Beer Man

Loveland's Grimm Brothers Brewhouse will start canning beer

Grimm Brothers Brewing, which has been bottling its German-style ales and lagers beers since opening in Loveland in 2010, will begin canning its flagship Little Red Cap next month. The copper-colored altbier has won two medals at the Great American Beer Festival.

"We have been looking at doing a more approachable package for a while," says Grimm Brothers vice president Russell Fruits. "We love to do all of these outdoor activities, and bottles are a pain in the butt, so we always have to buy other people's beer."

See also: Tommyknocker Brewery will can beer again, twelve years after its first attempt

Grimm packages six year-round beers in 22-ounce bomber bottles, along with several seasonals. But it may stop bottling Red Cap if canned sales go well, Fruits says: "It's a beautiful beer. I'm so excited to get it into cans. We're going to kill it."

The Loveland brewery will take possession of its new canning line, which it purchased from Boulder's Wild Goose Canning Systems, at the end of next week. Wild Goose has also made lines for Upslope, Dry Dock, Breckenridge, Eddyline, Aspen Brewing, Black Shirt, Caution, Denver Beer Co and Sanitas, among many others.

Since the line is coming in ahead of schedule, however, Grimm is scrambling to get its cans from Ball Packaging in Golden, where the minimum order is 100,000. The brewery also plans to lease another building in its office space for storage. The second beer on tap for the canning line could be Fearless Youth dunkel.

Fruits says the brewery also likes cans because they prevent light penetration that can damage beer, are portable, recyclable and easier to distribute.

Several other breweries, both old and new, have either begun canning recently, or announced plans to do so in the near future. They include Epic, Tommyknocker, Caution, Denver Beer Co, Black Shirt and Lone Tree Brewing.

"Colorado is way ahead of the curve on this," Fruits adds. "I think what you are going to see in the next year and a half is very few breweries going to twelve-ounce bottles. In Colorado, that is dead and gone."

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes