in the US. This might be a secret all you folks in Wyoming have been keeping but we're going to get the word out. If you love big, hoppy IPAs than this is one you'll definitely want to get your hands on! 


Would I buy more of it? - no question about it. I would absolutely be buying a six-pack of this beer on many occasions. I'm still shaking my head as to just how good this IPA is, wow. 

Note - Heterochromia iridum is the term used to describe it when a person or animal has two different color irises. This is usually determined by  the concentration and distribution of melanin. Although infrequently seen in humans, complete heterochromia is more frequently observed in other species, where it almost always involves one blue eye. (Wikipedia)



Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Pako's Eye-P-A
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Snake River Brewing Company
City: 
Jackson, Wyoming  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: 2-Row, Munich TL, Carastan 34L
Hops: Simcoe and Columbus
ABV: 6.8%
IBUs: 60
Date: June 29th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Monday, June 27th 2011

Sun King's Johan the Barleywine Specialty Can Release Information

Sun King's first beer becomes its first specialty can release!

WHO: Sun King Brewing Company

WHAT:  Johan the Barleywine Can Release

WHEN: 11 a.m. on Friday, July 1.

WHERE: Sun King Brewing Company 135 N. College Ave., (317) 602-3702

COST: Free to attend, $15 per can of Johan the Barleywine, limit two per customer

KEY POINTS: Sun King's first beer becomes its first canned specialty beer. Sun King pioneered the customizable can, which will be the small package delivery system for the brewery's seasonal, specialty, and barrel-aged beers. Johan the Barleywine has been aged for two years. Sun King is releasing 700 16-ounce cans of Johan the Barleywine - once it's gone, this recipe will never be made again.

 

"Sun King is releasing 700 16-ounce cans of Johan the Barleywine - once it's gone, this recipe will never be made again."


Named in honor of a dearly departed friend who was instrumental in both Dave and Clay's brewing careers, Johan the Barleywine was the first beer ever brewed at Sun King Brewing Co. in July of 2009. The beer was cellared immediately; half of it was released on tap for the brewery's first anniversary in July 2010 and half of it is being released in cans for the brewery's second anniversary on July 1, 2011. Sun King Brewing Co. pioneered the customizable can in early 2011 and Johan is the first barleywine ever to be released in cans. This particular recipe will never be made again.

Barley wine is a strong style ale. At 10% ABV and 60 IBU, Johan delivers a huge malt punch balanced with Pacific Northwest hops. This portion of the one-off batch has been cellared for two years; the flavors are integrated and the subtler aspects of the beer come through in ways they didn't on the day it left the fermenter.

Sun King is releasing 700 16-ounce cans of this very special beer on Fri., July 1 and we have created a free online ticket that gives the ticketholder the right to purchase up to two (2) cans of Johan the Barleywine. Once a customer claims his or her ticket, he or she can come to the brewery anytime between July 1 and July 28 during regular business hours to purchase your allotment. Johan the Barleywine will sell for $15 per can and reserve tickets are available now. We will not ship cans of Johan the Barleywine - all purchases must be made in person. If reserved cans are not purchased by July 28 they will be made available for purchase in the Tasting Room.

The beer in the can is special but the can itself is special as well. Early in 2011 Sun King pioneered the customizable can, allowing craft brewers to legally can and distribute small batches of seasonal and specialty beers. Johan the Barleywine is the first beer to grace the inside of the specialty can but it it will soon be joined by other limited release Sun King beers.

 

"The beer in the can is special but the can itself is special as well."

Again, if customers wish to reserve the right to purchase up to two (2) cans of Johan the Barleywine, please go here immediately and claim your tickets. This can release is likely to sell out quickly so please don't delay. If you miss your chance to reserve cans ahead of time, we will have a second allotment of 350 cans available for purchase on a first come, first served basis starting on Fri., July 1.


Cans can be reserved here - https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/184493.

If you would like to speak with us about any other issues pertaining to Sun King, craft beer, or Indiana’s growing brewing industry, please contact Neal Taflinger at (317) 602-3702 or taffy@sunkingbrewing.com.

 

For more about Sun King's "customizable can" check out:

Indy's Sun King Brewing Expands and Innovates


Posted by Russ



Wednesday, June 21st 2011

The Cans Fest comes to Portland!


It's only fitting that the city affectionately known as "Beertopia" should have it's own canned beer festival. Portlanders can now thank The Guild Pub's owner, Jesse Cornett, for making this happen. The festival, called The Cans Fest, will take place on Saturday, July 9th at The Guild Pub and from the sounds of it should be an awesome event. We wanted to learn a little more about The Cans Fest so we reached out to Jesse who graciously made time to answer our questions. Cheers!

The Cans Fest
Saturday, July 9th from 12pm - 10pm
The Guild Public House
1101 East Burnside
Portland, Oregon

(CC) What made you decide to host a canned beer festival at The Guild?

(JC) I'm a huge fan of cans and they're awesomeness for Oregon's outdoor lifestyles. In thinking about the latest trend in craft brewing and where The Guild could distinguish ourselves, The Cans Fest makes a ton of sense to me.

 

(CC) What will be the format for the fest?

(JC)  It will be a fest much like many others in Oregon but you can try a sample, buy a whole can or take a 6 pack home with you. We'll have 10 or so folks cracking cans at any point. We'll also have live music most of the night, play a local beer radio show while it's on as well as offer two lectures by local brewers on the bennies of cans.

 


just a few of the beers that will be at The Cans Fest!


(CC) About how many different canned beers will be on offer?

(JC) HERE IS THE UPDATED AND FINAL LIST OF ALL THE CANS THAT WILL BE OFFERED AT THE FEST!

 

(CC) How has the initial response been to the announcement of The Cans Fest?

(JC) It's been great. It seems like we have at least one fest a weekend in Portland right now and so I've been pleasantly surprised at the interest, so much so we've already been forced to reconsider our initial estimates. Woohoo. Additionally, there's a lot of work in progress reaching out to folks.


The Cans Fest will take place at The Guild Public House

(CC) Oregon currently has three craft breweries that are canning their beer with a couple more in the planning stages, however none of these is actually in Portland. What are your thoughts on why that may be? Is it just a matter of time you think before a Portland brewer starts canning?

(JC) My assumption as to why is simply that a major consideration for many brewers is shipping cost, which seems to be one of the drivers of this trend. In Oregon and especially in Portland it seems we drink a disproportionate share of our product negating the need to look at how to save on shipping costs. That said, I know 2 additional Oregon brewers that are on the verge of canning and many others I've talked to who are indeed thinking about it. One Portland brewer has the capacity to can already but isn't and we're going into the brewery with them the weekend before and canning a line just for The Cans Fest (neat, huh?)

(CC) Wow. We're really interested to know who that Portland brewer might be!


(CC) Do you think The Cans Fest become an annual event?

(JC) I sure hope so!

 

Other write-ups about The Cans Fest...

Portland Monthly

Brewpublic

The New School Brew Blog


About The Guild Public House

Located in the Burnside Rocket Building, a LEED Platinum facility at 1101 East Burnside, The Guild Public House opened in January 2011. We serve local beer, great food and creative cocktails. The Guild is open from 4 pm-midnight or later daily. For more information please visit our homepage.

You can learn A LOT more about The Cans Fest by visiting the official event site.

 


The Cans Fest Media Resources


     

 


Posted by Russ



Wednesday, June 21st 2011

Solitude
(Brewery Vivant)

What is there not to love about big cans of Belgian-style beer being brewed in the American midwest? Brewery Vivant is a shining example of how the craft brewing industry is really branching out and the beer consuming populous has a palate that has branched out considerably as well. Solitude is one of three beers they are currently canning and they've got a bunch more on tap at the brewery. 

 

From the Brewery Vivant site:

"A deep mahogany colored beer that is made in the tradition of the famous brewing monks of the Abbeys of Belgium. It is malt forward with hints of caramel, pear & raisin."

Here we go...

 

Pour - a dark chestnut color in appearance with some ruby red highlights. The head on this is almost two inches thick and fades to a thin ring around the glass. Mysterious and enticing.


Aroma - cherries and baked apples along with honey and burnt sugar. Lots of what they tend to refer to as "stewed fruits" and definitely raising and prunes. Condensed fruit basically. I quite like the aroma as it spells out complexity when it comes to taste.


Taste - sweet and juicy and light on the tongue. Lots of those burnt sugar and dark fruit flavors, definitely the cherries and the raisins. Lots of flavors to digest both metaphorically and physically. Not overly sweet with some very nice malty undertones and semi-dry finish. 

 

Overall - personally, I really enjoyed this beer. I loved the dark fruit flavors and the complexity of a beer that doesn't feel overly heavy on the palate. It wasn't cloyingly sweet and it was certainly something new out of a can for me. It tasted very fresh and was surprisingly thirst quenching. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I need to get out to Brewery Vivant some day and try the rest of their beers on tap. A big "cheers" goes out to Trent in Michigan for hooking us up with this and other midwestern canned craft goodness!

Note - Brewery Vivant is currently canning Solitude (Belgian Dark Ale), Triomphe (Belgian IPA) and Farmhand (Saison). 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Solitude
Style: Belgian Dark Ale
Brewery: Brewery Vivant
City: 
Grand Rapids, Michigan  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: ???
Date: June 22nd, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Tuesday, June 21 2011

Hell
(Surly Brewing Company)

 

As the can says, "Welcome to Hell"! America's only canned "Keller/Zwickel Bier", Surly's Hell just hit shelves for the third year. This, their summer seasonal, has been canned since 2009. Hell represents one of nine different brews that Surly is canning, talk about prolific! If you're within striking distance we highly recommend picking up any, and all, of Surly's brews. Cheers!

 

From the Surly site:

 

"Finally, a Surly beer my German mother will drink. She says this one tastes like a bier from back home. Not unlike a Zwickel Bier from Germany, Hell is not filtered and fermented with lager yeast. American hops takes a back seat to the Pils malt sweetness and fresh bread aroma. The color is well... hell (Deutsch for light). It’s fiendishly drinkable, and you don’t have to sell your soul to get another."

 

Here we go...

 

Pour - light golden in appearance, clean and very clear with a soft, bubbly inch of foam on top that fades rather quickly. 

 

Aroma - faint hints of apples and raisins along with some grassy and citrusy aromas. There are also some honey and light malty/bready notes. Not overly aromatic but pleasant nonetheless.

 

Taste - light on the tongue and palate, Hell has some nice earthy and citrusy flavors combining with some bready sweetness and it's got a bit of tanginess in the finish, sort of like hard cider and/or honey. Carbonation levels really leverage this beer and make it refreshing. Very smooth and easy drinking. Another well done beer from some folks who know what they're doing. 

 

Overall - what this beer lacks in complexity it makes up in sheer drinkability. This is a great beer for drinking on a warm summer day or night. Not one to pass up as the style presents something new to many craft beer drinkers and, oh yeah, it's in a can. 

 

Availability - Summer release

 

Would I buy more of it? -  like everything else that leaves the Surly brewery...yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

 

Note - a "keller or zwickel" bier is (according to the folks at BeerAdvocate): "A rather old, rare, and unique German beer style, Kellerbiers are unfiltered and unpasteurized lagers that date back to at least the Middle Ages. The beer is matured, unbunged (beer is exposed), in deep vaults. The final product is a smooth, naturally cloudy beer that's rich in vitamins (from the yeast). Hop bitterness can be high and alcohol will vary. Zwickel Bier is similar to a Keller, but not as pronounced."



Welcome to Hell

 



Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Hell
Style: Keller/Zwickel Bier
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
City: 
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner, Carahell
Hops: Sterling
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 20
Date: June 21st, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Tuesday, June 21 2011

Canned Craft Beer is Coming to LA

NEW ARTISANAL BREWERY LAUNCHING IN LOS ANGELES  

Further establishing L.A.’s craft beer acclaim, Tony Yanow and Meg Gill
are set to open Golden Road Brewing this fall

Los Angeles, CA (June 2011) – The ever-growing craft beer scene in Los Angeles is about to get bigger. Come September, L.A. will get a new craft beer brand of its own: Golden Road Brewing in North Atwater Village, CA. The start-up artisanal brewery will aim to begin production of more than a thousand barrels in its first year and grow in the coming years.

At the helms will be CEO and co-founder Tony Yanow (Tony’s Darts Away), who has tapped some of the most talented and well-regarded professionals in the craft brewing industry to bring Golden Road Brewing to full fruition: Meg Gill (formerly of Oskar Blues Brewery and Speakeasy Ales and Lagers) is the other co-founder and will serve as president. She will be one of the youngest female brewery owners in the world. Jon Carpenter (formerly of Dogfish Head) will bring a true mix of art and science to his role as Brewmaster.

“We are all craft beer fanatics and we are all passionate about building a business that produces world class beer here in L.A.,” said Yanow. “Having Meg and Jon as the two cornerstones here, I have great confidence that we can achieve our goals. We’ve got the makings of one hell of a team.”

San Diego native Jon Carpenter is excited about moving back to Southern California: “I can’t wait to get back out west and brew some beer. I am sad to leave Dogfish Head but the opportunity to work here and build Golden Road from the ground up was too good to pass on.”

Golden Road will concentrate primarily on brewing hoppy California-style ales and will branch into other styles as well. The team is holding exact product descriptions close to their chests until they perfect their recipes on production scale batches. One thing they are not being quiet about is their decision to can beer rather than using the craft standard of bottles. “We’ve already purchased our first canning line,” said Gill. “And we feel great knowing we’ll be putting our products in the right package, so we can deliver flavor, and economy to our drinkers without sacrificing our commitment to quality or the environment.”

"One thing they are not being quiet about is their decision to can beer rather than using the craft standard of bottles. “We’ve already purchased our first canning line,” said Gill. “And we feel great knowing we’ll be putting our products in the right package, so we can deliver flavor, and economy to our drinkers without sacrificing our commitment to quality or the environment.”

“L.A. is one of the fastest growing craft beer communities in the country. We have a few great breweries around L.A. and many up north and down south. We see the beers that are being demanded by drinkers but a lot of them just aren’t easily available or accessible to the general public,” said Yanow. “With Golden Road Brewing, we really want to help bridge that gap by providing local, reliably top quality craft beers that people can easily find and will really enjoy.”

Golden Road Brewing will be laid out in a three-building campus at the northernmost tip of Atwater Village. The distinctive primary colored buildings are easy to spot, just off Interstate 5 and Highway 134. The blue building will be production, the red building will be barrel room & storage and the yellow building will be for offices, on-site sales, and eventually a pub and beer garden. Tours of the brewery will be available to the general public.

Golden Road Brewing is located at 5410 W. San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA 90039. Golden Road on Facebook

For more information regarding Golden Road Brewing, please contact 
Kat Nguyen or Jill Sandin at JS2 Communications, 323.866.0880 
 knguyen@js2comm.com or jsandin@js2comm.com

also check out DrinkEatTravel for some great pictures!


Posted by Russ



Monday, June 20th 2011

Young Entrepreneurs to Start Mobile Canning Company

Say you're a small brewery or brewpub that wants to can some of your beers but you don't have the capital to buy a canning line nor the space to store thousands of empty beer cans. What do you do? For a long time now you've just dealt with the fact that it's not possible. Soon that might not be the case, thanks to some recent MBA grads from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. They're embarking on a a unique business venture that will bring the canning line to the brewery via what they call "The Can Van". 

We were eager to learn more about The Can Van and the crew that stands behind the idea and the business so we reached out to them. They were very accommodating, even getting up early on the West Coast, to do a conference call to talk more about their upcoming venture. Cheers!

(CC) So, who all is involved in this business? You guys all went to school together and just recently graduated, correct?

(TCV) Yeah! The Can Van is made up of Lindsey Herrema, Jenn Coyle, Kate Drane, Jake Blackshear and Heath Cox. We developed the business plan during our MBA in Sustainable Management at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. We loved the idea so much that we decided to launch the company.

 

(CC) Where did the whole idea for "The Can Van" come from?

(TCV) We love craft beer and wanted to help the little guys compete while promoting a packaging that’s better for the environment. Some places, like Alaska, don’t recycle glass at all. With cans, we hope to reduce landfill waste, and get more craft beer to outdoor markets. There are a lot of mobile bottling lines here in Northern California that serve wineries, so it seemed like a business model that could work. 

 

(CC) Were you surprised to find that no one else had launched a similar business so far?

(TCV) Yeah, we were definitely surprised. Once we got down to the nitty gritty of the business model it made sense why people in the past might not have followed through. There are a lot of technical details to work out, but at the same time, it seems very do-able. Everybody we have talked to in the brewing industry has been super helpful and welcoming.

 

(CC) Could you describe the basic business model that you're in the process of putting into place?

(TCV) Well...its pretty simple. We have the canning equipment on a big trailer and we take it around to breweries within driving distance of the San Francisco Bay Area. We set up, can, palletize, and when we leave the brewery, they have a bunch of cans ready for market. Hooray! 

 

(CC) What is the set-up that you're looking to have with the canning equipment and the van? 

(TCV) The “van” is actually a trailer. We considered everything from the scooby-doo van to a semi-truck, but decided that a 36’ trailer, pulled behind a pickup would work the best. 

 


CraftCans mock-up

 

(CC) What about the actual cans (the can above was just a mock up we did)?

(TCV) We recognize that the minimum order size for pre-printed cans from the manufacturer is a major roadblock preventing craft brewers from canning. So we’ll source blank or solid color cans and offer small-batch labelling, or we have storage capacity for brewers who want pre-printed cans, but don’t have a place to put them. 

 

(CC) Who will benefit most from The Can Van's services?

(TCV) Cans help breweries get their beer in front of new markets, and the beauty of The Can Van is it allows them to do this without having to make a big upfront capital investment. They pay per can, as they go, without needing to worry about the extra labor or space required for their own canning line.

We can offer a big value to smaller breweries who wish to augment their bottle and keg distribution with cans, or even brew pubs who are not bottling. Larger breweries that want to try out canning in a test market or ramp up slowly before investing in their own equipment are also good customers.

Right now we’re looking for a couple of partner breweries in the San Francisco Bay Area to be our pilot customers.

"...we’re looking for a couple of partner breweries in the San Francisco Bay Area to be our pilot customers."

 

(CC) Where do you see the canned craft beer market in the future?

(TCV) Based on all our conversations with breweries, cans are not a passing fad. Breweries offering cans are having a hard time meeting demand, as consumers love the idea of getting their favorite beer in cans.

 

(CC) What canned craft beers does The Can Van crew enjoy these days now that school is over?

(TCV) With all the breweries around us, there is still a striking lack of canned craft beer in our area. Some of our local favorites include Uncommon Brewers from Santa Cruz, and Anderson Valley in Boonville. For now we are enjoying the sunshine and local brews, and working to bring everybody more canned beer variety.

If you are interested in learning more about our service, please contact us!

thecanvan (at) gmail (dot) com

 

The Can Van Media Resources


   

 


Note: this is NOT the can van


Posted by Russ



Monday, June 20th 2011

The Crisp
(Sixpoint Craft Ales)

I'm still finding a bit hard to believe that Sixpoint cans are actually a real thing. When I visited the tiny brewery back in 2005, when it was hardly a year old, I'd have never guessed they'd be selling cans of their beer in the not too distant future. In the short history of the brewery they've definitely earned the respect of the beer drinking populous in NYC and beyond. These guys are hard working and care about not only the beer they're brewing but also about being a part of a community. If you're ever in New York definitely make the trip out to Brooklyn and visit this brewery. Cheers!

 

From the back of the can:

"There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. Crisp Lager has nothing to hide behind - no makeup to cover up any flaws. Raw ingredients and their essence, full and unabated...uninhibited...CRISP."


Here we go...

 

Pour - golden, a little darker than straw colored with a nice inch of fluffy white head on top. This is clean and clear and looks mighty tasty.

 

Aroma - wooah! Talk about a sulfuric, earthy aroma kicking out of this can. This is the real deal. There are some grassy/citrusy hoppy notes and light maltiness as well but more than anything this one smells like a very fresh, well-brewed lager beer.

 

Taste - from the first sip of this beer you'll know you've entered the lager zone. Void of the sweetness associated with many ales this is indeed a beer that has nothing to hide behind. This bounces off the tongue with nice floral/grassy hop flavors, a bit of a mineral bitterness and just a touch of malt. Each sip seems to satisfy just a little bit more. This has a very defining dry, earthy sweet finish and nice bite. I am a fan.

 

Overall - very enjoyable pilsner. This is indeed "crisp" and very refreshing. If you're a pilsner person this will certainly make you happy as there aren't too many top notch American versions of this style, especially ones that are canned.

Would I buy more of it? - definitely. Great beer. Loved all 16 oz. of it and will certainly be buying more cubes!

Note - Sixpoint is currently canning four of their beers. These include; The Crisp (Pilsner)Sweet Action (Cream Ale), Righteous Ale (Rye Beer) and Bengali Tiger (American IPA). Collect and enjoy them all! Cheers!

 

   


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
The Crisp
Style: German Pilsener
Brewery: Sixpoint Craft Ales
City: 
Brooklyn, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.4%
IBUs: 42
Date: June 20th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Saturday, June 18th 2011

CraftCans Open Letter Round Up


Our suggestion for a KBS can...

This past week we posted five "open letters" to some of the nation's biggest craft breweries (Dogfish Head, Stone, Sam Adams, Lagunitas and Founders) expressing to them the idea of canning some of their beers. We were flattered to get responses from both Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Greg Koch from Stone, both major players in the craft beer world. Thanks guys!

Although it's unlikely that any of these five breweries will have any of their beers in cans in the very near future we'd like to think that it is on their radar. Cheers!

Below are the five letters in case you missed them:

        

 

        

 

                                   


Posted by Russ


Labels: Open Letters


Friday, June 17th 2011

Righteous Ale
(Sixpoint Craft Ales)

This is definitely one of my favorite brews from the folks at Sixpoint. Righteous Ale, or what I used to know as Righteous Rye, is a beer I fell in love with years ago when I had my first pint. I can't express how excited I am to now be able to buy this beer at my local beer store and enjoy it whenever I want. It is indeed a good time to be a craft beer lover!

 

From the Sixpoint site:

"Rye is the tough, resilient cousin of wheat. Able to survive brutally harsh winters and acidic souls, it was the saving grace and staple of central and northern European cultures. Where wheat and barley withered and died, rye survived.

 This tough resilient cereal grain doesn't have the gentle sweetness of barley or wheat. Why should it It lives a tough life of survival against the elements. Yet underneath its tough exterior is a unique, signature style of flavor that has remained dormant in the brewing world like scattered seeds underneath a blanket of snow.

We decided to not overlook this gem of a species. What we discovered was Righteous Ale."


Here we go...

 

Pour - dark amber to chestnut in color with a good inch of off-white foam on top that leaves some lacing in what little bit of my glass is left unfilled. You've got to live 16 oz. cans! When held to the light this beer shines bright orange and auburn. Quite nice to look at really.

 

Aroma - nice fresh hop aroma is the first thing that greets my nose. Hi nose, I'm hops. Hi hops, I love you. Sort of a lemon, lime, orange citrusy smell along with some pineapple. There is also some nice notes of honey and molasses.

 

Taste - that first sip will likely make many, many beer lovers happy. This is a full-bodied, full-flavored beer that has a lot of nice things going on. First is the pronounced hoppiness that hits the tongue and numbs it. Plenty of citrus and piney notes from that are followed by the spicy, dry and bitter flavor that rye imparts. I'm a big fan of rye in beers and this one is exceptionally done. A good amount of maltiness makes keeps both the rye and the hops in check and rounds things out nicely with a sweet, brown sugary finish. 

 

Overall - put everything together and you've got a great beer. Rye beers are not the most popular beers on the American craft beer landscape and if you're a fan you've got to give this one a shot. This beer should also please the palate of folks that like a hoppy amber ale or IPAs in general. I think that with this beer coming to cans I can say that one of my beer dreams has come true.

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely, positively. Once these four cans are gone, which won't take too long, I'll be buying more...much more!

Note - Sixpoint is currently canning four of their beers. These include; The Crisp (Pilsner)Sweet Action (Cream Ale), Righteous Ale (Rye Beer) and Bengali Tiger (American IPA). Collect and enjoy them all! Cheers!

  


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Righteous Ale
Style: Rye Beer
Brewery: Sixpoint Craft Ales
City: 
Brooklyn, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Rye
Hops: ???
ABV: 6.4%
IBUs: 6
Date: June 17th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Friday, June 17th 2011

An Open Letter to Founders

 


Posted by Russ


Labels: Open Letters


Thursday, June 16th 2011

Pyramid Hefeweizen
(Pyramid Breweries)

Pyramid began brewing under the name Hart Brewing. The name was changed in 1996 as the Pyramid brand they were brewing had become very popular. The brewery was recently purchased by Magic Hat for the price of $25.2 million dollars. They still maintain their brand and operations on the West Coast but have now seen some packaging out East. This is actually one of four different wheat beers they currently offer. Cheers!

 

From the Pyramid site:

 

"The standard by which all other wheat beers are judged. Our deliciously deranged American-Style Hefeweizen is an award winning take on this Bavarian classic. This refreshingly unfiltered wheat ale delivers a distinctively smooth flavor worth sharing with friends."

 

Here we go...


Pour - a nice peachy, orange and yellow color with a bit of cloudiness. Not too much really once things settle down. The head is rather thin, perhaps a quarter of an inch or so and that is quick to fade away. 


Aroma - first sniff brings about some of those usual suspects when it comes to Hefeweizens. I smell some bubble gum, some ripe banana and some hints of cloves. It's also got hints of bread dough and citrus (both lemon and orange).

 

Taste - a little spicy going down with some clove and pepper flavors. These are joined by some citrus flavors and even some light hoppiness. There is a dryness to this beer in the finish. It's almost like a musty sort of taste, not as bad as that sounds though. Its more like bready and tangy. Hard to describe with words I guess. 

 

Overall - solid Hefe. Personally, I really enjoyed. I mowed my lawn earlier this evening and then cracked this open. It was refreshing and light and did the trick. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - I actually don't see too many actual Hefeweizens in cans in my area so I would potentially get some more of these if they were available here. I have the folks at the brewery to thank for sending us some samples to review. Cheers!

 

Note - last summer Pyramid put out a batch of 16 oz. cans of this beer with the name Haywire Hefeweizen. I'm not entirely sure why they dropped the name "Haywire" with these new 12 oz. cans. Anyways, it will be interesting to see if they move forward with canning other beers from their lineup now that they're part of North American Breweries which is based in Rochester, NY and cans quite a few other beers. Thanks goes out to the folks at Pyramid for sending us some samples of this beer. Cheers!


Pyramid brewhouse in Seattle


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Pyramid Hefeweizen
Style: Hefeweizen
Brewery: Pyramid Breweries
City: 
Seattle, Washington  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: 39% 2 Row Pale Barley, 60% Malted Wheat, 1% Caramel
Hops: Nugget and Liberty
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 18
Date: June 16th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Thursday, June 16th 2011

An Open Letter to Lagunitas


Posted by Russ


Labels: Open Letters


Wednesday, June 15th 2011

An Open Letter to Sam Adams


Posted by Russ


Labels: Open Letters


Tuesday, June 14th 2011

Dundee Summer Wheat Beer
(Dundee Brewing Company)

New to cans this summer is Dundee's Summer Wheat beer. Previously the only beer they had canned was their ubiquitous Honey Brown. The brand, which is brewed by Genesee Brewing Company in Rochester, New York, has been around since 1994 and has been going through a re-branding of sorts in the past few years. They now brew 6-7 different styles of craft beer. 

From the Dundee site:

"An American-style wheat beer. Brewing with 40% wheat and a touch of rye malt to produce a refreshingly unique taste. Aroma hops, fruity esters and a  thick, creamy white head top off this summer classic."

Here we go...

Pour - straw-colored with some hints of orange. Not all that cloudy actually. This is just a bit opaque with a nice inch of pure white foam on top.

Aroma - hints of orange, lemon and tangerine along with some tangy, sweet and sour smells that might be the malt or the yeast. Not entirely sure. Mostly I'm getting citrus, which is quite nice in a summer brew.

 

Taste - first sip actually brings about the flavor of pears and lemons. Not all that sweet, more tangy and light on the tongue. Some mellow malt sweetness comes out but even that is pretty subtle. Nothing overpowering whatsoever in this beer, it's low ABV and lighter malt bill make this very palate friendly. The finish is very crisp and with that comes the sense of refreshment. 

 

Overall - I really enjoyed the subtleness of this summer beer. The pear and citrus flavors were quite nice and the finish of this beer really makes it enjoyable on a warm summer day. This is a style that does well in a can as its great for just relaxing while the sun is out and it's not going to put you to sleep. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - if I was in the market for a 12-pack to bring to a barbecue or day of playing yard games I think this would do quite nicely. I'm also guessing the price point on this is very reasonable. 

Note - The "American Pale Wheat Ale" is a very popular style associated with craft-brewed summer beers. The style is similar to a German Hefeweizen in appearance and grain bill but without the pronounced banana and clove aroma/flavors. Wheat is the dominant grain and the ABV tends to be fairly low. Also, thanks to the folks at Dundee for sending samples of this beer to us here at CraftCans.com. Cheers!


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Dundee Summer Wheat Beer
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
Brewery: Dundee Brewing Company
City: 
Rochester, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pale Malt, Wheat and Rye
Hops: Galena, Centennial and Cascade
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 18
Date: June 14th, 2011

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Tuesday, June 14th 2011

An Open Letter to Stone Brewing

Greg Koch's response to our letter, perhaps one day we will see some Stone brews in cans but it sounds like they've got a LOT going on right now! Cheers Greg! Thanks for getting back to us during such a busy time.

 

 


Posted by Russ


Labels: Open Letters


Monday, June 13th 2011

Gossamer Golden Ale
(Half Acre Beer Company)

Another work of art both in the can and the can itself. Half Acre truly does some great things as far as graphics go on both their cans and their bottles. Whoever the artist is he/she is doing an awesome job. I'll be sad when this can is gone as I've got no others to enjoy and Chicago is far away...

 

From the Half Acre site:

"A drinker. This Golden Ale is a quality travel companion that aims to please with subtlety and aroma pop."

Here we go...

 

Pour - a bit opaque in appearance. Yellowish-orange in color. It looks almost "soft" with about a half inch of head on top. Nothing to worry about coming out of the can.

 

Aroma - an unexpected dose of fresh hop aroma comes at me as I approach the glass. Wow. Nice citrus and tropical fruit aromas along with some subtle malt sweetness. This has some pineapple and mango going on...I'm ready to dive in.

 

Taste - soft on the tongue and easy on the palate right from the get go. Those tropical fruit flavors come out nicely, not strong at all, just right for a beer of this strength. Everything is subtle, the malty sweetness and the hop profile sit perfectly. The balancing act they play is also performed almost flawlessly. 

 

Overall - one of the best blonde ales I've ever had. This is the benchmark for sessionable beers. I am blown away by how drinkable and tasty Gossamer truly is. If you've not had this beer than you are missing out on a piece of brewer's art. Well done Half Acre!

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. Just like their Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, this would be on the grocery list each week if I lived in Chicago.

Note - Half Acre also cans their Daisy Cutter Pale Ale and Over Ale (a brown ale). 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Gossamer Golden Ale
Style: American Blonde Ale
Brewery: Half Acre Beer Company
City: 
Chicago, Illinois  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 4.2%
IBUs: ???
Date: June 13th, 2011

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Monday, June 13th 2011

An Open Letter to Dogfish Head


Posted by Russ


Labels: Open Letters


Sunday, June 12th 2011

Kold Lager
(Tallgrass Brewing Company)

I picked up some cans of Köld while I was out in Kansas not that long ago only to realize, just recently, that they've apparently stopped canning this beer. We'll categorize this as "retired" unless we hear otherwise. It's too bad as it was a great beer and the only lager they were brewing...which may have led to the decision to not can it anymore. Perhaps they'll bring it back? If not, they brew plenty of other good beers. Cheers! 

 

From the Tallgrass site:

 

"Köld is a crisp, easy-drinking lager with a traditional Pilsner malt aroma and subtle notes of honey and citrus. Köld is brewed using the finest German malts and hops, making it reminiscent of German-style lagers."


Here we go...


Pour - floods the glass with a very pale, yellow, straw color. The head is a foamy half-inch of white foam on top. Clean and clear in appearance with some tiny bubbles at the bottom.

 

Aroma - grainy with some cereal notes and a bit of lemon peel. Not a whole lot in the nose but that is to be expected from the style.

 

Taste - crisp and light are the first two descriptors that come to mind. Some nice sweet honey flavors come out along with the grainy/maltiness that came out in the aroma. With this style we're looking for something that's light-bodied and dry in the finish without being too sweet or too flat. This hits all the marks quite well. Not a lot of malt y sweetness on the tongue but the carbonation and body make for a very refreshing beer. 

 

Overall - easy drinking, light-bodied lager that is adjunct-free. This is not an easy style to produce so kudos to the folks at Tallgrass for successfully concocting this one. This dances down your throat and leaves you thirsty for more without being too full to throw your hand back in the cooler. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - seems kind of trivial now unfortunately. 

 

Note - Tallgrass currently cans their IPAAle, KöldOasisBuffalo Sweat and Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat beers. We're still working our way through all of them! The folks at Tallgrass are good people. Cheers!

 

  

     

 

 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Kold Lager
Style: German Pilsener
Brewery: Tallgrass Brewing Company
City: 
Manhattan, Kansas  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: 16
Date: June 12th, 2011

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Saturday, June 11th 2011

Tallgrass Ale
(Tallgrass Brewing Company)

Once in awhile your palate asks for a break and a straightforward brew calls your name. Tallgrass Brewing's Ale might just be what the beer doctor ordered when this is the case. It's a malty delight with no frills, just all out goodness from their flagship brew. 

From the Tallgrass site:

"The distinctive look and taste of Tallgrass Ale comes from our unique blend of German, English, and American-style malts and a generous helping of both American and traditional English hops. These ingredients, our English brewer’s yeast, and the Flint Hills’ excellent brewing water gives Tallgrass Ale a distinctive, toffee-highlighted taste and smooth profile that is always drinkable."

Here we go...

Pour - dark, mahogany and quite clean. The head is quick to fade and before too long there is nothing left but the beer itself.

 

Aroma - toasted brown bread, dark roasted malt, chicory, coffee grounds and cocoa.

 

Taste - light and smooth on the tongue, not a lot of carbonation in this brew but it works well as the dominance is a strong, sweet malt profile. This is toasty and even has hints at smokiness. In the finish I get some chocolate mousse, cocoa powder and espresso (tiramisu?). Super easy to drink and very flavorful. 

 

Overall - malty goodness in a big can. This has a lot of flavor compared to others in this style category and certainly leans heavy on the malt side. If you like brown ales you'll love this brew. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - yes I would. I'm a big fan of this seemingly straightforward brew. What can I say, I like a lot of different styles.

 

Note - Tallgrass currently cans their IPAAleKöldOasisBuffalo Sweat and Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat beers. We're still working our way through all of them! The folks at Tallgrass are good people. Cheers!

 

  

     

 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Tallgrass Ale
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Brewery: Tallgrass Brewing Company
City: 
Manhattan, Kansas  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 4.4%
IBUs: 20
Date: June 11th, 2011

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Saturday, June 11th 2011

Steam Engine Lager
(Steamworks Brewing Company)

I've got high expectations for this beer purely based on what it says on the can about it being arguably "the best American-style Amber Lager in the world". I think that takes some cajones to put on one's beer label. I did enjoy their Third Eye Pale Ale awhile back so hopefully the beer inside this can lives up to what's written on the outside. Cheers!

 

 

From the Steamworks Brewing site:

"Steam Engine Lager is an American classic noted for its malt sweetness and hop spice with a smooth, dry finish. It is arguably the best American-style Amber Lager in the world."


Here we go...

 

Pour - dark auburn in appearance with some lighter shades of orange and yellow being struck by the light. Rather thin head that fades to a ring of white inside the glass. 

 

Aroma - sweet and malty. Sort of reminds me of visiting a brewery on brew day and smelling all those grains being steeped. Also some hints of bread dough and a little bit of lemon or lime zest. 

 

Taste - one sip and it's clear this is a solid lager. Very crisp and balanced. Flavors like honey and caramel stand out on the tongue along with some biscuity flavors. Some faint hop characteristics come into play in the finish.

 

Overall - well put together lager. Everything seems to be in order and from beginning to end it works well. Very drinkable and quite tasty. Is it possibly the "best American-style Amber Lager in the world?" I don't think we're qualified to make that call but it's certainly a beer worth trying.

Would I buy more of it? - I'd like to try this fresh from the tap at the brewpub out in Durango! Perhaps I'll pick up some cans to go.

Note - The printed graphics on this can, and other's from Steamworks, are state of the art as far as can printing goes. They are done using Ball's "Eyeris" advanced printing technology.  Steamworks now cans three of their beers; Steam Engine Lager, Third Eye Pale Ale and Colorado Kolsch. They're also located in the same town as Ska Brewing Company, another brewery known for its canned offerings. We've got to get out there and visit some day soon...

 


Steam Engine Lager
Style: American Amber/Red Lager
Brewery: Steamworks Brewing Company
City: 
Durango, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 25
Date: June 11th, 2011

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Labels: , Lagers


Friday, June 10th 2011

Oregon's Hop Valley Brewing Company Set to Begin Canning

Springfield, Oregon's Hop Valley Brewing Company has received label approval for cans of two of their offerings. Adam over at BeerPulse (we can always count on Adam to be the first to be in the know on new lables) was quick to put up images this morning of both their Alphadelic IPA and Double D Blonde Ale, previously only available in bottles and on draught. The back of both cans feature a nifty rundown of many of the benefits of cans over bottles. Nice!

We weren't able to find a timeframe as to when these will make it on to shelves but hopefully it won't be too long. If you know anything more please feel free to share. Cheers!

Click the below labels for a larger view.

 

 

 

 


Posted by Russ



Thursday, June 9th 2011

Sweet Action
(Sixpoint Craft Ales)

 

Ahh...my first can of Sixpoint beer. I absolutely love this little brewery and am beyond excited by their foray into canning. No longer do I need to rely on sporadic draught availability at my local beer bars. Cheers to Shane and the crew down in Brooklyn for taking the leap to cans and making their delicious concoctions available to a wider, and more mobile, audience!

 

From the Sixpoint site:

"Sweet Action is an idea, a concept. It is a simple representation of what makes beer great - the marriage of barley and hops, in a harmonious balance or your mind, body and soul. The experience is transcendental. You must experience it yourself.

Sweet is from the barley malt - maltose - the sugar that coats your tongue like honey and reminds you of the sweet, relaxed side of life.

Action is from the hops - the bittering spice - the herb that brushes your palate clean with every sip and reminds you of the active, energetic side of life.

You have heard of the wonders and magic of the Legend, but have you experienced Sweet Action?"


Here we go...

 

Pour - wow, this is almost ruby red in color. Lots of bright orange, copper and auburn hues with almost an inch of foam on top. Super clean and much darker and richer in color than one might expect from the style.

 

Aroma - how many cream ales do you know that are dry hopped? This is the only one I know. Sweet and malty smelling with some nice citrusy hop aromas. It even has a bit of a spicy aroma, akin to a saison, to it as well. 

 

Taste - this is like silk on the tongue. It's slick and sweet with some great hop bitterness as it glides through your mouth. Sweet Action also has a tanginess that hangs on as your go from sip to sip. Some floral and citrus notes run in the background but so does the malt profile. Nothing total dominates flavor-wise and the balance is spot on. Love it.

 

Overall - hoppier than your average cream ale but with a smooth sweetness that is expected of style. Very drinkable and delicious to say the least. Everything falls into place quite nicely with this brew and all I can say is that my first experience with Sixpoint in cans is a very positive one. If you've tried cream ales before and weren't a huge fan I implore you to pick up some Sweet Action as its a different take on this uniquely American beer style. 

Would I buy more of it? - definitely. Great beer. Loved all 16 oz. of it and will certainly be buying more cubes!

Note - Sixpoint is currently canning four of their beers. These include; The Crisp (Pilsner)Sweet Action (Cream Ale), Righteous Ale (Rye Beer) and Bengali Tiger (American IPA). Collect and enjoy them all! Cheers!

 

  


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Sweet Action
Style: Cream Ale
Brewery: Sixpoint Craft Ales
City: 
Brooklyn, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 33
Date: June 9th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Wednesday, June 8th 2011

Brooklyn Summer Ale
(Brooklyn Brewery)

Brand new to cans for the summer of 2011! Brooklyn's Summer Ale joins their Brooklyn Lager in cans just in time all your summer time activities. We're sort of surprised it took so long for them to add another beer to their canned portfolio but I think this says a lot about the state of the canned craft beer market. The more the better. We wouldn't be surprised to see more of their beers in cans in the near future.

 

From the Brooklyn Brewery site:

"Brooklyn Summer Ale is a modern rendition of the "Light Dinner Ales" brewed in England throughout the 1800's right up until the 1940's. They were also called "luncheon ales" or even "family ales", because they were refreshing and flavorful without being too heavy. We brew our Brooklyn Summer Ale from premium English barley malt, which gives this light-bodied golden beer a fresh bready flavor. German and American hops lend a light, crisp bitterness and a citrus/floral aroma resulting in a beer with a very sunny disposition."


Here we go...

 

Pour - pale straw colored with a decent sized stark-white head. Clean and clear in appearance. Looks light bodied.

 

Aroma - some grassy and light malt aromas. A bit of a sour malt smell is evident. I also get a bit of citrus, mostly lemon as well as a faint aroma of fresh hops.  

 

Taste - this is where this beer shines. Okay, the look and smell may not totally grab you but the flavor profile of this summer beer hopefully will. Crisp on the tongue with some light malty sweetness followed by a nice tanginess and some lemon flavors. There is a nice hop flavor in the background and in the finish. 

 

Overall - Brooklyn Brewery did a great thing when they decided to put this beer in a can. It's a great candidate for bringing along on any outdoor adventure and should be easy enough on the palate for pretty much any type of beer drinker. Personally I really enjoyed this beer and as I've never had it in a bottle I'd have to say it was great out of a can.

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I bought a 12-pack as that was the only format available and I'm definitely glad I did as I've got a bunch of them left in the fridge. 

Note - Brooklyn Brewery releases six different seasonal beers - including three different winter seasonals. They include their Brooklyn Summer Ale (April-July), Oktoberfest (August-October), Post Road Pumpkin Ale (August-November), Brooklyn Winter Ale (Winter), Black Chocolate Stout (October-March) and Monster Ale (December-March). 

 


photo courtesy of Rodney McPhail



Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Brooklyn Summer Ale
Style: English Pale Ale
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
City: 
Brooklyn, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Two-Row British Malts
Hops: German Perle, American Cascade, Fuggle and Amarillo
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: June 8th, 2011

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Sunday, June 5th 2011

Fat Tire Amber Ale
(New Belgium Brewing Company)

Fat Tire made its canned debut three years ago this week. It was the first canned offering from New Belgium and is a beer that's been a so-called gateway brew for many craft beer lovers. As New Belgium continues to expand its distribution this, their flagship beer, is one that you'll see more and more. Cheers!

 

From the New Belgium site:

 

"Named in honor of our founder Jeff's bike trip through Belgium, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer's home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader palette of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Jeff found the Belgian approach freeing. Upon his return, Jeff created Fat Tire and Abbey Belgian Ale, (assuming Abbey would be his big gun). He and his wife, Kim traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire's appeal quickly became evident. People liked everything about it. Except the name. Fat Tire won fans with its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness.”


Here we go...

 

Pour - very bright orange in appearance. Clean and clear with just a bit of yeast sediment floating around. The head on this is about a half inch in thickness and leaves some lacing as it slides downwards. 

Aroma - caramel, honey, bread dough, Play-Doh and orange peel

 

Taste - malty, sweet, yet light on the palate. Plenty of toasty and nutty flavors with some hints at a hoppy finish. Straightforward ale in many ways and very drinkable for just that reason. I've actually heard a number of people say they like the taste of this beer best from a can (over both bottles and draught). 

 

Overall - Certainly a beer that many people from the east coast, who've travelled out west, speak volumes about but as it becomes more and more accessible across the country I think it's going to start being seen as pretty average. That's not saying anything bad about the beer, don't get me wrong, I just happened to see it as a pretty solid, yet straightforward amber ale. This is however New Belgium's flagship beer and it pays the bills and enables them to brew plenty of smaller batch beers (like their Lips of Faith Series) that appeal to a smaller audience. For that we can all say "Cheers!".

 

Would I buy more of it? - if faced with this or a six-pack of their Ranger IPA in cans I'd probably go with the Ranger IPA. This is certainly an all-around easy to drink beer and definitely a good choice to bring on a camping trip with friends or to a party on the beach. 

 


yes, a beer can be "can conditioned"

 

Note - New Belgium cans three of their beers. Along with Fat Tire you'll also find Sunshine Wheat and Ranger IPA in cans. The Ranger IPA is probably the one you'll have the hardest time finding as its a limited release with limited distribution in cans. Cheers!

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Fat Tire Amber Ale
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company
City: 
Fort Collins, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pale, C-80, Munich, Victory
Hops: Willamette, Goldings, Target
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 19
Date: June 5th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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