Mike Hess Brewing Cans Now Available In San Diego
Mike Hess Brewing (MHB) is bringing their beers to market in cans. The first of the brewery’s line of flagship beers (in freshly designed cans) are now available in select stores all over San Diego County, followed closely by availability in Phoenix, Arizona, during the first week of April.
“When it came time to pick a package for our beer, we wanted something that first and foremost was great for our beer,” says owner Mike Hess. “We chose cans for all the right reasons, including its imperviousness to light or oxygen and for the fact that cans go everywhere bottles cannot. From the beach and golf course to the sailboat, tailgate, desert or mountains, our cans provide a lightweight, highly recyclable package that delivers quality and sustainability. Plus they look freakin’ awesome!”
Mike Hess Brewing is distributing their beers in 4-packs of pint cans. They chose the environmentally friendly SuperEnd® lid, which reduces metal use by 10%, resists bending more than traditional lids, and improves pouring characteristics, an especially important trait for craft beer. Mike Hess Brewing is the only brewery to distribute canned beers in a handled-carrier package, which has until now been exclusively in the realm of bottled beers.
To expedite distribution, the rollout is a two-part process. Available on the shelves now is Grazias, a Vienna Cream Ale heralded by a New York Times writer as “unlike anything else [he] tasted gently nut-toasty but refreshing all the same.” These orange cans feature the first of five critters, the hippocamp (seahorse), designed to complement the MHB coat-of-arms.
On Tuesday of next week, Grazias is joined on the shelves by Habitus, MHB’s flagship IPA, a spicy rye IPA known by its fans for its hop nose, subtle citrus flavor, and drinkability. Habitus will be sold in blue cans featuring gryphons on either side of the MHB crest.
Following hard on the heels of these two beers is the remainder of their flagship line—Jucundus (an Orange Honey Wheat), a Kölsch-style beer called Claritas, and Solis Occasus, a rotating recipe IPA that always has an ABV of 7.5% but uses different malt and hop combinations for each release.
The cans are filled using a Wild Goose Engineering line that processes 9 cans at a time with a depalletizer, a twist/rinse loader, and a 4-head filler, running at 32 pint cans per minute. Cans exit the line through a water rinse and an air-knife to dry before they are packaged into carriers and cases.