Firestone Walker to start selling beer in cans

jrobillard@thetribunenews.comMarch 28, 2014 

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. is taking a crack at canned beer.

The Paso Robles brewery’s salute to the Central Coast, the 805 blonde ale, will be the first beer off the canning line, which is now under construction. The system’s test run is set for early May, with a goal to release 805 cans by Memorial Day.

Firestone Walker co-founder Adam Firestone said the “ungodly expensive” German equipment puts out 300 cans per minute. He would not disclose how much the company is investing in the system.

According to Firestone, “It requires seven people when running the line, but it remains to be seen if and how many new hires will be needed until things are in full swing.”

The system will be in its own building on the growing Paso Robles brewery campus and will be visible to visitors.

Firestone Walker would not say which of its beers would follow 805 off the line.

Canning has become increasingly popular with craft breweries, with just 50 canning in 2009 and more than 300 canning today, according to information from the Brewers Association and CraftCans.com.

At Firestone Walker, it’s already been a busy year. In addition to the canning line, the brewery recently released new beers Opal, a saison, and Feral One, its first bottled sour from the Barrelworks wild ales project in Buellton. And Easy Jack Summer Session IPA will hit shelves next month.

Firestone Walker is ranked among the top 20 craft breweries in the nation in beer sales by volume, according to the Brewers Association. The brewery was established in 1996 in Santa Barbara County and expanded to Paso Robles in 2001.

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