Once seen as a niche market, the craft beer scene has exploded in recent years, evolving into a multi-billion dollar industry, and launching some 4,200 breweries in the process. One of the most rapidly growing companies has been Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery, churning out some 175,000 barrels of suds each year, while staying true to the scene’s artisanal, glass bottle roots.
But despite Dogfish Head’s refusal to let its product touch aluminum in the past, this month the brewery will finally release its first canned beer—a hoppy, American-style India Pale Ale. The company first announced the news on Twitter on Monday, and by the middle of November, fans will be able to purchase green, 12-ounce six-packs of the brewery’s 60 Minute IPA, one of the brewery’s most popular products.
As Grub Street notes, it’s taken roughly two decades of bottle production for Dogfish Head to finally cave to the pressure and start produce some good ol’ fashioned canned beer, even as other craft breweries like Two Roads, Lagunitas, and Brooklyn Brewery took the plunge.
So why did it take so long for the brewery to catch up to the trend? Apparently, founder and president Sam Calagione wasn't impressed by the current state of canning technology. Instead, he had the company's beverage-vessel producer, a company called Kroner, design "artisanal cans from scratch."
“Early on in the craft brewing renascence I was under-whelmed with the canning technology for craft beer,” Calagione told Beer Street Journal. “But times have changed, equipment has evolved, and we’ve designed a beautiful, state-of-the-art Krones can line that delivers the quality and consistency our consumers have come to expect from our beer.”
On social media, Dogfish Head fans seemed excited by the prospect of finally drinking their favorites beers out of a can.
Don't run out to the liquor store just yet, though. The cans will only be available in the Mid-Atlantic states to start, with a nation-wide distribution starting next year.