Front Range breweries turn to canning draft beer to boost sales amid economic crisis from COVID-19

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Posted at 9:57 PM, May 07, 2020

LITTLETON, Colo. – Craft breweries are canning their beer to help boost business.

Jared Jones, a manager at Craft Canning and Bottling, says business is booming despite a worldwide pandemic that has affected pretty much all aspects of life, including here in Colorado.

"It has been incredible right now," Jones said. "I have been getting calls left and right trying to see what they can do to package their products."

Jones adds that his new client list includes Bierstadt Lagerhaus in Denver.

"They have been draft-only since they opened, that is all they wanted to do, no packaging," Jones said. "Now, because of this, they see that they have to do that."

The company has increased staff and are now canning at two breweries per day. A new canning machine is also on the way to help keep up with demand.

Jones said canning is helping save beer.

"Get it to the consumers rather than dumping it down the drain," he said.

COVID-19 has cleared out taprooms and limited sales, taking a toll on revenue. Jason Bell, the owner of Living the Dream Brewing Company, says 60-70% of his cash flow is from people coming into the brewery.

"We had to pivot into the to-go and carry-out (model), and we also have been in distribution and trying to ramp that up as well," he said.

Bell has been canning the last four years but decided to increase the amount of beer he cans to help increase sales.

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"Today we are doing about 26 barrels, equivalent to about 52 kegs," Bell said.

Jeremy Eades lives about a mile from the brewery. He stopped by to pick up a beer growler.

"If you are not willing to want to drink the whole growler in 2-3 days, then having the cans lasts a little longer," he said.

While canning is an option, Bell said it's expensive.

"All of us, we need to find a way to get open soon," he said.

In the meantime, it's an option to keep beer flowing and quench the thirst of Coloradans craving for craft beer.