Colorado: Fat Tire coming in cans this summer | VailDaily.com
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Colorado: Fat Tire coming in cans this summer

Catherine Tsai
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
AP Photo
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DENVER, Colorado ” This summer, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Co. plans to offer its flagship Fat Tire Amber Ale from something other than the tap or a glass bottle: an aluminum can.

The Fort Collins brewer’s new canning operation, estimated to cost about $1 million, will produce 50 to 60 aluminum cans per minute so fans can take Fat Tire camping, golfing or to outdoor concerts where glass might not be allowed or isn’t convenient, spokesman Bryan Simpson said.

The Fat Tire that comes in cans will be “can-conditioned” with live yeast, so its flavor should not be affected, he said. Despite popular perceptions about canned beer, the company’s taste tests show the canned version tastes the same as the bottled brew.

“It’s identical,” Simpson insisted.

Other craft brewers have been successful using cans.

Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, which is behind Dale’s Pale Ale, started canning beers in 2002. Oskar Blues, which originally began using cans as a joke, now says cans block out light and oxygen, are lighter to ship than bottles, and are easily recyclable.

The cans have a water-based coating, so the beer doesn’t touch aluminum.

Overall, sales have grown enough that Oskar Blues is expanding to a brewery in Longmont that is 10 times bigger than its original facility in Lyons.

Cask Brewing Systems Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta, offers craft brewers like Oskar Blues small-scale packaging systems. It works with Broomfield-based aluminum can producer Ball Corp. so small brewers can put their beer in cans.

“I think everyone thought we were crazy to think that craft brewers would want to package their beer in aluminum cans,” Cask Brewing Systems President Peter Love said.

Today Cask has nearly four dozen customers canning beer in North America, up from one in 2002.


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