With many of the upstart smaller breweries, size is a common roadblock and often a hindrance with different aspects of growth. Size is one of the main reasons you’ll find breweries that only serve their product on draft. A bottle and/or canning line is not only quite costly, but you have to have room for it and that room could be used for tank space which, depending on your view of things, is equally, if not more valuable.
A group of five friends in the San Francisco Bay area have started to solve that problem and are available to save the day for these size-constrained breweries. What started out as a graduate school project for Lindsey Herrema and Jenn Coyle, quickly became an up and coming business with demand for them and their three friends. The Can Van, as it’s appropriately named, is just that, a mobile trailer with a canning line confined within. The mobility lets them go to any brewery in the area that is in need of canning help. The mobility, however, isn’t the only advantage. In the typical canning process, a brewery that wants to be cost effective must order their cans in extremely large amounts. This lump sum of money along with money to invest in the line itself, is a lot more than many breweries can handle. The Can Van team though, will sell you any amount of cans you would like, so you can buy 100 cases instead of 4,000 and spend a whole lot less money. The cans might not be edge to edge pieces of art like your typical can, but there is a system to label them just like you would a bottle and still enjoy all the benefits of canning. Truly a great operation and advancement in beer technology that ends up beneficial at every level of the industry.
Unfortunately, the van hasn’t yet made its way out to the Mid-Atlantic region, but with a business plan like the one they seem to have in place, it’s only a matter of time before we see a Can Van of our own wandering these streets.