Golden City Brewery, which was Golden's only craft brewer for nearly two decades, is feeling a bit of pinch now that it has been joined by three other craft-beer makers in the town.
But it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks, and beginning this May or June, Golden City will begin canning three of its beers and distributing them throughout metro Denver, and possibly into other parts of the state after that.
"The microbrewery scene in the whole state has really exploded, and here in Golden as well," says taproom manager Matt Bodenchuk. "So the number one reason we are doing this is because of competition." But Golden City also added seven new thirty-barrel holding tanks last year, so it now has the capacity to sell beer beyond the taproom.
As the can for one of those beers, Evolution IPA, reads: "Change is good."
"We went with canning for a couple of reasons," Bodenchuk explains. "The first is that filling bottles is expensive and takes up a lot of time. And the second is that liquor store owners like the ability to stack cans rather than bottles."
Golden City will use Longmont-based Mobile Canning LLC, which has a pair of trucks that travel to various breweries around the state and can their beer on site.
"We are a pretty small operation, so for us, space is a huge, huge factor," Bodenchuk explains, adding that Mobile Canning can hook its system directly to Golden City's tanks and fill 7,000 cans per day. "With Mobile Canning, we can go big."
In addition to Evolution, Golden City will package its Clear Creek Gold and Legendary Red in twelve-ounce cans sold in six-packs. The brewery will continue to package some of its seasonal and special-release beers in twelve- and 22-ounce bottles.
"We finally have excess beer to distribute...and the response from liquor-store owners has been great," Bodenchuk says. "They are all really excited to buy the beer."
And cans also fit the Golden community, which likes to be outdoors, he notes, cycling, skiing, hiking, tubing and fishing.
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