So this week I broke the story that Firestone Walker will be shutting down its contract brewing operations and my colleagues at The Full Pint were able to get a few more details out of their contact on that story. They also got the scoop on Firestone Walker’s plan to add a canning line, but their contact was mum on the details. Being big supporters of canned beer here at Beer Guy LA, I decided to dig deeper and see what else I could find out.
For those not in the know, craft beer has been flirting with aluminum cans for some time now. More and more breweries have started adding cans to their lineups for both quality and convenience. Ballast Point, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Boston Beer Company have all seen the light when it’s come to canned beer. A number of Southern California breweries are can exclusive, like Golden Road, The Dudes, and Modern Times. For the most part, the days of canned beer prejudice are gone in the craft beer world. So it’s no surprise that Firestone Walker would want to join the party.
I was able to speak with one of my contacts in the brewery and he confirmed that the canning line is a go. They’ve got the space allocated in their Paso Robles facility and are moving full steam ahead. They’ve been getting some help on the logistics and operations from fellow Northern California brewery Sierra Nevada, who launched their canned beers in early 2012. The first Firestone Walker beer to be canned will be the 805, a honey blonde ale that has proven to be very popular in the Central Coast and Ventura County. At this time there aren’t any other beers planned for canning, but that could change with market demands. They hope to have cans on the market by July 2014.
All of this information corroborates with the rumors I’ve been hearing that 805 production was being ramped up for a wider distribution, as it is currently only available in the 805 area code (IE the Central Coast and Ventura County). As always, Beer Guy LA will keep you informed as things develop.
Beer Guy LA