Canned Beer Week 2: Brewpublic’s Caldera interview

Canned Beer Week 2One final nod to Canned Beer Week before I move on to blogging other things (like the Great American Beer Festival, currently underway). Brewpublic (one of the best Oregon beer blogs out there) has an interview up with Jim Mills, the founder and head brewer with Caldera Brewing out of Ashland, Oregon—the brewers of Ashland Amber et al.

It’s a good interview, and the topic of canning beer comes up in the latter half:

Caldera, when we think of Oregon, has really been at the forefront of the craft beer in the can movement. How far do the cans get distributed and what go you interested in chosing cans while so many others have been using glass bottles?

JM: We are the first and only brewery in Oregon so far to use cans. We started with our Pale Ale in 2005 in the spring. The IPA was in August 2007, and just this past spring, the Ashland Amber. We chose it because up until 2005, nobody making canning lines were making small enough ones. It was either a quarter of a million dollars. Cask Brewing Systems out of Calgary came up with two small canning lines including a manual that basically we started with and is a nightmare…I never drank more beer in my entire life doing that filling one at a time…three people doing 16 cases an hour…

What about MacTarnahans? They had cans, was that similar?

JM: No, they contracted their canning out. We were the first to do it ourselves here in Oregon…the first since Blitz. So after that we got an automated system with two people doing about 60 cases an hour. So that’s a lot better.

Lots of good stuff there, go read the full interview.