Three of the Summit Brewing Company's 14 types of beer will soon be available in cans.
The Pioneer Press reports that the St. Paul-based brewery will offer its Summer Ale, Saga IPA and Exra Pale Ale in 12-ounce aluminum cans starting on Memorial Day weekend.
Summit added a new $3.5 million canning line that is now housed next to the main brewery. Throughout its history, Summit always bottled its beer; KARE reports Summit steered clear of cans because of cost.
"The only type of beer bottle we could buy were overruns from anchor glass, which were designated for Miller Lite," Summit Founder and President Mark Stutrud told the station.
But as craft brews became more popular, canning came down in price. The Star Tribune reports cans provide an economic advantage over bottles because they are lighter, weighing only about one-sixth of what a glass bottle weighs.
"Your freight costs are actually lower,” said Stutrud.
With the move to cans, Summit is tapping into the growing number of craft brewers that have moved beyond the bottle. At the start of the craft beer movement, enthusiasts regarded cans as containers for mainstream beer, but the old school aluminum containers have become increasingly popular in recent years.
“There was this myth that beer in a can wasn’t quite as good,” said Eric Shepard, executive editor of the trade publication Beer Marketer’s Insights, told the newspaper.
“When it comes to canned beer, it’s part of the market we’re missing,” Stutrud added. “You don’t want to have glass in the boat.”