Beer on the go? Can do

Fred McCormick

Local craft beer lovers have likely noticed a significant change at Lookout Brewing Co. in recent weeks, specifically when taking their favorite beers on the go.

A new canning machine is providing customers with an improved experience, according to owner John Garcia, who is constantly trying to find ways to improve his product.

The “Crowler,” which was developed by Oskar Blues Brewing and can supplier Ball Corporation, is a 32-ounce can of beer which allows customers to take beer home. It is a combination of the words “can” and “growler,” the latter referring to the bottle that has traditionally been used by breweries.

“The canning machine gives us the ability to fully seal something permanently, so the beer lasts much longer in the can,” Garcia said. “Also, changing from glass to aluminum saves us money on shipping so we don’t have to charge customers a deposit. We were charging $3 or $4 for the glass.”

Garcia was looking for a more effective way to package beer when he was introduced to the Crowler by friends. He immediately saw the most obvious advantage for customers.

“They’re great for traveling, and you can take them anywhere,” he said. “They’re also much more affordable, so we dropped our pricing on sales to go.”

Lookout had been selling beer in growlers for $8 but the cans allow the same product to be sold for $2 less in addition to eliminating the need for a deposit. Garcia said that the decrease in pricing has already increased the amount of people buying beer to go.

The canning machine is just one of many developments at Lookout, a brewery known for trying new things.

A recent batch of a wild fermented beer that incorporated grapefruit zests known as Salty Dog sold out within a couple of weeks and Lookout has three releases scheduled for February. The first of that trio of beers is Nude Brude.

On Feb. 19 Lookout will release the first in a series of sour beers that borrows its name from a kayaking term, “The Squeeze.”

“This one will have lime and cilantro added to it,” Garcia said.