Mile Wide Beer Co. co-owner Scott Shreffler said he and his fellow brewery owners always planned to can their products, but they didn’t have a set plan as to when it would happen. Well, it’s happening.
On Thursday, Mile Wide worked with Toucan Mobile Canning to can roughly two cases of Tessie, an East Coast-style IPA, and Catalina Breeze, a West Coast IPA. The cans will cost $14 per four-pack and will be available only at the brewery’s tap room.
“They were the first two (IPAs), and they were the most asked-about beers,” Shreffler said. “Certainly, Tessie had a life of its own.”
Indeed. When Tessie was released a few months ago, it created a buzz around town and lines at the brewery with pint and crowler sales. That entered into the decision to make it one of the first canned beers at Mile Wide, Shreffler said, in order to “make it special.”
The cans are 16-ouncers, meaning consumers will pay about $3.50 per pint, a big savings off the draft price, which would be about $6 for a 13-ounce tulip glass of these beers. Eventually, Mile Wide hopes to can beers for distribution, but Shreffler noted, “It would be a very expensive beer on the shelf at a retailer.”
This is, of course, because per the three-tier system of alcohol sales, the distributor and retailer would get their percentage of sales. Instead, Mile Wide decided to stick with tap room sales to keep the price down and maximize profits.
Another canning is already scheduled for late July, and the plan will remain the same for the foreseeable future. But an expanded canning program is in the long-term plans for the brewery.
“The hope is to do a few of these runs and then move into our own canning line,” Shreffler said. Currently, however, there is no timeline for that move. At that point, six-packs and/or four-packs would be distributed by Beer House Distributors of Erlanger, Ky.
The decision to utilize Toucan was never really planned before the brewery opened, Shreffler said, because talks of canning centered around distribution. Only recently did the ownership group come up with the idea for mobile canning, in which the equipment is brought to the tap room for a day, strictly for on-site sales.
The next canning will likely again be Tessie and Catalina Breeze, Shreffler said, but going forward, other beers will likely be canned, with sessions planned monthly. Shreffler said there has been no decision as to which beers might be included in future canning sessions.
Mile Wide will open Friday, June 30, at 2 p.m., with four-packs available. There will be a four four-pack maximum per person, due to Kentucky laws. Sales will be on a ticketing system in which customers will pay for a four-pack, receive a ticket, and then pick up their beer at a different station in the tap room.
Given the lines and waits of some previous beer releases, Shreffler said, they want to be careful to avoid snarls in the tap room.
At $3.50 per pint for beers one can take home, the lines might just be there.
“It’s a pretty darn good deal,” Shreffler said.
Mile Wide is located at 636 Barret Ave.