Bend brewer goes back to the future, in cans

GoodLife Brewing says its not your grandpa's canned beer

POSTED: 9:09 PM PDT March 11, 2013    UPDATED: 1:30 PM PDT March 12, 2013 
Want a Bend beer? It's in the can
BEND, Ore. -

Monday marked a big day for the future of brewing in Central Oregon. GoodLife Brewing Company became the first local brewery to can its beer.

We were there as the first cans rolled off the line.

It's starting with its most popular beer, Descender IPA.

'The cans come in a two-piece can, so it's a can with the opening and the end from the factory. Se load them up on a shaker table," said Owen Lingley, owner of Craft Canning, describing the process of canning.

"We rinse them, they (cans) get purged with CO2 to reduce oxygen pickup, they then get filled,' he said. "A lid is applied to the can. We want a nice foam push. We push out all the oxygen with CO2, then they are seamed. they go into a water bath. We check the level of them. If they look pretty good, we pull them out and put the tops on them, and they go to the store."

And it has been a dream come true for GoodLife Brewing Company.

"We are super-excited to be the first brewery in Bend and Central Oregon to be canning beer," said Chris Nelson, marketing director.

GoodLife used the service of Portland-based Craft Canning, the state's first mobile canning company, for 15,000 to 18,000 cans this week.

Nearly 260 breweries in the U.S. can their beers. Here in Oregon, 15 breweries currently can, with a majority of them in the Portland area.

People say bottled beer stays colder longer and canned beer tastes metallic but that's not exactly true (unless you're just licking the can).

Cans are now completely lined, so there's no metal that the beer can actually come in contact with, unless something is really messed up, the brewers said. So that's probably a 1970s memory "after-taste" on the metallic taste.

Lingley cites many benefits to canning beer, including that the cans are easier to recycle. Plus, it's a more shelf-stable product, while they are lighter weight, and are more efficient, packing-wise,

Lingley's team can get 30 percent more cans on a pallet then bottles.

"I think the suppliers see the potential growth of craft (beer) cans. and they are tailoring themselves to the market a little better," Lingley said.

The folks at GoodLife say they couldn't be any happier about how it's turned out.

"Most people think of canned beer of being more of a domestic beer, so they automatically assume a lower-quality kind," Nelson said. "So having it in canned beer, and the fact that there have been other breweries canning for a while, definitely makes it easier. The more breweries that can, it will change the public perception a lot easier that way."