Dan Blatt thought it was strange.
Here he was sitting at a tiny craft brewery in Colorado drinking a beer from a 16-ounce can but he didn’t see a canning line anywhere. How was this little brewery putting its beer in a can?
Blatt, the former brewer at J.W. Walleye’s Microbrewery on Middle Bass Island, discovered the brewery was using Mobile Canning, a Longmont, Colo., company that allows breweries to can their beer without investing in a canning system. As the name implies, the canning line comes to the brewery.
Blatt, a special-education teacher, was so impressed that he and partner B.J. Solomon are launching Great Lakes Mobile Canning, an affiliate of Mobile Canning. They hope to have their system ready to serve breweries in Ohio, Michigan and western Pennsylvania by March or April.
“I really think it’s going to take off nationwide,” Blatt said.
Mobile Canning works like this: The business hauls its canning line and pre-ordered aluminum cans to a brewery for the day — or longer — and cans any beer requested.
One of the knocks on canning for craft brewers is that you have to order a ton of cans. That means you have to have a place to store a ton of cans.
And you are stuck with a ton of preprinted cans. That means you have to sell all those cans with that beer. You can’t exactly put a Scottish ale in a can that says pale ale. (With bottles, you can just change the label.)
Mobile Canning solves those issues by storing the cans and shrink-wrapping labels onto them, allowing the brewery to easily change its canned beer.
Mobile Canning was launched last year and already has 10 breweries using its services, including Boulder Beer Co., Bonfire Brewing and Renegade Brewing. The service makes sense for small breweries, co-owner Pat Hartman said.
“Some of these smaller breweries can’t produce enough beer to justify having an expensive piece of equipment and running it once or twice a month,” he said. Then there’s the maintenance and labor.
Mobile Canning allows breweries that don’t bottle or can to get their beer into the market.
Blatt said the business should be a hit in Ohio, where small breweries are popping up all over. “The can revolution is really taking off,” Blatt said.
Beer drinkers may recognize Blatt’s name from elsewhere. He was trying to launch the Good River Brewing Co. in Lorain County, but that effort is “on the back burner,” he said.
You can email Blatt at email@example.com.
Christmas beer tasting
West Point Market, 1711 W. Market St., will hold its annual Christmas Ale Tasting from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 30.
The event, which includes food and live jazz, will feature 35 holiday brews, including beers from Ohio brewers Hoppin’ Frog, Fat Head’s, Great Lakes, Rivertown, Thirsty Dog, the Brew Kettle, Elevator, Samuel Adams and Indigo Imp.
The cost is $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 330-864-2151, ext 129.
The grocery also will hold a drawing for a bottle of Dogfish Head Positive Contact and the 10-inch vinyl EP by Deltron 3030 that was sold with the six-pack. The beer was brewed with Fuji apples, farro, cayenne and cilantro.
For a full list of beers, click on “Menus and Tastings” at www.westpointmarket.com.
Hoppin’ Frog Brewery, 1680 E. Waterloo Road, will release its Barrel-Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale starting Black Friday.
The brewery has two Frosted Frog batches — one was aged longer and has less bourbon and more oak character. Both cost $12.99 for a 22-ounce bottle.
The brewery will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Meanwhile, Siamone’s, 2215 E. Waterloo Road, will hold a Hoppin’ Frog Christmas Ale celebration from 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 28. Frosted Frog and Barrel-Aged Frosted Frog will be available, along with other Hoppin’ Frog beers.
A new local beer is on sale at retail locations in Northeast Ohio. Local chef Kimberly McCune Gibson, who has appeared on the Food Network and is owner of Hungry Bee, collaborated with Black Box Brewing Co. in Westlake to create ReHive Ale.
The beer is made with spices, orange peel and honey from McCune Family Apiaries in Geauga County. “It pays tribute to my Geauga County roots as a beekeeper’s daughter,” Gibson said.
ReHive Ale made an appearance at a chef event last year, but it’s now available in six-packs at Heinen’s grocery stores for $10.99.