Fernie Brewing Company has began shipping their Premium Ale Cans to all of British Columbia. This has made the brewery’s cans available in all BC Liquor Stores, Golf Resorts and Restaurants throughout the province.
“We are sad to see them leave, but we know they will go to good British Columbian homes, to people who appreciate premium handcrafted ales as much as we do”, says Brewmaster Don Moore of Fernie Brewing Company, a 20 year micro-brew veteran. “The fact that Microbrews are available in cans is great for the industry. Europeans have been drinking craft beers in cans for decades,” adds Moore.
Fernie Brewing Company is a local family based brewery in the 4-season resort town of Fernie, located in the southeastern corner of British Columbia. “Being a small brewery, we focused our sales regionally in the Kootenays”, says Lenka Kosmak, Sales & Marketing Manager with Fernie Brewing Company, “but after attending the Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale, in April in Penticton, we realized how much demand there was for our canned product throughout BC,” she adds. “And now for our little brewery to expand beyond the Kootenays – it’s fantastic!”
Cask Brewing Systems has really revolutionized the Micro Canning Industry in Canada. “The only reason micros didn’t can before was simply because it cost too much”, says Kersten Kloss, of Cask Brewing Systems, the Alberta-based maker of microcanning gear. “Canned beer is the best way to get the freshest beer to the consumer. After filling, we purge the cans with carbon dioxide, so there is nothing but beer in there. Canners typically have less air pick-up than bottlers, resulting in a fresher product.”
Canadians do love their cans – “60% of beer in Canada is consumed in cans”, says Kosmak, “and the numbers in BC are even more promising at 69%, it’s an entirely new market for BC Craft Brewers”. Cans are lighter to carry, lighter to ship, and less prone to breakage. Cans take less energy to recycle and are the beer industry’s most environmentally friendly packaging.
Since canning production began last fall, Fernie Brewing has seen incredible growth. “Regionally our packaged product sales increased by 250% this winter”, states Murray Pask, Fernie Brewing Company. “Generally beer consumption increases in the summer, and with expanding our distribution to the rest of BC, we might be running our machine at full-throttle just to keep up with demand”, grins Pask. It has also helped that Fernie Brewing Company had their cans designed and branded by a local marketing firm in Fernie, Savage Marketing Inc. “Our goal was to both effectively communicate the quality of the products and attract consumer awareness, and it is evident that this has been accomplished” says Dan Savage, Director.
So far, Fernie Brewery has brought two of their products to the market via cans. Griz Pale Ale, the company’s first brew, is a traditional pale ale brewed with a soft malt accent produced by using the finest imported malts and hops. Its deep amber colour is accentuated by a soft hop nose and balanced finish.
First Trax Brown Ale is soft, well rounded, and brewed with British specialty malts and hops. It is a balanced malty brew with hints of chocolate and nutty undertones. Watch out as more of Fernie Brewing Company’s products hit the market and as the company makes their move to a more prominent location in Fernie.