Friday, October 17, 2008

We’ve Survived Our First weBEERnar!

What happens when a dozen beer writers and bloggers get together to talk about beer in cans? We all learn more than we bargained for.

We recently hosted a “weBEERnar,” which is a fancy word for an online press conference about beer. (Aren’t we clever?) Everyone who participated received a can of each of our canned beers, “Brew Free! or Die” IPA and “Hell or High Watermelon” wheat beer. We all cracked them open together and talked about beer in cans. If you missed it, here’s a Q&A that recaps the CANversation:

Why do you can vs. bottle?
Quite CAN-didly, that’s the number one question we get around here. Cans are simply better for the beer--they keep it fresher by protecting it from light, they are lined so they don’t affect the flavor of the beer, and they fit the craft beer drinker’s lifestyle by going places where glass just doesn’t dare - like beaches, pools, boats, parks and golf courses. Cans are also better for the environment. They use less energy to produce and transport, and they are recycled far more often than glass.

Watermelon wheat – what were you thinking?
This was one of Nico’s recipes. Everyone who tried it loved it, but the logistics of cutting up hundreds of watermelons and scooping out the flesh was just too daunting for mass production. When Shaun figured out a way to make it work, there was no stopping him.

Who else is canning craft beer?
There are a handful of craft brewers out there putting their beers in a can, and we salute them for it! We’ve had quite a few good beers in a can, including Fat Tire, Caldera, and Oskar Blues, among others. 

Why do you think cans are the next big thing for craft brewers?
Craft brewers are pretty picky about their beer. They know what it should taste like, and that’s the way they want it to taste when someone takes a sip. Bottles can’t guarantee the flavor integrity the way today’s cans do.

Why the new names for the beers?
People aren’t necessarily expecting to find a craft beer in a can. So we wanted to give our canned beer a name and an image that would get people’s attention long enough to CANsider us. Once they drink the beer, we know they’ll be pleased. The new names are actually a clever marketing ploy to get people past their preCANceived notions about cans.

On the can it says 21st Amendment Brewery, Cold Springs, MN. What's up with that?
Building a canning facility from scratch is an expensive task. If we had to build our own canning facility, our beers would probably be in bottles. But once we decided we wanted cans, we were determined to make it work. We figured there must be some breweries in the Midwest who wouldn’t mind increasing the production on their canning lines, so we started looking. We found a fantastic partner in Cold Springs, MN who was willing to work with us to meet our unusually high standards for canned beer.

Are you going to be putting out additional flavors?
When we do, you’ll be the first to know.

When will your canned beers be available in vending machines?
This is a brilliant idea that we suspect will go nowhere soon, unfortunately.

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