If you were lucky enough to attend SweetWater's "17 Years of Heady Beers" birthday bash (or have been to the brewery on any other occasion recently), you likely noticed the brewery's newest addition to their packaging house -- along with various pyramids of cans in the bright fluorescent light. (No, that was definitely not a shameless reference to a song from my youth.)
That's right, Atlanta, Ga.-based SweetWater Brewing Co. has made the move to cans just in time for beach (and lake) season.
The first brew to begin hitting shelves early this month is 420 Extra Pale Ale, the brewery's flagship beer. 420 began rolling out encapsulated in aluminum splendor the first week of March. The brew will first be sold in 12-ounce cans, with pint-sized 16-ounce "tall boy" cans landing later this month.
Along with the 420 tall boys, 12- and 16-ounce cans of IPA should be heading out later this month as well.
The brewery is utilizing a "can conditioning" process for its aluminum-clad brews. Similar to bottle conditioning, the cans will be dosed with a bit of priming sugar and live yeast prior to being sealed, allowing the yeast to naturally carbonate the beer at 65 degrees for 6-7 days, followed by a 2-3 day period of cold conditioning to cause the yeast to go dormant prior to heading out for sale. This process will create the freshest beer possible, while naturally extending the beer's shelf life.
Cans also have several additional benefits over glass bottles -- they are airtight, and prevent UV light from entering the beer and causing it to "skunk"; additionally, cans are more easily recyclable than bottles, creating less of a carbon footprint for those looking out for the earth while keeping themselves properly hydrated.
SweetWater hasn't announced specific plans for a roll-out of any of their other offerings, but I wouldn't expect that to last for long, especially when their latest seasonal, Road Trip Ale, would prove extraordinarily refreshing while watching the tide roll away.
And to answer your question -- no, there was no shameless reference there, either.