Colorado is thirsty, and Mobile Canning, which has made it possible for more than a dozen smaller Colorado breweries to package and sell beer to liquor stores over the past year, is planning to help quench that thirst this spring when it doubles in size.
The Longmont company, which takes its beer-canning line on the road to breweries that don't have enough space or money to buy their own machinery, plans to add a second line and a second truck to haul it, says Mobile Canning co-owner Pat Hartman.
Like the original line, the new one will be built by Wild Goose Engineering, a Boulder manufacturer that has also seen its business grow over the past two years. The addition will allow Mobile Canning to double its canning runs, or work at two breweries at once.
"This means we'll be able to do anywhere from 100 to 900 cases a day, and it means there will be a lot more good, quality beers that we can get into cans," says Hartman, adding that the four-person company will be hiring two more employees soon.
Mobile Canning has fourteen confirmed clients, including Crabtree Brewing in Greeley, Boulder Beer Company, Broomfield's Big Choice Brewing, which plans to can its first beer, Disconnected Red, this March, and Denver's Renegade Brewing.
Mobile Canning was at Renegade today to can the brewery's inaugural run of 5:00 Afternoon Ale, one of two beers that Renegade began canning this month. 5:00 will be packaged in sixteen-ounce cans while Elevation Triple IPA is in twelve-ounce cans. Renegade first hired Mobile Canning last year to package its Ryeteous Rye IPA.
The company, founded in 2011 by Hartman and Ron Popma, has also started an "affiliate program" for entrepreneurs in other states who want to do the same thing. So far four affiliates -- in Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and upstate New York -- have signed on. To participate, they buy a canning line from Wild Goose, pay a fee to Mobile Canning and receive operations training and education.
"A lot of guys had been calling from other states saying they loved what we were doing and that they thought it was something that could work in their area," Hartman says, adding that the partnership with Wild Goose makes the deal even better.
Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.