"They make great beer. But they're jagoffs because they don't sell it in cans."
Yeah, that's an actual quote from a review I saw posted about us a while back. It still makes me smile every time I read it. Partly because of the way it was written, with a mix of Pittsburghese and subtle can-awareness. And partly because we've been scheming on canning since 2007, when I almost pulled the trigger on a small, used, manual canning machine. At the time, I decided to hold off for a bit, and in another month, we were completely out of brewing capacity to support our existing, growing draft business. So even if we had gotten canning to happen, we'd have nothing to go inside them until we could complete some bigger steps.
But now, with a bigger building, a bigger Brewhouse, bigger capacity, and a bigger staff (You callin' me fat?!?), we're finally ready. And who knows. Maybe this little "jagoff" jab was just the nudge we needed.
Last week, I approved the final color swatches for our BigHop cans, 94,000 of which were made at a can plant in upstate NY yesterday, 5/27/15. And next week, we'll be doing our very first canning run here at EEBC with a Mobile Canning outfit on June 3rd.
Credit for this wonderfully clean, direct, and simple label design all goes to the wonderfully clean, direct, and simple folks over at Commonwealth Press, Dan and Mark... pictured here in their natural state of being awesome.
So now you ask: Why cans and not bottles? Cans have some distinct advantages over bottles, but since enough has been written about this a thousand times over, it's all just a quick web search away. (Go ahead and click. I'll wait.... ...See there? Cans are pretty cool, right?)
Of course, Growlers will always be our preferred package here: Fresh beer in a completely reusable package...if filled properly and kept cold and out of the light, what's not to like? But we realize not everyone can make it out to see us as often as they might like to, or manage to find us on tap around town. So cans will definitely help bridge this gap!
To start, we're just offering BigHop in cans, and we're just offering it at our two locations, by the six pack and by the case. In time, when we're confident that the quality, consistency, and shelf life are all where they need to be, we'll start some distribution around town. And from there, who knows where we'll go with this. As it always is, that part's really up to you and your thirst.
We'll make a big fuss over all of this, and do a big can launch event at some point, but for now, we just want to get them to you as soon as they are ready. So based on what we know now, look for them on June 4th at the Brewery and the Shop... if all goes as canned*.
Until then, we're still jagoffs.
Cheers - Scott
* I'm not sure you realize how difficult it was for me to write this without a single can pun. So for your "enjoyment", I included a single can pun.