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Monday, February 27th 2012

(Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)

The time has finally come! Both the cans of Sierra Nevada's legendary IPA and their hop-heavy Torpedo have landed on shelves. We had a tough time deciding which one to open and review first so we figured we'd do them both in one sitting. Both cans look great and the brewery did a great job transferring those iconic labels to their can designs. We've got a feeling that a lot of these cans are going to be sold as the weather warms up. Cheers!

From the Sierra Nevada site:

"Sierra Nevada Torpedo is a big American IPA; bold, assertive, and full of flavor highlighting the complex citrus, pine, and herbal character of whole-cone American hops."

Here we go...


Pour - dark auburn in appreance with some orange and reddish hues and big, frothy white head that sticks inside the glass like crazy glue. Absolutely fantastic looking beer coming out of the can and certainly flatters our plain can-shaped glass.

Aroma - spicy and floral with some sweet citrusy notes along with some raw sugar and burnt caramel aromas. Plenty of pine and tropical fruits as well. Quite aromatic and certainly appealing enough to make you want to stick your face to the glass and take a big sip.


Taste - malty sweetness hits the tongue first before the wave of bitter hoppiness, citrus and fruits like mango and pineapple assualt the palate. Smooth and balanced with a lasting tropical fruit flavor on the tongue and a friendly amount of bitterness. Sierra definitely did the right thing when they kept Torpedo and got rid of the other IPA they were brewing for awhile. This is a great beer.


Overall - Torpedo may be heavy on hops but it won't sink your palate like some of the double IPAs out there. With 65 IBUs and a solid malty backbone this is a balanced IPA with some serious drinkability installed. Pint cans are being sold in four-packs which is just about perfect. 


Note - the name "Torpedo" refers to the device Sierra Nevada uses to dry hop this and other beers.

"Our obsession with harnessing huge hop flavor led to the development of what we call the hop torpedo, a revolutionary method of dry-hopping designed, built, and debuted here at the brewery. Our torpedo is a sleek, stainless-steel piece of hardware that delivers more pure hop aroma than any method of dry-hopping we’ve ever seen." - Sierra Nevada Brewing Company



Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Chico, California  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Two-row pale and Crystal
Hops: Magnum, Citra, Cystal
ABV: 7.2%
IBUs: 65
Date: February 27th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Monday, February 27th 2012

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
(Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)


A few years back I was putting together mock-ups of what I thought a can of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale might look like and hoping that this day might come. Little did I know that it would come so soon. The now iconic green pale ale logo looks pretty nice wrapped around a can of the beer many of us credit as the first craft beer we ever had. Congratulations to Sierra Nevada for getting their canning line going and rolling out these beauties (as well as 16 oz. cans of Torpedo!), we're sure it will be plenty busy as the weather across the country warms up. Cheers!

From the Sierra Nevada site:

"Our most popular beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, is a delightful interpretation of a classic style. It has a deep amber color and an exceptionally full-bodied, complex character. Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor."

Here we go...


Pour - familiar amber golden appearance with very rich, thick white head on top that settles very nicely. Great looking pour coming out of the can, with the head leaving some lacing after the first sip. Looks like it came straight from the tap.

Aroma - floral and citrusy notes hit the nose right away. I've had so many bottles and pints of this pale ale that its like an old familiar friend. Love the slight hints of pine and light malty sweetness. 


Taste - that first sip brings back lots of memories. Who hasn't had one of these during a great night out or at a great BBQ or party? Balanced malts and hops with a zippy, lemony zing and some bitterness that isn't too overpowering. A nice floral flavor with a solid malt backbone. An all around great beer for any occasion. 


Overall - A time tested recipe that's hard to dismiss. Great all around flavor profile with the right amount of hops and malts to appeal to the masses. One of several gateway craft beers that has led many folks down the road to hopheadness. We love that it's in cans and we'll certainly be pulling a lot of these out of the cooler in the months ahead!


Note - Sierra Nevada first brewed their famous pale ale in 1980. It is the second best selling craft beer in America (behind Sam Adams Boston Lager). It was one of the first beers to use generous amounts of cascade hops, now a stable in the industry. Like the bottled version, Sierra Nevada's pale ale is conditioned in the container so you're drinking a "can-conditioned" beer. 



Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Chico, California  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Two-row pale and Caramel
Hops: Cascade, Magnum, Perle
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 37
Date: February 27th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Labels: Pale Ales

Monday, February 27th 2012

Sierra Nevada Cans Have Landed!

Thirty-one years ago Ken Grossman brewed the first batch of his now famous pale ale. For many it would be the beer that started them down the path towards a very healthy love affair with craft beer. It was the beer that launched homebrewing hobbies and brewing careers and even as so much has changed in the craft brewing industry over the past three decades one thing that has stayed the same is that iconic green-labeled pale ale. It remains a beautifully crafted tribute to the cascade hop and the second largest selling craft beer in America...and now it comes in a can.

For much of the past year there has been a buzz about Sierra Nevada's purchase of a canning line and the beers that would one day roll off of it. When would we see those 12 oz. cans of their famous Pale Ale and 16 oz. pint cans of their hop-laden Torpedo? Pictures leaked a month or so ago were rapidly spread across the internet and even the staunchest of can-haters probably took a peak to see what they'd look like. Afterall, one of the largest and most respected craft breweries in the country had decided to put a couple of their beers into a vessel that just a few years back might have been met with looks of confusion at the very least and downright derision at worst. 

Today it's a welcome addition to an already stellar lineup of beers, a further commitment by the brewery to sustainability, and for many an opportunity to bring one of their favorite beers to places they couldn't before. The first run of Sierra's cans was done not long ago and after a few weeks of can-conditioning they just recently left the Chico brewery and started making their way to stores and bars across the country. Be on the look out! 

If you haven't seen those green cans yet you should be seeing them soon. If you'd like to learn more about Sierra Nevada's decision to begin canning check out their site, they've done a great job outlining the reasons behind the move. Also, soon you'll be able to submit a photo of yourself enjoying a can of their beer and for your efforts they'll send you a t-shirt. Check out PaleAleCan.Com for more. Cheers and congratulations Sierra Nevada! 




Posted by Russ

Thursday, February 23rd 2012

Snake Handler Double IPA
(Good People Brewing Company)

First, I have to say that I absolutely love the name of this beer as well as the can design. Second, I love that the good people at Good People went all out and canned this huge, hop-centric beer. I'm sure the hopheads in Alabama are rejoicing now that this one is on shelves. A big thanks to Gabe Harris, who champions the good beer cause in Alabama as President of Free the Hops, for hooking us up with a couple of these beauties. If you missed it, Gabe also was on hand during the first canning of Snake Handler and took some great pictures. Cheers! 

photo by Gabe Harris

From the Good People site:

"A big, joyous celebration of all things hoppy (5 different varities). Large flavors and aroma of pine, citrus, flowers, spice, pineapple, and grassiness complimented with a touch of biscuit and caramel backbone. Our most requested beer.

Here we go...


Pour - an absolutely stunning head of thick, off-white foam sits atop this orange-yellow brew. It looks as though I could float a quarter on top of this. Just a great looking pour and it looks so innocent. But this snake is about to strike.

Aroma - dried pineapple, raw sugar, slight alcohol notes, mango and other tropical fruits. Aromatic with a lot of sweet fruits and also some of that piney resiny notes that accompany these big, sticky, double IPAs.


Taste - one sip and it hits your palate (and your brains) that this has some strength and this snake can bite. Big tropical fruit flavors up front such as mango and passionfruit along with grapefruit and pineapple. It sits heavy on the tongue and warms the throat going down. Plenty of hop bitterness lingers and you're definitely feeling those 103 IBUs as your tongue slowly dries out and your palate waves the white flag (which you'll ignore like you always do). 


Overall - what's not to love? A big, strong, hopped-up beer that's befitting of its name and the can it's delivered in. You're not going to drink one of these by mistake. If you're looking for a stomach-warming, tongue numbing beer that satsifies your jonesing for hops than look no further. Also, if you're a lover of canned craft beer and aren't yet a collector of cans then this one might be a good start to a collection as its going to be really tough to recycle one of these and just keep it around.


Note - not that long ago a can of craft beer was pretty much unheard of in the state of Alabama, not too mention that anything over 6% abv was illegal in the state, but Good People Brewing is doing a great job proving that great beer can indeed be canned and that is has its advantages. Well done, we look forward to whatever you guys decide to can next!

Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Snake Handler Double IPA
Style: Double/Imperial India Pale Ale
Brewery: Good People Brewing Company
Birmingham, Alabama  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 9.3%
IBUs: 103
Date: February 23rd, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Monday, February 20th 2012

Art of Darkness: 13 Canned Stouts

February has been proclaimed, by some hearty souls at a few different places across the country, to be "Stout Month". Despite the relatively mild winter most of us are experiencing this is indeed a good time of time of year when rich, dark, malty beers are de rigueur! So kick that hop addiction for a few weeks and get your hands on some of these canned stouts! Cheers!


Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
(Boontville, California)

Notes: The most recent canned release from Anderson Valley, Barney Flats is an award winning Oatmeal Stout that is rich, creamy and oh-so-smooth. This is the brewery's canned spring seasonal brew so stock up!

Availability: CA, OR, WA, NV, AZ, NM, CO, KS, IL, WI, KY, ID, OK, AL, FL, OH, MI, NY, MA, VA, NC, MD, PA, NJ, UT, HI, TX

TEN FIDY Imperial Stout
Oskar Blues Brewery
(Longmont, Colorado)

Notes: If you haven't had this you best pick some up and indulge yourself. At 10.5% this belongs in a snifter and definitely don't wear anything white as this inky black behemoth of a stout ain't coming out in the wash. This is an excellent example of the Russian Imperial Stout style and well worth the investment. 

Availability: CO, CA, AR, AL, PA, TX, WY, OR, WA, MA, CT, MD, VA, NC, SC, RI, GA, WI, ID, FL, NJ, TN, NM, CT, GA, NV, NY


Cavatica Stout
Fort George Brewery
(Astoria, Oregon)

Notes: A can of Cavatica is a pint of big, ballsy, brazen stout just waiting to be cracked open and poured into one of your nicer beer glasses (one of the ones you don't let your friends use). 

Availability: OR


Jack Stout
Wild Onion Brewing Company
(Lake Barrington, Illinois)

Notes: Jack Stout is an Oatmeal Stout brewed with 5 different malts and delivers a ton of great espresso and dark chocolate flavor. Creamy and rich and very satisfying. The name "JACK" is actually an acronym for the brewer/owner's wife's full name (Jennifer Ann Catalano-Kainz). Also, we love the can design!

Availability: IL, PA, WI

Buffalo Sweat
Tallgrass Brewing Company
(Manhattan, Kansas)

Notes: Perhaps drinking something with the name "Buffalo Sweat" has never been high on your priority list - well maybe now it should be. Tallgrass did a great job with this super smooth stout that has flavors of cocoa and rich, dark roasted barly. It weighs in at 5% so a couple pint cans aren't going to put you on the floor.

Availability: KS, PA, OK, NE, VA, MT, CO, ND, SD, OK, MS, AL, MO, AR, MN

Buried Hatchet Stout
Southern Star Brewing Company
(Conroe, Texas)

Notes: Four types of malt along with some oats go into this strong Foreign Export style stout from Southern Star. Plenty of bitter chocolate, caramel and toffee flavors are packed into this one. Rich and full-bodied, this is 12 oz. of malty heaven. 

Availability: TX, IN, KY, FL, SC, AL, OH

Sixpoint Craft Ales
(Brooklyn, New York)

Notes: Sixpoint's winter seasonal, Diesel, is a hop forward, dark, beauty of a beer. It has some leanings towards a Black IPA as it packs close to 70 IBUs as well as towards a Dry Irish Stout and somewhere inbetween a common ground is found. Bitter, roasty, citrusy and altogether unique.

Availability: NY, NJ, RI, PA, MA, DC, MD


Imperial Java Stout
Santa Fe Brewing Company
(Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Notes: Love a good coffee beer? Here you go! Imperial Java Stout is a BIG, bold stout with some intense fresh-roasted coffee flavors infused with cocoa and bitter, dark roast malts. This is a great beer to drink on a cold winter night/morning.

Availability: NM, CO, AZ, OK, TX


Bourbon's Barrel Stout
Great Crescent Brewery
(Aurora, Indiana)

Notes: Still the one and only barrel-aged stout in a can. We'll never be able to say enough about this rich, smooth stout that has just the right amount of vanilla flavors from the barrel-aging and hints of bourbon notes. Extremely drinkable and not at all over the top. Hard to get a hold of but totally worth your efforts.

Availability: IN


Moo Thunder
Butternuts Beer & Ale
(Garrattsville, New York)

Notes: One of the first craft brewed stouts to wind up in a can (and what a can it is). Moo Thunder has some hints of smokiness along with iced espresso and goes down smooth and easy. If you're looking for a mellowed out stout drinking experience this might be the beer for you.

Availability: NY, MA, CT, RI, NJ, PA


Great River Brewery
(Davenport, Iowa)

Notes: Truly one of the best coffee stouts you'll ever find. The coffee flavor of this beer is second to none so if you're a fan of big, intense coffee stouts then look no further. An extremely well assembled beer that hits all the marks for appearance, aroma and flavor. Still wishing we had more of these cans in the fridge.

Availability: IA, IL


Foreign Style Stout
Upslope Brewing Company
(Boulder, Colorado)

Notes: This is Upslope's first "Limited Release" canned offering. Their Foreign Style Stout is fashioned after the style once shipped from Ireland to the continental Europe (and beyong). A tad stronger than the average dry stout with some nice sweetness and a solid hop profile. Very tasty and the can looks sharp dressed-up all in black.

Availability: CO


Oatmeal Stout
Crabtree Brewing Company
(Boulder, Colorado)

Notes: Crabtree found success with cans of their Eclipse Black IPA so why not release another of their beers in cans? Their Oatmeal Stout has just come off the canning lines (via Mobile Canning) and promises to be a hearty brew that has a smooth, creamy texture and a rich, roasty, malty profile. 

Availability: CO



Posted by Russ

Tuesday, February 14th 2012

Q & A with Jason Spaulding
(Owner of Brewery Vivant)

Brewery Vivant made a big splash in the canned craft beer pool when they released Solitude, Farmhand, and Triomphe, the first canned Belgian IPA, in May 2011. Triomphe became an immediate favorite of the CraftCans team, and when they released cans of their specialty beer Kludde (pronounced “clued”) just eight months later we decided we should pay a visit and meet the folks that are cranking out these Belgian- and French-inspired ales in cans. We recently met up with owner Jason Spaulding, his “Abbott of Beer” Rick Muschiana, and brewmaster Jacob Derylo for a tour.

Brewery Vivant 

Their brewpub in a Grand Rapids, Michigan neighborhood occupies the chapel of a former funeral home while the adjoining, right-sized neighborhood brewery sits in what was once a stable for horses that pulled wagons with the recently departed to the site. The classic architecture of the historical building matches the type of beers Brewery Vivant is making, and one can’t help but wonder if more than the magic of Belgian yeast is contributing to the character of their fine brews.

After the tour Jason shared some of his time and answered our questions about their beers, their building, and future canning plans for Brewery Vivant. Cheers!


Brewery Vivant's year-round cans

(CC) Solitude, Triomphe and Farm Hand were released in cans in 2011. At the time, your Super Zaison was also on the list to be canned. Is that still in the works?

(JS) Zaison is going to make its first appearance in our newly designed can that will accommodate a wrap around style paper label. We are running into inventory space issues and have come up with a way to use a single can for various styles. Zaison will be the first to go through this (hoping it works) and launching first of April 2012.

(CC) Big Red Coq, "A Hoppy Belgian Ale", is another one of your popular beers that has quite a following in these parts. Any plans to put that one in cans?

(JS) Big Red Coq should not be too far behind Zaison. We are still working on the artwork for this one but will have this debut in May.


Potential Big Red Coq can designs utilizing the wrap-around paper label

(CC) Two more new canned beers this year is great news! What else is in store for Brewery Vivant in 2012?

(JS) We have four 60 bbl tanks on order which will take us to our maximum capacity of 5,000 bbls. This is awesome but will also make it a little more crowded around here, thus less room for extra inventory of cans. We are pretty stoked with our can new can design and hope this will allow us to get a bunch more specialty brands out there.

"Coming down the can line in 2012 you should see our Double IPA, Belgian Tripel, Belgian Quad, our Barrel Aged Triomphe and maybe a Belgian Style sour."

Tripel prototype - currently serving as a pen holder on Rick’s desk!

Coming down the can line in 2012 you should see our Double IPA, Belgian Tripel, Belgian Quad, our Barrel Aged Triomphe and maybe a Belgian Style sour. Should be a big year, although many of these will only be available locally since we are doing some small runs.


(CC) Kludde was recently released in cans, and he is one bad-looking dude. What is Kludde, and why did you choose to name your strong dark ale after him?

(JS) Names just sort of happen. I name some, the brewers name some, and others pitch in too. We love to make the beer first, taste it, and then finalize the name if we can. Our manager Lauron researched and named the Kludde. As tradition has it in Belgian folklore, Kludde is a werewolf kind of beast that eats livestock and torments people leaving the pub. Usually how the stories go is that people leave the pub, only to be wary of the Kludde lurking and get so scared they have to return to the pub for one more. Seemed kind of fitting.

view of the bar at Brewery Vivant

(CC) Your building is awesome, and is certainly a unique setting for a brewpub. Any interesting stories related to the history of the building?

(JS) One of my favorites is a rumor our servers started in the beginning. Since we are in an old funeral home, they started telling people that our tables were made out of old caskets that were left in the basement. People still ask about this, which is really funny. It is actually old barn wood but the casket thing is just too fun not to let hang out there.

Triomphe was the first Belgian IPA to be canned

NOTES: Brewery Vivant’s site is chock full of information on their beers, brew crew, business philosophy, and more. We highly recommend taking a virtual tour of the pub and brewery to get a first hand look at the “old casket” tables in the hall.

Also, there are several things we've been made aware of since this interview took place. First, Brewery Vivant became the first LEED Certified Brewery in the United States! An amazing accomplishment. They are also looking into expanding their distribution into the Chicago market sometime this summer, and perhaps even more exciting is news that they are working on a collaboration beer with “one of the biggest in the microbrew industry.” Just which microbrewery that is and what beer they will create remains a secret for now, but we’ll be sure to share the news as soon as we hear!


Posted by Trent

Monday, February 13th 2012

(Sixpoint Craft Ales)


Check out that can! It's a slim 12 oz. can that stands the same height as a 16 oz. can but has a sleek, slender build. Sixpoint is the first craft brewery to package a beer in this style of can. Resin, the Brooklyn-based brewery's latest canned release, is a strong, hoppy beer that has some serious IBUs and packaging that will turn heads like a three-headed snake.  

From the Sixpoint site:


"We zeroed in on the botanical structure of the hop cone to get to the essence of this beer. When hops are at their peak maturity, their cores swell up with a sticky, golden, resinous substance that is the flavor you crave from an IPA. WIth an IBU of 103 and ABV of 9.1%, Resin can be loosely described as a double IPA — but rarely do Sixpoint beers adhere to any strict style demands."

Here we go...


Pour - dark amber in appearance with an solid inch of sticky, yellowish head that leaves some nice lacing inside the glass before very, very slowly slinking into the hoppy depths. Viscous coming out of the can this one is going to pack some heat.


Aroma - intense citrus, rum, orange peel, herbal tea, pine needles and light molasses. Every time you stick your face into the glass you'll pull out something else.


Taste - the first sip promptly numbs the palate with bitterness from all those IBUs. Loads of concentrated pine and citrus flavor hits the palate fast and without mercy. A little sweet, a little sticky and certainly delivering a punch to the senses. Resin has some herbal flavors, some medicinal or aloe-like notes as well as a floral-like profile. It finishes dry and warming and slightly boozy.

Overall - This one is a sipper that is for sure and it couldn't have been given a more appropriate name. Resin is sticky and intense and leaves your mouth coated with a bitter, hoppiness. Layers of flavors are packed into this brew and it delivers a unique hop-heavy experience.


Note - we commend Sixpoint for their drive to create something new and exciting and also for their efforts to progress canned craft beer by taking a new path in packaging. Perhaps we'll see some more high gravity brews in these types of cans from them in the future. Cheers!


Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Style: Double/Imperial India Pale Ale
Brewery: Sixpoint Craft Ales
Brooklyn, New York  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 9.1%
IBUs: 103
Date: February 13th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Friday, February 10th 2012

Brewery Vivant Becomes First LEED Certified Commercial Brewery

Congratulations to Jason and Kris at Brewery Vivant! This is a great achievement and symbolizes their dedication to being environmentally conscious and to being a concerned member of their community. Lots of great things lie ahead for this Michigan brewery. Cheers!

Brewery Vivant becomes first LEED certified commercial brewery in the United States. Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids to commemorate the event at the plaque dedication ceremony.

Brewery Vivant was awarded LEED Silver (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation for their sustainably designed microbrewery and pub located in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids. The environmentally conscious business becomes the first commercial brewery to achieve such designation which is governed by the Washington DC Based USGBC (United States Green Building Council).

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Brewery Vivant owned by husband wife team Jason & Kris Spaulding, opened its bustling neighborhood pub and microbrewery just over a year ago in a historic funeral home built near the turn of the 20th century. Despite the challenges and extensive renovations needed to convert the existing building into the manufacturing and public site, the company feels great about its location.

"This project proved to be a real challenge as not only did we need to retrofit an existing building to LEED standards, but we also had to conform to Historic Preservation standards” comments Keith Winn, President of Catalyst Partners whose company managed the LEED portion of the project. Winn adds “Despite the challenge, we loved working on this project as it ended up having such a positive impact on the neighborhood. The owners made a big commitment to repurpose a building that was a vacant eyesore and transformed it into a vibrant community-gathering place.” According to a recent study by the National Trust for Historic Buildings retrofitting an existing building to make it at least 30 percent more efficient is almost always a better bet for the environment than constructing a new building.

The brewery, which specializes in Belgian and French inspired beers, has incorporated many sustainable practices into their day-to-day operations. Their company goals are not just financially motivated. “Being a sustainable company means being concerned about more than just the bottom line. When we make decisions we weigh the impacts on our community as well as the environment.” says Kris Spaulding, Sustainability Director and Co-Owner of Brewery Vivant. The company offsets 100% of their energy usage through purchasing RECs (Renewable Energy Credits). Kris adds “While the brewery does not have a turbine on the roof, we purchased RECs from Renewable Choice Energy so that all the energy the we use each year is replaced by energy produced renewably on a wind farm.”

The company distributes its beer throughout the State of Michigan and plans to enter the Chicago market this summer. However, don’t look for bottles of beer sitting on shelves, the brewery only ships its beer in aluminum cans. “After researching the full environmental impact of canning vs bottling it was an easy decision once the data was in front of us. Not only are the cans better for the environment but our beer will actually taste better out of a can as the beer is better protected from the negative effects of sunlight and oxygen.” comments Jason Spaulding Brewery Vivant President. “People also love to take our beer where bottles can’t go like camping, boating and golfing. Until recently there were almost no craft beer options.”

The LEED plaque will be dedicated by Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell at a ceremony taking place at the Brewery Vivant Pub on Feb 16 at 5:30PM. The company will debut its East Hills Organic Ale made with organic grains and 100% Michigan grown organic hops. A portion of proceeds sold this day go to benefit FRESH. Field Research in Earth Science Happenings is a summer program designed to help middle school students in the Grand Rapids Public School System gain a firm background in science and help them become comfortable in nature.


For further information and details please see the Sustainability and News/Media section of our website.

Posted by Russ

Friday, February 10th 2012

Intution Ale Works First Florida Craft Brewery to Can their Beer

We've got a winner in the race to be the first Florida craft brewery to can their beer! Intuition Ale Works will begin selling cans of their People's Pale Ale tomorrow! 

Intuition Ale Works Releases Beer in Cans
The Jacksonville craft brewery is the first in the state of Florida to sell canned beer

Jacksonville, FL – On Saturday Intuition Ale Works will begin selling cans of People’s Pale Ale, their flagship ale, out of their Riverside tap room.

The craft brewery is the first in the state of Florida to sell their product in cans. According to owner and brewer Ben Davis, “it was something of a race as there are three Florida-based craft breweries that will can their brews this year.”

Intuition Ale Works will can three of their brands. I-10 IPA and Jon Boat Coastal Ale will join People’s Pale Ale as Davis works out the kinks in the canning process. All three styles should be available sometime in mid-March at retail locations in the Jacksonville area where better craft beer is sold. The cans will be released in Saint Augustine and Fernandina later this year. Intuition Ale Works will be working closely with their distributor, Champion Brands, to manage the growth and distribution of their canned products.

Davis says it was an easy decision to choose cans instead of bottles. “Cans preserve the quality of beer better than bottles because they are airtight and keep out light. They are also better suited to the Florida climate and lifestyle as they cool down more quickly and are better for taking on a boat, a golf course or the pool since you don’t have to worry about broken glass.” Davis also cites environmental advantages to using cans as they are easier to recycle, more often recycled and weigh less than glass.

Cans of People’s Pale Ale will be available from the 720 King Street brewery by the six-pack or the case beginning Saturday at 1pm until their initial stock runs out.

For more information, please visit www.intuitionale.com or contact Cari Sánchez-Potter at (904) 540-6390 or cari@intuitionale.com.

Posted by Russ

Monday, February 6th 2012

McKinney Eddy Amber Ale
(Piney River Brewing Company)

Cans of Piney River brews hit the market late in 2011 and the we were fortunate enough to score some samples of both of their Missouri Mule IPA and McKinney Eddy Amber. The husband and wife team of Joleen and Brian Durham recently took Piney River Brewing from nanobrewer to microbrewer status with the recent installation of a seven barrel brewhouse and a Wild Goose canning line. The brewery itself is located in a 70 year old barn,  or BARn, on their property in the “Show Me” state. We enjoyed their delicious and dangerously drinkable IPA, so we have high hopes for their amber. 

From the Piney River site:

"In the heart of Texas County, McKinney Eddy on the Big Piney River was home to our friend and master blacksmith, Charlie McKinney.  Charlie toiled over an anvil with purpose, passion and pure Ozark creativity—an inspiration for our handcrafted amber ale."

Here we go...

Pour – Dark amber that matches the color of the can almost perfectly. Very cool - how often does that happen?  A loose but stable head holds firm on top and some good lacing sticks to the side of our can-shaped glass.

Aroma – Deep, dark sweet fruit aromas remind us of candied dates and triggers the palate to expect a rich, flavorful brew.  

Taste – Wow! McKinney Eddy starts off with a bit of grainy caramel sweetness similar to the flavor and mouthfeel of our favorite scotch ales.  Rich caramel sweetness and mild hoppiness collide in the middle before a sweet, light malt finish.  The pleasant sweetness lingers long enough to make this one a very good sipper.  

Overall – We sometimes find ambers one dimensional and super-sweet throughout.  Not this one!  This is a wonderfully complex amber that is well worth stretching out and reliving the flavor experience as many times as the “Piney pint” allows.  Get your hands on some next time you pass through Ozark country!  

NOTES:  Piney River’s story is a great example of the spirit and vitality of today’s American brewing scene.  If you'd like to learn more about Piney River check out the Q & A we did with brewery co-owner Joleen Durham.

Piney River Brewing Company's first two cans

Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
McKinney Eddy Amber Ale
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Brewery: Piney River Brewing Company
Bucryus, Missouri  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: ???
IBUs: ???
Date: February 6th, 2012

Posted by Trent

Have you had this beer? Thumb it:

Thursday, February 2nd 2012

Ball Corporation and Partners Announce Canny Awards

Ball Corporation, Cask Brewing Systems, Hi-Cone and Mumm Products announce the first annual "Canny" Awards to promote craft beer in a can as well as the packaging it comes in.

Here is the press release for those who missed it:

Ball Corporation

‘Canny’ Awards to Honor the Best

Craft Beer Can Designs

Winners to Receive Awards at May Craft Brewers Conference

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Jan. 31, 2012—The best can graphics in the craft beer industry will be recognized as part of the first annual “Canny” Awards, a competition to promote craft beer in cans and highlight the high-quality, captivating graphics on canned craft beer. Awards will be presented during the Craft Brewers Conference, May 2-5 in San Diego, Calif.

The “Canny” Awards honor craft beer and the distinctive graphics created in an industry known for unique brands and brews. The competition is sponsored by four leading suppliers to the canned craft beer industry – Ball Corporation, Cask Brewing Systems, Hi-Cone and Mumm Products.

The Canny Awards is open to any canned craft beer in North America. Entries are now being accepted through March 31. Craft brewers can submit up to three entries per brewery and may choose from seven categories to enter. One design may be entered in multiple categories (up to three).

Independent judges will award an Overall Can Design trophy to the top three designs, as well as first-place awards in each of the seven categories:

  • Best Shelf Presence
  • Best Graphics Design
  • Best Use of Color
  • Best Seasonal
  • Best Character
  • Best Illustration of Beer Name
  • Best Local Tie-In (State, Town, Geography, Local Activity)

Winners will receive a custom Canny Award trophy that includes their can graphics and recognition at the Craft Brewers Conference and in industry publications. For a complete set of guidelines and rules and an entry form, search for “Canny Awards” on Facebook and Twitter.

Ball Corporation is a supplier of high quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2011 sales of more than $8.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit http://www.ball.com.

Cask Brewing Systems launched the canned craft beer revolution when it introduced affordable, small footprint, high-performance canning systems. Cask Brewing puts cans in the hands of craft brewers and their customers worldwide.

Hi-Cone is a leading supplier of plastic-based multipackaging systems for global beer, soft drink, pharmaceutical and general consumer products industries. Hi-Cone is a division of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW), a diversified manufacturer of advanced industrial technology.

Mumm Products is a leading supplier of beverage multi-pack packaging and equipment to craft brewers and retailers. Mumm offers tailored products for craft brewers in partnership with Hi-Cone. Mumm supplies low-weight photodegradable carriers to minimize environmental impact and highly efficient application equipment to save labor.

More info and forms for brewers can be found on the awards' Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/CannyAwards

Good luck!

Posted by Kelly