Berthoud, Colorado– Cans were not in the plans for City Star Brewing in 2020. Whenever asked over the past eight years when the Berthoud brewery’s beer would be available in cans the answer was always similar, “Quality canning is a big investment. It’s not part of our current model, and we’re waiting for the saturated craft beer scene to stabilize.” Then COVID-19 ushered in a demand for to-go beer with the mandatory taproom shutdown, and improved packaging became critical. Launching beer in 25oz aluminum crowlers the first week of the shutdown improved City Star’s ability to satisfy curbside customers. Amazing volunteers, affectionately dubbed “the crowler crew”, spent hours weekly pre-filling crowlers to offer the best quality beer in that particular package. It quickly became apparent pre-filling hundreds of crowlers weekly was inefficient and unsustainable in the long run. The search for the right canning line began.
In May City Star purchased a canning line built by Michigan-based MicroCanner from Grand River Brewing Company in Jackson, Michigan. The MC-Flex canning line fills up to 24 cans per minute, including a 6-head filler, automatic pre-rinse, CO2 purge in the can and under the cap, and post-rinse. Installation and operation at City Star has been smooth, allowing for 4-packs of 16oz cans to roll off the line and sell off the shelves earlier this month.
Cowboy’s Golden Lager and All American IPA are both currently available in 16oz cans, with Bandit Brown, Sim’s Red, and Black is Beautiful launching in cans this Friday, July 3rd. 4-packs are currently only sold through the downtown Berthoud taproom, with no immediate plans to distribute. Cans are a superior packaging option, perfect for camping or summit celebrations. They have a smaller environmental impact than bottles, and most importantly, they limit oxygen and light exposure, ideal for keeping beer fresher and flavorful longer.
As this rollercoaster of a year progresses and concerns of another wave of COVID-19 in Colorado hover, City Star is poised to keep it flowing. The independent small town brewery entered 2020 as a strong, healthy business with incredible community support. The pandemic closed the taproom doors and business declined, but City Star pivoted as needed. “We doubled-down on what we love, making and sharing quality craft beer” – Whitney Way, City Star Co-Owner.
About City Star Brewing
City Star Brewing® offers award-winning, small batch ales and lagers, hand crafted in the heart of downtown Berthoud, Colorado. The small town brewery was awarded Gold and Bronze medals at the world renown, Great American Beer Festival in 2013 and a bronze metal in 2015. City Star first opened its doors in 2012 and has since become a destination for craft beer lovers. The tasting room includes an outdoor beer garden and barrel house that doubles as an event space. City Star offers a selection of approachable beers with regularly rotating specialties. Learn more at citystarbrewing.com.
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