Beer cans are in style these days. Not the kind holding the common bland, industrial lager, but the kind holding your favorite local craft brew. Canning beer has multiple benefits. It can be cheaper, easier to transport, prevents skunking, and you can bring cans to many places that you can’t bring bottles, such as beaches. If this is something that you’re looking for, the people at The Can Van are the fashionistas of the industry.
Located in Belmont, part of the San Francisco Bay area, The Can Van brings the canning equipment to the brewer and focuses on the packaging of the beer so that the brewer can focus on brewing. Jenn Coyle Catalano, the CEO, explained how their business took off after she and four other friends met during their MBA program.
“The idea for The Can Van came from a fusion of our love of good beer, interest in the trend of craft beer becoming available in cans, and the proliferation of mobile wine bottling in Northern California. Investing in a new piece of packaging equipment can be prohibitively expensive for small breweries, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area where space is at a premium. Bringing canning equipment to the breweries seemed like a natural fit and a way to help more of our local breweries offer their beer in cans.”
Currently, Jenn and the team are working with craft breweries that have the facilities and equipment to work with the speed and scale of their canning machine. Two of their best-known customers are Devil’s Canyon (Belmont, CA) and Ruhstaller (Sacramento, CA). Though some of these beers might be difficult to find on store shelves currently, The Can Van is actively looking for ways to expand their market and their reach. In addition to doing sample runs with smaller breweries looking to break into the commercial space, they’re also taking a look into expanding into San Diego. “A number of breweries down there are recognizing the match between cans and the sunny, SoCal lifestyle,” Jenn said.
Look out for The Can Van’s booth at CanFest in Reno on November 3 where they’ll be busy trying all of the new beers in cans that are hitting the market. Jenn tells me, “It is always a great event, lots of great canned craft beer to try, and inexpensive to attend, so we highly recommend American Craft Beer readers check it out!”
Cheers, Can Van team. Thanks for helping to make the best craft beer accessible to the masses!