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Friday, December 23rd 2011

Second City Canned Revolution
Q & A with Josh Deth of Chicago's Revolution Brewing Company

We first heard that Chicago's Revolution Brewing Company was making the move towards canning quite a few months ago. Being the politely curious folks that we are, we decided to follow up with them to see how things are going. It turns out they're pretty damn busy getting things in order for what should be a very exciting 2012 for them - and for their loyal patrons who CAN indeed look forward to cracking open some cans of Revolution beer soon enough. Owner, Josh Deth, was nice enough to take the time to answer our questions and for that we are very thankful to him. Cheers Josh! 


(CC) Where is Revolution Brewing when it comes to being set up to begin canning?

(JD) Our new 50,000 square foot production brewery is under construction now and will open in the spring. Draft and bombers of some specialty beers will come out first with cans following.

(CC) What is the estimated timeframe before cans are on shelves?

(JD) We are estimating June, but it could be sooner. We are installing a big canning line and have left ourselves some time to work out the kinks and do some quality control work before we begin sales.


Anti-Hero IPA is one of three year-round beers that will be canned

(CC) Which of your beers will you be canning?

(JD) We'll start with our three year-round beers first:

Anti-Hero IPA
Eugene Porter
Bottom Up Organic Wit

We're also planning to do seasonals including:

Rosa Hibiscus Ale
Oktoberfest Revolution

(CC) Will distribution remain pretty local?

(JD) At first distribution will remain local. The Chicago area is a huge beer market and we're gonna start by focusing our energy there before looking elsewhere.

(CC) Why the move to cans?

(JD) Why not? For us, just moving from a brewpub into packaging beer in general is a big step, especially in less than two years since we opened. I like drinking out of cans and think they are a good fit for our brand. They keep the light out and are recycleable, but I really like cans because they are lightweight. Carrying a case home from the store on your bike is a lot easier with cans.


"...I really like cans because they are lightweight. Carrying a case home from the store on your bike is a lot easier with cans."


(CC) What has been the biggest challenge as far as preparation for canning and distributing goes?

(JD) There's definitely an element of education that you need to provide to the public about cans to address people's misconceptions. As far as distributors and the supply chain, I think they already see the light and are eager to have more canned craft beer options to sell.

(CC) Who is doing the can designs? 

(JD) Ian Law is our designer.

(CC) It seems like a number of Chicagoland breweries are canning now, do you think the locals have accepted that cans are indeed better for their beer?

(JD) Chicago is a big city with a diverse set of values and perceptions and that's what I love about brewing beer here. Half Acre's cans have really been accepted well and in particular its nice to see them at fancy restaurants. We sell them at our brewpub as well as tallboys of Old Style, which is the classic beer in a can around here. I'm sure there are plenty of doubters out there, but more importantly for us, there are loads of people getting on board the can train. It's still a fairly new concept and we're fine doing something that is not universally accepted yet by the masses.

(CC) What is the most exciting thing for Revolution Brewing when it comes to making the move to cans?

(JD) I'm excited to be putting our Eugene Porter into a can. It's a 6.8% ABV robust porter with a nice malty, chocolate flavor and I think it's one of the best beers we make.

(CC) Is there anything people might not know about the brewery that they you'd like to share?

(JD) We're building a tasting room at the new brewery and we're putting the canning line right next to it behind a glass wall. It's an older Crown Cork & Seal 40 head filler that we believe came out of Stroh's in Detroit and it'll be fun to see it in action.



Posted by Russ