The Micro-Canning Revolution featuring Dead Armadillo Brewery

The Micro-Canning Revolution featuring Dead Armadillo Brewery


Dead Armadillo is actually a name that came
about almost in jest between our owner and his brother in-law, thinking there was no
way that that name would ever make it … and here we are 5 or 6 years later and it’s who
we are. It’s what we do. We’re just right down the block from downtown
and we want to be a neighborhood spot. We started as draft only. We didn’t have a package solution outside
of kegging our product. We saw a really precipitous, sharp increase
in demand in the market when we started canning. It’s a three man crew on production right
now. Our total barrel output right now is somewhere
between 1,200 and 1,300 which for us is almost 40% growth over last year. And growth over the previous year to the year
before that was 96%. It was an easy decision for us to get into
canning when it came time to choosing a packaging solution for the brewery. With the style of beer that we make, and market
trends and desires, and our own personal preferences (we all like drinking out of cans as well)
plus the fact that they’re endlessly recyclable, you can take them basically anywhere – to
the lake, to water where glass can’t go. They get colder faster, stay colder longer. There is just a million reasons for us tobe in cans so we really couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. We bought a canning line at about 18 months. It was a little more manual –
it was the SAMS line. It was a smaller footprint that really turned
out to be a very robust but simple system that really taught us as operators how to
be really good at packaging beer in cans. So when we decided to really go after 2018
and grow aggressively, it seemed just a natural progression to contact Cask and say hey we
really want to build on this relationship that we already have with you. Especially when they were releasing a brand
new line – the Micro-ACS and it was poised to do all of the things that we wanted to
do, including our aspirations to co-package nitro cold brew coffee as well. Flat out the mACS does it and a lot don’t. We’re actually going to be canning our coffee
in 8.4oz or 250mL cans, which by comparison to beer standards are incredibly small but
the mACS has the ability to adapt down to a can dimension that small and still be extremely
precise which is a huge bonus for us. So the measure of a good canning line process
is how low you can get your Total Packaged Oxygen (TPO) or Dissolved Oxygen (DO) because
oxidation obviously stales beer, makes it taste older faster. We’re seeing 6 months or longer on our shelf
life for un-refrigerated beer which is just out of this world for the kind of quality
that we can generate on a Cask line. The cool thing with the mACS – and we’ve never
seen this with any other line – is that it has individual fill head controls so now we
can actually dial in each individual can and we can get all the cans plus or minus 1 or
2 grams from each other which again is just an incredibly high level of control that a
lot of other manufactures are just not offering right now. We feel really indebted to Cask for helping
us get into the market. Obviously I’m not a paid spokesperson for
Cask but all I can say is that they are the best company we have ever worked
with – and we work with a lot of vendors! I can’t wait to do business with them for
a really long time. I can’t wait to see what kind of cool stuff
they come out with in the next 5 or 10 years.

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