In less than two weeks we will be canning our first beers (for real). We can barely wait (see what we just did there). We have been counting down our last bottling runs, with only three to go. Then we can say 'sayonara' to our HDP bottling machine.
We’ve had a canning machine on our wishlist for years, but it has eluded us time and time again. We made baby steps towards canning with the purchase of our Oktober seamer for 1L Crowler fills last year, but that was only a stop-gap measure. We knew we would not be fully satisfied until we had a canning machine, just like that spoiled child at the toy store.
The canning machine itself arrived in July, and since then various other pieces of equipment have been arriving weekly (a new compressor, shaker table, labelling machine, oxygen meter, powered stacker, etc). The cans themselves and the labels come next, then we are ready to roll after a few days of training. There’s going to be something so satisfying about cracking that first can open.
The World of Cans
Cans will open a whole new world for all of us by being more portable, while also increasing beer storage quality. Cans will open new markets that bombers could never take us. Sports fields? Music Festivals? Airplanes? No longer will it feel so committing to have to drink a bomber to yourself (well, for some of us).
Over the past few years, we have increasingly found ourselves reaching for cans at craft beer shops on our own travels. They fit in the suitcases so much easier while keeping the luggage weight down (no more excess baggage charges). They are also so much more convenient for bringing on adventures.
While bombers were the more popular craft beer packaging option when we first opened 4 years ago, cans have since taken the craft beer industry by storm. Beer Canada, the beer Industry trade association, reported that cans accounted for 62% of national beer sales in 2018. Beer sold in bottles dropped from 40% in 2013 to 28% of sales in 2018. According to the same study, 70% of sales in the Yukon are in cans.
What to Expect
- Everything goes in a can: We are committed to pretty much putting everything in a can: Hazy IPAs, kettle sours, pilsners, imperial stouts, you name it.
- 4-Packs : Be on the lookout soon for our 473 mL tall cans, which will be available in 4-packs.
- Date Codes: We will have ‘packaged on’ dates on the top of each 4-pack, and we intend to add a date coder down the line, for dates on each can. That way you will know you’re getting the freshest beer, because let's face it, anything not local on the shelves is often past its prime when it gets up here. An IPA from Oregon? No thanks!
- Crowlers are on their way out: The 1L Crowlers and Oktober seamer have filled in that convenience and portability factor over the last year, but without the longevity of a properly packaged product. Canning our beer with our new machine will be far superior. So once our current stock of Crowlers is done, they gone!
Get your 1L Crowler fills while you can.
New Label Designs
Our designer Mary did an awesome job of distilling our brand personality and passion for the Yukon wilderness into some great new label designs. They are fun, colourful, welcoming, and pay homage to where we live. While different from our bottle labels, we’ve carried over the colours from each different brand, where possible. You’ll easily be able to recognize Winterlong and your favourite beers, along with local landmarks and snippets of Yukon life.
Check out the sneak peak below.
First Can Releases
In order of appearance:
- Weekend Warrior IPA
- Moonbase Freedom Hazy IPA
- Sinister Rouge Red IPA
- NEW! Secret Destroyer Fruit Sour
- Mountain Hero Saison
- Pingo Pale Ale
- SEASONAL! Log Splitter Smoked Porter
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, there’s plenty more to come. We hope you'll embrace this new change with us.