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Tuesday, October 13th 2015

Big Choice Brewing Introducing First Resealable Craft Beer Cans
Q & A with Nathaniel Miller

The growing popularity in canning over the years has bred a number of incredible innovations that have truly changed the brewing industry. From the rapid rise in mobile canning technology - to removeable lids -  to the almighty Crowler - the canning game is constantly changing for the better. Now, Big Choice Brewing out of Broomfield, Colorado has announced plans to release the first can featuring a resealable tab. Ever since Westword broke the news we've been curious about how it all came together and what this might mean for the craft beer industry. We reached out to Big Choice and threw a bunch of questions at Owners/Brewmaster Nathaniel Miller. Cheers Nathaniel!

(CC) Where did the idea for this come from? How did you hear about the technology?

(NM) We were originally approached by XO Solutions during one of our canning runs. They were interested in seeing if we’d be interested in testing a couple lids to see if we could use them. We were pretty hesitant at first, because not often will a 12oz can need to be resealed. We weren’t sure how we could use them.

(CC) Speaking of technology, who is manufacturing these cans and how is this particular modification made in the process?

(NM) XO Solutions is the company who manufactures the lids. Their headquarters are in Munich, with a sales office right down the street from us in Lafayette, Colorado. They have done several years of R&D to make sure the lid will perform in both it’s open function for pouring, as well as the sealed function for freshness. The lids have been used primarily in the energy drink industry. These lids are compatible with the standard 202 lid from the other manufacturers, and fit the seamers that are designed for the 202 lid. We have had to make no modification with our current canning line.
(CC) What are the major benefits behind this form of canning/packaging?

(NM) When we took a serious look at using this lid, we were looking to find a way to use cans instead of bottles for bigger beers that traditionally came in a 22oz “bomber” glass bottle. We package our other beers using our own canning machine, but for bombers we had to get a bomber filler on loan from somewhere else. It didn’t seem efficient in production to try and use a process that we didn’t use already. We wanted to see if this lid could help us use larger cans to supplant what we felt was a standard “bomber” beer instead of bottles. The major deciding factor was that the bigger beers are not usually drank in one shot—this lid allows for the consumer to enjoy some of the beer from the can when they want to instead of having to finish the beer before it loses too much carbonation. For the consumer, there is less waste from old, flat beer with this resealable lid. 

Cans of OBEAH go on sale on October 21st

(CC) What can you tell us about OBEAH, the first beer going into these cans? Sounds amazing…

(NM) The first beer we decided to use for this can/lid combo is a pull from things we have experienced in our lives. It is a Russian Imperial Stout base beer, but we couldn’t leave well enough alone. We had to make it “ours” by adding Caribbean jerk spices and aging it in rum barrels. We had spent a few years in the Cayman Islands many years ago, and the smells of jerk stands still tantalizes our taste buds, and the Caribbean is known for rum. We did a couple  test batches to try and get the right balance of jerk and rum influence. It has a rich, chocolate taste, permeated by light taste of rum and just a hint of spices. It is not cloyingly sweet, but finishes dry with a kiss of heat from the scotch bonnet. 

(CC) Any plans for future beers utilizing these tabs?

(NM) This first beer will definitely be watched for performance. We have other beers waiting for packaging in the coming months, so it is a good possibility these lids will be used sooner than expected.

(CC) Are any other breweries using these tabs?

(NM) From what we are told, we are the first craft brewery in the world using these tabs. Miller Genuine Draft utilized them in some fashion in Russia, but to what extent we don’t know. 



Posted by Russ