Today is the birthday of Julie Johnson, who until recently was the editor of All About Beer magazine, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. Julie is without a doubt one of the nicest people in the industry and a pleasure to work with. Plus she likes odd little German trolls almost as much as I do. Hers is pink, mine’s silver. Don’t ask — or do, if you’d like a long, rambling travel story. Join me in wishing Julie a very happy birthday.
Today’s beer film is a short break from featuring the Michael Jackson Beer Hunter series, which will conclude tomorrow. Because it’s April 1, our video today is one from my friend and colleague Marty Jones about Cask Brewing Systems — the Canadian company that started microcanning — and their latest innovation: the Self-Refilling Beer Can (SRBC). According to the press release, “The SRBC is a unique Cask invention that enables consumers to refill empty beer cans with the beer that was originally packaged in the SRBC.”
More from the press release:
The can has the potential to significantly change the canned craft beer segment.
“We’ve been providing innovative equipment to craft brewers since the 1980s,” says Cask president and founder Peter Love. “We’ve also been helping craft canners since 2002. But this may be the most innovative thing we’ve ever done.”
“For years,” Love says, “we’ve touted the fact that aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable. Now we can say they are infinitely refillable.”
The can was developed at Cask’s brewing research laboratory with the help of Professor Phelyx, a Denver, Colorado microcanning scientist.
“This can has incredible benefits for craft brewers,” Phelyx says. “The Self-Refilling Beer Can allows breweries to increase their beer production without
having to actually produce more beer.”
To create the SRBC, Phelyx and Cask experts first created a unique resealing mechanism called the Lid Occlusion Lock (LOL) that reseals an opened can when the consumer gently rubs the can’s opening with their finger.
Once the lid is resealed, the beer drinker then lightly shakes the can to activate the In-Can Brewing System (ICBS) that then “rebrews” the original beer that was packaged in the can.
“Perfecting the ICBS was the crucial step in creating the Self-Refilling Beer Can,” Phelyx notes. “Once we were able to make that work, the Self-Refilling Beer Can went from a dream to a reality.”
In addition to providing a lifetime of craft beer to consumers, the SRBC has other benefits.
“It will quickly shrink the packaging costs for our customers,” says Cask’s Jamie Gordon, “and eliminate any waste from dented cans prior to filling. It could eliminate the need for beer can recycling, too.”
The initial response from retailers to the SRBC has not been favorable. “The lost sales alone would be devastating to my industry,” says Ron Vaughn, of Denver, Colorado’s Argonaut Wine & Liquor. “We don’t want to see it in the market.”
To address these concerns, Cask is developing a royalty system that will compensate retailers for any losses from the SRBC.
Cask officials are releasing the first samples of the SRBC to the craft brewing industry on Tuesday, April 1.
Cask officials are not divulging the price of the cans.
Cask Brewing Systems invented the beer industry’s first microcanning equipment in 2002. Cask now supplies a range of affordable, compact, high-performance canning systems to small-scale breweries and packagers worldwide.
Cask has installed over 300 canning lines in 20 countries, and is the official supplier of Ball Corporation printed aluminum cans for its Cask customers.
Today’s beer film is the fifth of Michael Jackson’s six-part series, The Beer Hunter, that he did for Channel 4 (UK) and the Discovery Channel here in 1989. Since last Thursday was the birthday of Michael Jackson, it seemed like a good time to pull out the classics. Episode 5 is Burgundies of Belgium.
Today’s beer film is a commercial for a Dutch beer, Bavaria Beer, in this case for their Radler. The hilarious spot imagines that Elvis Presley is not dead, but today lives on a desert island along will fellow not dead celebrities Tupac Shakur, Kurt Cobain, Bruce Lee and Marilyn Monroe. When a ship wanders close, with practiced ease they sound they alarm and strike the set, so there’s (almost) nothing to see as the ship speeds by, training their binoculars on the now empty-looking beach. Luckily, you don’t really need to know Dutch to figure out what’s going on.