Sunday, August 30th 2015
Q & A with Flying Mouse Brewery
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Roanoke - in the small town of Troutville, Virginia - lies the Flying Mouse Brewery. Founded in 2013, Flying Mouse focuses their attention on brewing "unique session beers".
(CC) Tell us a litle bit about Flying Mouse's background as a brewery
(FM) The idea for the brewery was hatched by brewer Frank Moeller while sitting at his desk at an engineering office dreaming of going full time with his brewing. His wife, Debbie, tired of hearing Frank complain about his day job, pushed Frank into enrolling in brew school. That set the path to the Flying Mouse brewery, opened in 2013 in Troutville, Virginia. Frank does all the brewing and manages operations while Debbie handles finances. Frank's brother, Chris, creates the art and designs for the Flying Mouse brand. Two other partners, John Garrett and Jim Trexel, handle marketing efforts and assist with the process. And then, of course, there's Bartleby Hopsworth, our inventor adventurer flying mouse mascot.
(CC) Who is Bartleby Hopsworth?
(FM) Bartleby is an adventurous inventor mouse and our mascot. Our brewery name is derived from the English translation of fledermaus, the German word for "bat". The idea of a small mouse with big ambitions inspired Frank's idea for the brewery and the brand. Chris further imagined an inventor mouse who dreamed of flight, tinkering in a steampunk vision of the Victorian era. Since both brothers are avid comic book fans, we wanted the character and our logo to be iconic and memorable. After countless sketches, Bartleby was brought to life. He appears in all the brewery artwork and design, all of which are created by Chris.
(CC) Why did you choose to can your beer?
(FM) Flying Mouse was founded on the idea that a great beer can go well with any outdoor activity. We are the “anti-couch potato” brewery. We design beer recipes that aren’t too heavy or overwhelming, making them a great carry-along for any outdoor activity or adventure. Our brewery is located less than a half-mile from the Appalachian Trail and our driveway links to Bike Route 76, the TransAmerica Bicycle Route. With this in mind, cans are really the only choice. This works well since science supports the fact that, compared to bottles, cans are actually the better beer container. Cans do not let in light or air, preserve a fresh taste, are lightweight and easy to pack in / pack out.
(CC) Do you have a canning line or do you work with a mobile canning operation?
(FM) We are working with a mobile canning company until we grow to the point of getting our own canning machine. So, drink more Flying Mouse beer and help us get one soon!
(CC) Which beers are you currently canning?
(FM) We are currently canning two of our flagship beers, the Flying Mouse 4 Smooth-Hop IPA and the Flying Mouse 8 Porter. Since the brewery opened, these have been our most popular styles. This Fall, we hope to start canning our Brown Ale, and possibly another seasonal beer for the holidays. We have many more beers available in our Mousetrap tap room at the brewery and hope to get more types of beer in cans in the coming years.
Flying Mouse Four
Foundation Style: IPA
Bright and sunny, this golden ale has a sweet aroma and a clean, fresh finish. Crafted from an India Pale Ale foundation, the Flying Mouse Four greets the palate with a fruity malt character, balanced with a smooth, herbal and floral combination of several hops. Simply Fantastic! Take a sip, be inspired, do great things.
ABV 7.2 | IBU 70 | OG 18°P
Flying Mouse Eight
Foundation Style: Porter
Dark and moody, this smoky, full-flavored ale sports a creamy head and modest hop bitterness. Crafted from a Porter foundation, the Flying Mouse Eight has a smooth, chocolate malt flavor without the heaviness of many dark beers, providing an enjoyable brew that will get the gears turning with each sip.
ABV 5.3 | IBU 40 | OG 14°P
(CC) What can you tell us about your can designs?
(FM) Our cans are designed with a clean and simple aesthetic. We number our beers instead of naming them to keep to a more scientific method in line with our steampunk-inventor theme. Our beers are numbered light to dark, offering a guide to the beer's flavor profile. The can designs for our flagship beers showcase the beer number paired with a bold color and iconic Bartleby front and center. As we roll out seasonals we will be playing with thematic designs for the cans. Stay tuned!
(CC) Where are cans of Flying Mouse available?
(FM) Flying Mouse beers are available on draft and in 6-packs across Virginia and West Virginia.
Do you know a brewery we should feature on CraftCans.com? If so, drop us a line at info AT craftcans.com. Cheers!
Posted by Russ
Labels: Canning Breweries
Friday, August 28th 2015
Tallgrass Brewing Releases Cans of Bourbon Barrel Buffalo Sweat
A few weeks back Tallgrass Brewing Company announced the launch of their Explorer Series, something they dubbed "a new line of specialty beers packed with flavors we've been dreaming of creating since we started the brewery."
The first of these beers, Bourbon Barrel Buffalo Sweat, is now on shelves. According to Tallgrass, "It's our award-winning oatmeal cream stout, aged in bourbon barrels and blended with fresh Buffalo Sweat. The result is the same delicious oatmeal cream stout with that creamy espresso-chocolate flavor wrapped up in a warm bourbon blanket - a perfect beer to get you primed for more Explorer Series beers this fall."
About Bourbon Barrel Buffalo Sweat (ABV 5.8%, IBUs 10)
Posted by Russ
Monday, August 24th 2015
Narragansett Releasing Lower ABV Cans of Town Beach IPA
PROVIDENCE, R.I. –Narragansett Beer today announces the release of Town Beach IPA, a new summer-fall brew that celebrates the beloved town beach of Narragansett, Rhode Island. Previously released as an Imperial IPA, Narragansett Town Beach IPA has been toned down for maximum drinkability, and is now the latest addition to ‘Gansett’s Sessionable Series. This cool, crisp beer delivers a taste as refreshing as a late summer dip in the Atlantic.
A top summer destination for vacationers when Narragansett Beer was founded in 1890, the town of Narragansett served as the ultimate summer escape for New Englanders, filled with luxury hotels and endless activities along the beloved town beach. Emblazoned with an image of a vintage beach scene, Narragansett Beer’s Town Beach IPA label is an homage to the popularity of the local town beach, which still endures today.
The easy drinking session IPA features hallertau, nugget and EKG hops and is brewed with pale, cara pils and wheat malts, delivering a well-rounded hop profile with just the right amount of bitterness. Golden amber in color, Town Beach IPA is dry-hopped with citra hops at the finish, resulting in a crisp, clean and slightly fruity beer. Brewed under the supervision of Sean Larkin, Head Brewmaster for Narragansett and owner of Revival Brewing, Town Beach IPA is 4.7% Alcohol by Volume and 55 IBU’s.
Narragansett Town Beach IPA will be available in six packs of 16-ounce tallboy cans ($8.99-$9.99 SRP) and will be distributed throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Portland, Ore. and Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn. The timing and availability of Town Beach IPA will vary per market. The beer will be available alongside classic Narragansett Lager through mid-October.
For additional information about Narragansett’s range of summer and fall beers or to find a retailer near you, visit www.narragansettbeer.com.
ABOUT NARRAGANSETT BEER:
Narragansett Beer…Brewed since 1890. ‘Gansett is a straightforward, quality beer that has been a New England tradition for generations, producing a classic family of award-winning American lagers & ales. Today, ‘Gansett is produced at top-rated breweries in Rochester, N.Y., and Westport, Mass. and is one of America's top 50 regional brewers and the fastest-growing in the Northeast. Narragansett is available for purchase in local restaurants, bars, and liquor stores throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Portland, Ore. and Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn.
Posted by Russ
Labels: Canned Beer Releases
Sunday, August 23rd 2015
CANarchy in the UK! Q & A with Andy Hughes of WeCan Solutions
It goes without saying, the craft can revolution is in full swing here in the US. Craft breweries in all 50 states are canning their beer and mobile canners are helping more and more small brewers get their products into a reliable retail package. With the success many American brewers are seeing with cans, its not surprising to learn that the craft can revolution is also alive and well across the Atlantic. In the land that spawned the origins of so many beer styles, cans are quickly becoming a hit with British craft brewers.
To learn a little more about the canning scene in the UK, we caught up with Andy Hughes. Andy and his business partner, Martin Forder, head a team that delivers WeCan Solutions, the UK's first mobile canning operation. Cheers Andy!
(CC) Tell us a little bit about WeCan Solutions...
(AH) Two individuals started the project Martin Forder and myself Andy Hughes. Martin’s background is purely beers and he’s worked at some of the largest beer producers in the UK including Thwaites and Bulmers - he won all kind of awards as regards what he’s don for the industry so he’s pretty well known. He was key in delivering 'Crafty Dan’ by Thwaites beers into the UK. My background is in the public sector oddly enough but passionate to the extreme about craft beers. We both left well paid jobs to develop our business and deliver this revolutionary form of contract canning into the UK.
(CC) How did you first hear about the idea of mobile canning?
(AH) To be honest we hadn’t heard of anyone doing this when we had the idea over 2 years ago. Through our experience in the industry we saw how the growth in the independent breweries could be supported by low volume canning facility. Mobile seemed to make so much more sense with a range of environmental benefits (its much easier to move the equipment to the beer !!) but it also meant the passionate brewers could retain control over their product to the point it went to can. There’s so much more savings on other costs to such as cleaning, administration and transportation.
(CC) When did you decide to pursue your own mobile canning business?
(AH) The projected started over two years ago and we have been in production since the end of 2014. We work with a team of advisors who assist us with various technical aspects of our business - they’re a fantastic assets and a pool of knowledge that is 2nd to none. We visited a whole range of breweries along with wholesalers, retailers and beer drinkers. It was very evident that there was a need to be offering the sale of ‘craft’ beer in cans - the feed back was overwhelmingly positive.
(CC) What is the current attitude towards canned craft beer in the UK? Does a stigma still exist?
(AH) Crazy !! Breweries are selling the cans as fast as we can make them. The feedback from the head brewers is so positive. Repeat orders have exceeded expectations. As regards to stigma - surprisingly less than we thought. We see the ‘craft’ can beer drinker as someone who is very willing to try something new without prejudging. The question that we thought we’d face was whether the beer would be tainted by the can - seems like most people know that this is simply not an issue and is therefore rarely asked.
(CC) What sort of changes with regards to public acceptance have you seen in recent years?
(AH) Certainly with the craft beer market its a younger, more accepting crowd that like to explore new and exciting beers. Gone are the days of boring session beers where beer was consumed for the alcoholic effect. We see a move to people enjoying beer because it tastes fantastic ! And theres so many to try !!
(CC) What sorts of breweries are you working with?
(AH) Large and small. We canned 500 cans for a local cider maker last weekend as a favour - thats got to be one of the smallest contract canning runs ever !! On the other end of the scale we work with larger breweries such as Brains, Purity and Eden Mill in St Andrews, Scotland. The majority are breweries with a capacity of between 10 and 50 barrels. We work with over 40 breweries in the UK including Hastings Brewery, 40ft Brewery, Orbit Brewery, Waen Brewery, Stewart Brewery, Arkells, Wild Beer ….. I could go on !
(CC) What are some differences between the American and British craft beer markets?
(AH) We’re certainly behind - but catching up fast. I’m not certain there are many differences to be honest. We see a young vibrant market with lots of creative things going on with the beers and the way they are presented in the cans.
(CC) Do you foresee more British craft breweries looking to can their beers?
(AH) With 100 % certainty. Interest is huge. At a recent conference by the society for independent brewers (SIBA) the buzz work was cans ! It makes so much sense for brewers to contract can their product. But unlike more traditional contract canning brewers retain control over their product.
Labelling solutions are really incredible - designers are having a field day at the moment and we’re seeing some incredible designs. Mobile canning takes away so much hassle from breweries. Micro-canning is much more than simply buying a canning line. We take ownership of all of the issues meaning that brewers simply have to book a date. No breakdowns, poor seam quality, storage issues, administration / duty issues, training, spare parts - the list is endless, and we take all of this hassle allowing breweries to focus on what they do well.
(CC) What are currently some of the more popular canned craft beers in the UK?
(AH) We have the larger producers of ‘craft beers’ such as Beavertown and Forepure. WeCan are responsible for addicting 75% of the new craft beers in the British market so customers can taste passionately made, low volume high quality beers in cans from almost any brewery. Theres a few that people should look out for as they are awesome. Lawless from Purity is one lager that's epic !! Then theres 53 degrees North Brewery - one of the 1st canned conditioned in the UK and it tastes stunning, Theres a steam lager produced by Redwell that will knock your socks off ! Oh, yeah there's another great beer by Andwel Brewery that they put in a can - thats pretty good too!
…. we get a lot of people asking us where they can buy the beer (as it goes so quickly) so we have launched the CraftCanDirectory.com which is an online Beer Club and store where people can order and get their beer delivered to their doors. We’ll have all of the craft cans available in the UK on there in the next few day. -
(CC) We need that here in the US!
(CC) What are some of the challenges you face as a mobile canning outfit in the UK?
(AH) Mobile canning is far from easy. If anyone thinks its about getting a line and putting it into the van well they have a lot to learn !! Quality is absolutely the key. As each new brewery is different from the last, to ensure we maintain quality we have to adjust our processes. That has been the key to our success as we have learned to adapt to a load of different scenarios. We get asked all the time to reduce our volumes. We currently ask that 10 barrels is available but we have just announced that we can now reduce our volumes to just 1000 litres. We’re expanding on the other side of the scale but I can’t quite tell you about that. We also help breweries increase their capacity by offering to condition their beer for them. This is very popular at the moment.
(CC) What do you enjoy most about your job?
(AH) Easy that one - meeting the brewers. I love to share their passion for what they do. We help in just a little way in making their product stand out from the rest.
Posted by Russ
Labels: Mobile Canning
Saturday, August 21st 2015
21st Amendment Releasing Cans of Toaster Pastry, Pop-Tart Beer
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.– Just months after opening their new 95,000 square foot state-of-the-art brewery in San Leandro, 21st Amendment co-founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan introduce their newest creation, Toaster Pastry, India-Style Red Ale. Toaster Pastry, in a new 19.2 ounce can, is Freccia and O’Sullivan’s creative nod to the former Kellogg Factory space that is 21st Amendment’s new home. The first time the world will be able to enjoy this new beer will be during the brewery’s Grand Opening Celebration party in San Leandro on August 29.
“We just thought it would be a great idea for the first beer out of our new brewery to pay homage to the Frosted Flakes and Pop Tarts that were once made in the same space decades ago,” stated Freccia. “One of the best parts of opening the new brewery means we’re not only able to bring our production home to the Bay Area, but we also finally have the space and opportunity to experiment with new beers, variety packs and new can sizes. Toaster Pastry is the first step of much more to come.”
“Biscuit malts give the beer a slightly nutty, crust-like flavor, while pale and dark crystal malts offer the mouthfeel and flavors reminiscent of strawberry jam,” explains O’Sullivan. “Calypso and other experimental hops give this ruby ale a welcome bite with a fruity aroma. We can’t wait to finally share this new beer with consumers. It’s been a top-secret project that we’ve been working on for almost two years, and I think we perfected the flavor profile and packaging in a way that would make Kellogg proud.”
Toaster Pastry (7.6% ABV, 74 IBUs) will begin its roll-out in all 24 states where 21st Amendment beers are distributed in early September. Look for the singles of the ruby red cans throughout CA, OR, WA, AK, ID, MN, OH, ME, NH, VT, RI, MA, NY, NJ, DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, GA, NV, NC, SC and IL. For up-to-date availability, events and promotions, visit www.21st-Amendment.com.
ABOUT 21st AMENDMENT:
In 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan opened the doors to the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighborhood with Freccia managing the restaurant and O’Sullivan spearheading the brewing process. In addition to quickly becoming one of the city’s favorite pubs, 21st Amendment began expanding beyond the Bay Area by helping to pioneer the movement to canned craft beer. Known for their witty names and delicious brews, 21st Amendment offers three year round selections, as well as seasonal offerings and their infamous ‘Insurrection Series’, a once-in-a-while limited edition release. Today, 21st Amendment is among the top 50 craft beer brewers in America and is sold in 24 states.
Posted by Russ
Labels: Canned Beer Release