Codi Manufacturing is a Golden-based company that makes beer-canning machines in Colorado and sells them to breweries around the world. But with quarantines and travel restrictions in place because of the coronavirus, the company has "bodies and trucks and machines" with nothing to do, says sales manager Andrew Ferguson.
So Codi will take those machines on the road in Colorado for the next few days, helping small breweries that normally rely on taproom sales to offer free canning for to-go beer sales. Almost every brewery in the state has switched to to-go sales of packaged beer in the past two days as a way to try to stay in business during the mandatory state- and city-imposed lockdowns on bars and restaurants.
"There are a lot of breweries with full tanks and no packaging equipment. With taprooms closed, they are going to get to a point where they will have to dump that beer, and that is something that could put them under," Ferguson says. "Some of them are in an absolute panic...and we feel like it's our responsibility to help."
That includes Mockery Brewing in Denver, Knotted Root Brewing in Nederland, Boggy Draw Brewing in Sheridan, Over Yonder Brewing in Golden, Elevated Seltzer in Arvada and Coda Brewing in Golden — all of which Codi plans to hit today or tomorrow. Many more are setting up times as well.
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"We can do eight barrels in an hour, so since our target is the three-to-five-barrel breweries. For most of these people we can empty their tanks in a single day," Ferguson says.
Some of Codi's suppliers have agreed to help out as well with free or discounted supplies, including Ball Corporation, Cansource and U.S. Tape and Label, which make the cans and labels. Ferguson says the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau, which regulates labeling, is also offering assistance.
"They are going to save a lot of breweries during this shutdown by offering free canning," says Luke Smith, who owns tiny Coda Brewing, which is hosting a can sale today at 3 p.m. with a pizza food truck.
Ferguson says he expects that further restrictions on movement over the next few weeks may eventually make it impossible for Codi to keep it up. But in the meantime, "We are trying to save as much beer as we can."