Craft breweries team up to can their first beers

Two craft breweries based in Wisconsin, US, have made their beer available in cans for the first time.

Appleton Beer Factory and McFleshman’s Brewing Co, both located in downtown Appleton, collaborated to share a rental service provided by Milwaukee-based mobile canning service WilCraft can, to produce one batch of nearly 10,000 total cans of beer, split 50/50 between them.

WilCraft claims to be Wisconsin’s first and only mobile canner and offers canning solutions for beer, wine, kombucha, coffee, seltzer and sodas. The company is also able to label cans and plans to offer a digital printing service from next year.

While a relatively small operation as far as craft breweries go, neither brewery has yet to invest in the equipment required for canning, so this allowed them both to sample what may be used in their future.

McFleshman’s co-owner Bobby Fleshman was keen to emphasise the collaborative spirit of the craft brewing community: “One of the reasons I’ve been brewing for a living is because of the industry and the people. On the front end, we’re all trying to help each other make the best beer possible.”

Appleton Beer Factory canned its Millhand Hefeweizen, while McFleshman’s chose its Pirate’s Cove helles lager. Both are available in six-packs at their respective brewpubs and both intend to distribute products to local retailers in the coming weeks.

Ben Fogle, director of operations and head brewer at Appleton Beer Factory, said getting their beer in cans or bottles has long been a goal, and they’re going to take their time to make sure they do it right. Teaming up with McFleshman’s was a way of keeping costs down for both.