Tuesday, March 24th 2015
Nitro Cans Go Widget-Less
Yardley, Pennsylvania’s Vault Brewing Company is set to make craft beer history this weekend when cans of their Nitro Can Coffee Stout are released to the public. The 12 oz. cans may look like any others but inside is something altogether different. Inside those cans is a rich, roasty, coffee stout that - unlike any other craft beer in a can - has been nitrogenized without the use of a widget. That’s right. No widget.
Nitrogenized/nitrogenated - or just plain Nitro - beers are a big deal in the craft world. Last year Oskar Blues became the first in the industry to release acanned nitro beer when they dropped Old Chub Nitro – a nitrogenized version of their Old Chub Scotch Ale. A few months ago, Saranac Brewing Company released nitro cans of their Disruption Brown Ale – becoming the first east coast brewer to can a nitro beer and just the second in the country to do so. Both Old Chub Nitro and Disruption Brown Ale are packaged in cans that feature a floating “widget” – a technology pioneered by Guinness in the 70s and 80s.
To perfect the widget-less nitro can, Vault Brewing worked closely with River City Cannery, a mobile canning operation based in Arlington, Virginia, and Chart Industries, an international cryogenics company. We wanted to learn more about Vault’s Nitro Can Coffee Stout and this revolutionary packaging process so we reached out to James Cain, Co-Founder at Vault Brewing. James was kind enough to answer all of our questions. Cheers James!
(CC) Are any other craft brewers packaging their beer in a widget-less nitro can?
(JC) Unless they have kept it really, really quiet, no.
(CC) What sort of process is involved with canning a nitro beer?
(JC) It has to do with how the beer becomes nitrogenated. Nitrogen has a very low solubility rate in beer and requires a lot of pressure to force it to dissolve into a solution. Once it is dissolved, it doesn’t want to stay long and will immediately begin degassing as soon as there is a pressure change (like you’d see on a nitro tap or when you open one of our cans). The challenge in canning involves understanding the properties of nitrogen and how to best introduce it into the beer during the packaging process. Other variables, such as beer CO2 levels, pressure, and temperature play significant roles in producing a perfect nitro can.
(CC) What can you tell me about the beer itself?
(JC) This specific beer is one of many Coffee Stouts we’ve been producing over the years. We’re very passionate about coffee and its relationship to beer and believe there is a great opportunity to highlight origin specific flavor profiles in a complimenting beer, rather than just add arbitrary “coffee” to a finished stout. In this particular beer, we sourced Guatemalan and Papua New Guinea beans and had them roasted to our specifications by a local roaster. The result of this blend added notes of caramel, hazelnut, peanut butter, and cacao to the base beer and resulted in a really nice, rounded coffee & beer flavor pairing.
(CC) Is this something that we can expect to see a lot more of in the future? Are other breweries expressing interest?
(JC) You will certainly see a lot more from us in the future, in both coffee beers and other nitro can variants. As for other breweries, we’ll have to see. We’re open to collaborations…
(CC) Does Vault plan on doing any other Nitro beers?
(JC) Nitro beers are an important component of our beer dispensing program and you can always find them on tap at the brewpub. In terms of cans, we plan on experimenting with other styles as well.
(CC) When and where are cans being released?
Posted by Russ
Tuesday, March 24th 2015
Warped Wing Brewing Co. to release Self Starter Session IPA in cans
Warped Wing Brewing Company (WWBC) is excited to announce the release of its first seasonal IPA in cans. Self Starter Session IPA (5.2% ABV) will be released Monday, March 30th in Dayton and Cincinnati. This marks the 4th can released since the brewery’s opening in 2014.
Once, there lived an engineer. Innovator. And indefatigable holder of 186 patents. Who, in 1911, filed U.S. Patent No. 1,150,523. An electric starting device for automobiles. To not a single person’s disparagement, it ended the era of the hand-crank. Fitting, then, that you’ll be holding this. Named as much for the inventor. As for what he invented.
Self Starter. This session India Pale Ale is pale orange in color with copper highlights. Its citrus/fruity aroma and flavors comes from the Amarillo hops that were added during the boil and the dry hopping at the end of fermentation. The malt character is slightly bready or nutty to start. This beer finishes with a patently dry close. Carry on.
Self Starter will be available in the market from April thru August in both draught and cans. The beer will be tapped at the brewery this Thursday and draught and cans will be released to taverns, restaurants, and select retail accounts the following Monday.
Creative Credits Creative Director/Can Designer: John Pattison Illustrator: Tom Post Copywriter: Paul Singer Videographer: full frame photography / films
Warped Wing Brewing Company is located in an old foundry in downtown Dayton, Ohio. The brewery opened in January 2014 & celebrates Dayton’s rich history of invention, innovation and industry. Warped Wing uses this core history as inspiration for their uniquely crafted beers and brewery/taproom. This is the foundation on which the Warped Wing brand is grounded.
Posted by Russ
Tuesday, March 17th 2015
Raise a Toast to St. Patrick
with These 7 Canned Stouts
If you're like many people you'll more than likely be drinking a pint or two this St. Patrick's Day. For many, the connection between drinking and the holiday don't seem to go far beyond the fact that St. Patrick is the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Reason enough, right?
The reality is that St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain, not Ireland. He was captured by Irish pirates as a teenager and spent 6 years as a slave in Ireland before escaping the country - which he would return to in later years as a missionary. He is often shown holding a 3-leafed shamrock, a symbol he used to explain the holy trinity and St. Patrick's Day is held annually on March 17th to honor his death. The historical connection between the holiday and drinking have to do with the fact that the date falls during Lent, a time in which observant Catholics practice various levels of fasting. Historically, in celebration of the holiday, Lenten restrictions were lifted, which meant food and drink were usually abundant.
Okay, enough of the history lesson. Time for a drink. Ditch the Guinness and give one of these 7 canned stouts a try this St. Patrick's Day! Sláinte!
Don't question it until you've tried it. If you know what a touch of salt can do for a Gose, you're in for a treat with this one. From the brewery...
"That’s right, The Original Pretzel Stout. This 6.5% abv stout is as black as oil and is brewed with over six pounds of crushed sourdough pretzels per barrel. Guess what? There’s no style guideline for this one. The salty fingerprint of the pretzels works with the sweet and roasty flavors of the chocolate malted & roasted barley to give this beer a flavor that is much greater than the sum of its parts."
Malpais is a term used in the American Southwest to describe a rough and barren landscape. La Cumbre's dark beauty is anything but rough and barren, in fact its velvety smooth and packed with intense malt flavors. From the brewery...
"Brewed with 7 different malts, you should be ready for a full onslaught of creamy stout intensity. Broadly in the style of a Foreign Extra Stout, this is our heaviest and most intense year-round offering."
Modern Times Beer
"Black House is an oatmeal coffee stout bursting with coffee aroma and flavor. Modern Times is one of the only breweries in the world to roast our own coffee, which allows us to be exceptionally picky about which coffees we use and how we roast them. The result is an abundantly flavorful beer that's incredibly complex and aromatic, with loads of roast character and a chocolate-covered espresso bean finish."
CHOCOLATE MILK STOUT
Four Hands Brewing Company
"Our Chocolate Milk Stout pours black as the night sky with aromas of dark chocolate, chocolate malt, and more chocolate. With a firm tan head and a rich velvety mouthfeel our Chocolate Milk Stout is a perfect complement to the change of seasons."
"An amalgamation of breweries. A dichotomous combination of flavors. Tart and refreshing yet full bodied and malty. It’s not black magic, it’s BlackTart."
HAMMER & SICKLE RIS
"Bronze Medal Winner at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival, Hammer and Sickle is sure to leave an impression. This roasty stout has hints of vanilla, coffee, and dark chocolate. The high bitterness creates a dry finish on a beer that could otherwise be sweet and boozy. Hammer and Sickle is now packaged in 4-pack 12 ounce cans and will soon become dictators of your beer fridge."
BARREL AGED IMPERIAL STOUT
"This tasty and decadent brew was aged for four months in Leopold Bros. Maryland Rye Whiskey Barrels. Sitting at 10% abv, it’s the perfect beer to warm you up this winter. Join us at the release party and be the first to try this one on tap or snag a 19.2 oz can for your cellar!"
Posted by Russ
Sunday, March 8th 2015
On the Road Again and Again with Mother Road Mobile Canning
This month Mother Road Mobile Canning is celebrating its first anniversary. In just 12 months an idea became reality and success fueled expansion. Like other mobile canning outfits, Mother Road is riding a wave of interest from the growing number of craft brewers as well as craft cideries and small wineries. To learn more about Mother Road we caught up with Ross Casey, the company's Operations Director, and threw a bunch of questions at him - which he was kind enough to answer. Cheers Ross!
(CC) Tell us a little bit about Mother Road Mobile Canning?
(RC) Mother Road started in March of 2014 in Albuquerque, NM, servicing New Mexico, Southern Colorado and parts of Arizona. We then opened our second mobile canning line in June of 2014 in Springfield, MO, servicing Missouri, Northern Arkansas, and parts of Illinois, Oklahoma and Kansas.
(CC) Where does the name Mother Road come from?
(RC) The name Mother Road came from Steinbeck's book " The Grapes of Wrath". In the book he refers to Route 66 as the Mother Road. Albuquerque is located on the Mother Road and as it turns out so is Springfield, MO.
(CC) When did the idea come about to start a mobile canning operation?
(RC) The idea for mobile canning came around the spring of 2014. David Smidt, the owner of Mother Road, created a business plan for a distillery that was submitted to a citywide business plan competition in Albuquerque. The business plan did well and recived some local press. After the competition, David spoke with the owner of Kelly's Brew Pub, Dennis Bonfantine, about the business plan and a path forward. The conversation quickly turned to the desire for Kellys to start packaging its products and if David could help.
During some of his trip to Napa and Sonoma counties, David had seen mobile bottling for the boutique wineries and thought there could be a similar service, mobile packagers, for the craft breweries. David called me and asked if I wanted to start a mobile packaging company. We began researching and figured out canning was the way to go and found that Wild Goose Engineering in Boulder, CO was making a mobile canning line. With that we got to work on starting Mother Road Mobile Canning.
(CC) Which breweries are you currently working with?
(RC) We work with Kelly's Brew Pub, Tractor Brewing Company, Skarsgard Farms, Second Street Brewing, Taos Mesa Brewing in New Mexico. In Missouri, we work with Mother's Brewery, The Leaky Roof Meadery, and Bur Oak Brewing.
(CC) You're also canning cider, mead, and will be canning wine in the future. Are we going to continue to see a shift with other alcoholic beverages being packaged in cans?
(RC) We believe you are. We are currently in talks with a variety of different products looking to get into cans in 2015. In both locations outdoor activities are a large part of the culture. We feel that plays a big role in marketing cans as bottles aren't excepted in most areas outdoor enthusiasts want to go. We also see growth in the markets to the travel industry, and in sporting event among others. Once customers learn that the can actually preserves the beverages better than a bottle it's a no brainer. So, yes expect a lot of alcoholic beverages making the shift.
(CC) What do you see as the biggest challenges of running a mobile canning operation?
(RC) There are lots. Capitol, staffing, equipment and logistics, and just the physical work that is needed to can all day. It's not all fun and games. It's a ton of work too.
(CC) What about the biggest rewards?
(RC) Probably all the great people you meet at the different facilities. We have a lot of fun with our clients and now call many of them our close friends.
(CC) We get a lot of questions from people looking to start a mobile canning operation of their own. What is the best advice you could give to someone looking to do what you've done?
(RC) Do your research and go and talk with other mobile canners and breweries that are canning. Check out their operations and can with them if they are open to it. That is what we did (thank you TX Canning and Marble Brewery). Most of the mobile folks and breweries are open to talking to you, as long as you are not asking too much of them. They are busy folks don't forget. But Mother Road is always open to it and even offer consulting for even more in-depth facts and figures.
Mother Road recently canned nitro cold brew coffee from Villa Myriam
(CC) What is in store for Mother Road Mobile Canning in 2015?
(RC) We just got our wine line (slim cans) and we expect that to be heavily used in the coming year. With this new canning line, we are able to can 187ml, 200ml and 250ml slim cans. As I mentioned before, I think we are getting into some new territory with other beverages and we are very excited about it. We also have a lot more breweries ready to get into cans. So we are gearing up for a very busy 2015.
Posted by Russ
Labels: Canned Q & As
Tuesday, February 17th 2015
Hopworks Urban Brewery Releases Rise Up Red IRA & Nonstop Hef Hop
Hopworks Urban Brewery Releases
Today Hopworks Urban Brewery announces the release and distribution of two beers - Rise Up Red India Red Ale and Nonstop Hef Hop. Rise Up Red IRA is available in 16 oz cans and on draft throughout the Pacific Northwest. Nonstop Hef Hop, a session wheat beer, is a new beer, packaged in an innovative series of 16 oz cans.
Rise Up Red IRA
Rise Up Red is part of the Hopworks NW Legends Series, which highlights histories and stories from the Pacific Northwest. The beer’s artwork prominently features Mt. Hood, Portland’s neighboring mountain, along with the hidden image of another NW legend. Following Organic Rise Up Red in Hopworks’ seasonal offerings is Pig War White IPA.
Nonstop Hef Hop
Hopworks adopted a playful and innovative approach to the artwork of Nonstop Hef Hop by packaging it in twelve different 16 oz cans, each showcasing different NW Activities. Each 4-pack will feature a random assortment of designs including: bicycling, camping, running, kayaking, soccer, basketball, darts, corn hole, skateboarding, disc golf, skiing, and fishing.
Posted by Russ