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MadTree Releasing Cans of Blood Orange PsycHOPathy IPA
Wild Goose Canning and Maheen Manufacturing Join Forces
Craft Beer's First 8 oz. Cans!
Q & A with Flat 12's Sean Manahan
Arrogant Brewing Unleashes Cans of Who You Callin' Wussie Pilsner
Left Hand Brewing Cans are Coming
Brewery Spotlight:
Q & A with Platform Beer Company
Fort George Team's Up With Barley Brown's and Melvin Brewing for 2016's 3-Way IPA Release
6th Annual AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival Winners Announced
Almanac Beer Company Releasing Cans Beginning this Summer
Brewery Spotlight:
Q & A with Rhinegeist Brewery

Mississippi Fire Ant
(Southern Prohibition Brewing)
2020 IPA
(Golden Road Brewing)
People's Pilsner
(People's Brewing Company)
Hot Date Ale
(Piney River Brewing Company)
Roughtail IPA
(Roughtail Brewing Company)
(Oskar Blues Brewery)
Masked Bandit IPA
(Piney River Brewing Company)
River North White
(River North Brewery)
Gerry Dog Stout
(Big Elm Brewing Company)
(Terrapin Beer Company)

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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

Sunday, May 15th 2011

1st Annual AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival Winners Announced

Anthony Canecchia, SanTan Brewing Company, announces this year's winners

Chandler, Arizona - In a special ceremony held earlier this evening, and streamed online, the winners were announced in the competition part of the 1st Annual Ameri"CAN" Canned Beer Festival hosted by SanTan Brewing Company (as host they did not enter beers in the competition). Below you'll find the nine different categories which were judged and their respective winners. CANgratulations are in order! The beer festival portion of the event will be held next Saturday, May 21st. Cheers!


India Pale Ales

Gold - Lumberyard IPA (Lumberyard Brewing)
Silver - Hop Knot (Four Peaks Brewing) 
Bronze - Modus Hoperandi (Ska Brewing)

American Pale Ales

Gold - Dale's Pale Ale (Oskar Blues Brewery)

Silver - Osiris Pale Ale (Sun King Brewing)
Bronze - Caldera Pale Ale (Caldera Brewing)

English Pale Ales

Gold - No Medal Awarded*

Silver - ESB Special Ale (Ska Brewing)

Bronze - No Medal Awarded*


Wheat Beers

Gold - Honey Weiss (Leinenkugel Brewing)

Silver - Wittekerke (Bavik)

Bronze - No Medal Awarded*



Stouts and Porters

Gold - No Medal Awarded*

Silver - Ten Fidy (Oskar Blues Brewery)

Bronze - No Medal Awarded*



Ambers and Browns

Gold - Sunset Amber (Grand Canyon Brewing)

Silver - Moose Drool (Big Sky Brewing)

Bronze - Boont Amber (Anderson Valley Brewing)



Golds, Blondes Pilsners and Light Lagers

Gold - No Medal Awarded*

Silver - Golden Trout Pilsner (Mammoth Brewing)

Bronze - UpRiver Light Lager (Mudshark Brewing)



Fruit Beers

Gold - No Medal Awarded*

Silver - Mana Wheat (Maui Brewing)

Bronze - Hell or High Watermelon (21st Amendment)


Specialty Beers

Gold - No Medal Awarded*

Silver - Back in Black (21st Amendment)

Bronze - Old Chub (Oskar Blues Brewery)


Note: All beers were judged according to the 2011 Beer Style Guidelines. All judges are professional brewers, BJCP certified or Cicerones certified. The ACCBF awards medals for excellence in 10 categories and does not necessarily award medals to the top three finishers in a particular category. When judges decide a category contains three excellent examples of the style, they award gold, silver and bronze medals for the first, second and third place beers, respectively.


Gold - A world-class beer that accurately exemplifies the specified style, displaying the proper balance of taste, aroma and appearance.


Silver - An excellent beer that may vary slightly from style parameters while maintaining close adherence to the style and displaying excellent taste, aroma and appearance.


Bronze - A fine example of the style that may vary slightly from style parameters and/or have minor deviations in taste, aroma or appearance.


*If judges believe that no beer in the category meets the quality and style-accuracy criteria, they may elect not to award a medal. Judges may award a beer with a silver or bronze medal and yet not award a gold medal.


Breweries that entered canned beers in the competition included; 21st Amendment Brewing (CA), Anderson Valley Brewing Company (CA), Bavik (Belgium), Baxter (ME), Big Sky Brewing Company (MT), Blue Moon Brewing Company (CO), Bohemian (UT), Breckenridge Brewing (CO), Buckbean (NV), Caldera (OR), Crispin Cider (MN), Four Peaks Brewing (AZ), Grand Canyon Brewing (AZ), Leinenkugel’s (WI), Lumberyard Brewing (AZ), Mammoth (CA), Maui Brewing (HI), Mogollon Brewing Co. (AZ), Mudshark Brewing (AZ), New Belgium Brewing Company (CO), Oskar Blues Brewery (CO), Papago Brewing (AZ), Prescott Brewing Co.(AZ), SKA Brewing Company (CO), Sun King Brewing (IN), Tailgate Brewing (CA) and Wittekerke (Belgium).

Posted by Russ

Monday, January 17th 2011

San Diego's TailGate Beer
Announces Distribution in Cans


The Official Beer of Tailgating™ is the first San Diego-based
brewing company to offer craft beer in a can

(San Diego, CA) January 17, 2011 - San Diego-based craft brewing company, TailGate Beer, has announced that the first shipment of 12-ounce cans of its Blacktop Blonde will arrive in San Diego and be available to consumers by the end of January. The first-ever San Diego brewing company to offer award-winning craft beer in a can, TailGate Beer bridges the gap between the unique characteristics of craft brews and the “drinkability” of mainstream beer enjoyed by most consumers in the form of cans. 

“I’m very excited to be bringing our 12-ounce cans of TailGate Beer Blacktop Blonde first to our hometown of San Diego,” said owner and founder, Wesley Keegan. “San Diego is renowned for its great craft beer industry and we’re proud to be the first locally-based brewing company to bring cans to the market here and soon, throughout the country.”

Founded solely on his own savings and finances in 2007, Wesley Keegan, a San Diego resident, believes TailGate Beer offers a marriage of both the craft beer loving and tailgating lifestyles.  “People everywhere like to tailgate and the lifestyle it represents - from the big game to a backyard gathering- and we’ve found that consumers want an inexpensive, quality brew that’s going to compliment that casual setting. TailGate Beer provides just that- a hand crafted, award winning beer that is delicious, price competitive and easy to drink in a can!”

Keegan and his late father came up with the idea for TailGate Beer in 2004.  With moral support from his father, Keegan, originally a casual home brewer, initially piloted a few batches of recipes of his own design for entry into the Great American Beer Festival. After receiving recognition and acclaim from his peers, Keegan entered into a contract brewing operation, which has since blossomed into a full-fledged partner brewing agreement. After his father’s sudden passing in 2010, Keegan has moved forward to making his father’s dream for TailGate Beer become reality. Despite impressive growth, Keegan still remains present to physically brew every batch of TailGate Beer, just as his father and he had planned.

Distribution plans include an initial focus on the west coast and the Midwest. In March, TailGate expects to release the gold medal winning Hefeweizen in a can.

About TailGate Beer

Since its founding in 2007, TailGate Beer has created six award-winning hand-crafted ales that combine the unique character of craft brews with the drinkability demanded by everyday consumers. Originally sold in bottles and kegs, TailGate Beer launched 12-ounce cans to the market, beginning in San Diego, in January 2011, eliminating its bottles, while keeping kegs available for bars and restaurants.  In addition to an International Gold Medal for Amber Wave (2010) and the International Gold Medal for TailGate Beer Hefeweizen (2009), all TailGate Beer styles have won California State Awards and numerous local and regional distinctions at Southern California competitions. In January 2011, Maxim Magazine named TailGate Beer’s Blacktop Blonde in its 3rd Annual Beer Awards. For more information visit www.tailgatebeer.com.


Posted by Russ

Thursday, December 23rd 2010

Ska Brewing Moves To
Regional Craft Brewer Status


Good things come in threes! This is our third Ska Brewing related post in a row and its certainly great news for them. They've maxed out of microbrewery status and moved on to regional craft brewery status. Congrats to everyone at Ska, what a way to end the year! We look forward to next year and great things ahead. - CraftCans.Com


Ska Brewing Moves To Regional Craft Brewer Status

DURANGO, COLO., (Dec. 23, 2010) —Ska Brewing announced today that they have brewed more than 15,000 barrels of beer in 2010, moving them from the “microbrewery” designation to the more important sounding “regional craft brewery” designation. This change means that Ska is no longer the largest microbrewery in the United States, and instead has just become the nation’s smallest regional craft brewery.

The American Brewers Association designates breweries that produce less than 15,000 barrels a year as microbreweries, while regional craft breweries are those that produce between 15,000 and 2,000,000 barrels annually. As of July 31, 2010, the Brewers Association reported 534 microbreweries in the United Sates, and 71 regional craft breweries.  

Dave Thibodeau, Ska President and Co-Founder, tells the story: “It’s amazing how much your life can change in the course of a day. Just yesterday we were king of the ‘micros’ at 14,957 barrels, ruling the land with an iron-clad brew glove, and now here we are 20 hours later scraping the bottom of the regional barrel.”

The change in status caps a year of milestones for the Colorado regional craft brewery in which they celebrated their 15th anniversary, announced double-digit sales growth and had over a dozen signs made that say “REGIONAL CRAFT BREWER PARKING ONLY”.

“I put one up this morning,” says Thibodeau.


About Ska Brewing

Based in Durango, Colorado, Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 and now produces over a dozen award-winning beers including the Pinstripe Red Ale, True Blonde Ale and Steel Toe Stout. Three Ska beers are now widely available in cans: ESB Special Ale, True Blonde, and Modus Hoperandi India Pale Ale. For more information, music and a good time, visit www.skabrewing.com

Posted by Russ

Friday, December 3rd 2010

Maine's Baxter Brewing Breaks Last Barrier, Has Labels Approved

(LEWISTON, MAINE) DECEMBER 2, 2010 – With all its equipment, licensing and permitting in place, the last remaining impediment to production for Baxter Brewing Co., in the historic Bates Mill, Lewiston, Maine, was federal approval of its labels. That approval was issued by the Alcohol and Tobacco Taxation and Trade Bureau (TTB) today, clearing the way for the innovative new venture to start brewing beer.

“Since all our beer will go into cans – and kegs – and not bottles, we will not be using paper labels. So having the content of our labels receive federal approval is really, really significant,” explained Baxter founder and President, Luke Livingston. “Our labels will be imprinted directly on our cans, so we couldn’t have our cans fabricated until the content was approved. And we have to order cans by the truckload, so there’s considerable lead time,” he added. Cans will be supplied by Ball Corporation, and will be filled and packaged on state-of-the-art equipment provided by Cask Brewing Systems of Calgary, Alberta, CN; it is the only such equipment in use in New England.

“This ensures that we will have full distribution throughout Maine in January (2011),” Livingston said. The brewery plans to release its two flagship varieties – Pamola Xtra Pale Ale and Stowaway IPA – in January. Distribution will be provided by Pinestate Beverage of Gardiner, ME and Nappi Distributors of Gorham.

Pomola Xtra Pale Ale, named for the Abenkai god of weather on Mt. Katahdin, features subtle, sophisticated flavors from choice barley and select hops combined with cold conditioning that give this beer its exceptional drinkability.

Technical Specifications: 4.9% ABV / 27.5 IBU’s

5 Different premium malts including 1 from Aroostook County, Maine

4 different hops, 2 from small Willamette Valley, Oregon growers

Pure, soft water from Lake Auburn, Maine

Stowaway IPA is an agressively hopped, west coast-styled IPA, unique among IPA varieties brewed in New England. Its bold, complex flavors with a solid malt backbone and assertive hop profile, along with cold conditioning give this beer its crisp, clean finish.

Technical Specifications: 6.9% ABV / 69 IBU’s

5 different premium malts including 1 from Aroostook County, Maine

6 different hops, 2 from small Willamette Valley, Oregon growers

Aggressively dry hopped during conditioning

Pure, soft water from Lake Auburn, Maine


About Baxter Brewing Company

Founded by company President & CEO Luke Livingston (who is joined by Director of Brewing Operations/Head Brewer Michael LaCharite), Baxter Brewing Co., LLC is the first craft brewery in New England to can its entire line of beers. Located in the historic Bates Mill in Lewiston, Maine, Baxter beers will be distributed throughout the state of Maine in the winter of 2010/2011 and across northern New England in 2011-2012.

CRAFTCANS.COM NOTE: The cans above are just mock-ups and are not real.

Posted by Russ