New local beer on the shelves in Steamboat Springs |

New local beer on the shelves in Steamboat Springs

This is the entire canning machine. Cans come from the right and leave on the left. They come off the twist rinser and are filled with beer from the bottom to reduce foaming

— There is a new beer on the shelves in Steamboat Springs, and it’s served in an orange can and branded with the name, The Flare.

One of Storm Peak Brewing Co.’s original brews and a best seller, The Flare is the first local beer to be distributed in cans throughout Steamboat Springs.

The canning process wasn’t done at a manufacturing plant but handled by a mobile canning company out of Longmont.

Mobile Canning Systems was founded in 2011 by friends and longtime home brewers Pat Hartman and Ron Popma. Serving more than 57 craft breweries, their business model is aimed at nano-breweries and microbreweries unable to afford the space or resources necessary to can their own beers.

Wanting to get involved in the craft beer industry, Hartman said MCS was a way for he and Popma to assist those entrepreneurs interested in getting their product onto shelves.

According to Hartman, the process of canning begins with a brewery like Storm Peak sending over its label design and MCS creating a shrink sleeve to fit around the can, which is made of environmentally friendly, recyclable PETG material.

Hartman traveled to Steamboat Springs to be there for the canning process at Storm Peak about a week ago.

Storm Peak co-owner and managing partner Wyatt Patterson said 2,300 cans were made.

“We never wanted six packs of bottles because, in Steamboat, you want to take your beers with you,” Patterson said. “It’s such an active community, and glass is dangerous to have. But this is a lot more environmentally friendly because you pack it in and out easier.”

The idea to deliver this new can — sold as a six pack for about $12 — to locals and visitors in town was two-fold: Storm Peak wanted to create a product it could sell out of its tap room, and it wanted to use the cans as a marketing tool to get the brand out in the public eye.

“We want to maintain a slow and steady growth: that’s our motto,” Patterson said. “We are not trying to grow too big, too fast or to flood our beers everywhere, but we are trying to get that direct feedback and get to know our customers.”

Currently, cans of The Flare are sold at Arctic Liquors, Ski Haus Liquors and Central Park Liquor. Other establishments that carry the brew include the T-Bar, Gondola Pub & Grill and bistro c.v.

“People have been really excited to have a six pack of beer from a local brewery,” said Pete Holmes, manager at Central Park Liquor, who said they have sold about six of the eight cases they were given. “We’ve had a lot of repeat sales, and we are going through it quickly.”

The staff at Storm Peak is already planning on the next batch of The Flare, which they hope will be a monthly occurrence.

Patterson said Storm Peak will eventually can other beers but for now is sticking with The Flare.

“We took a risk to see if the market wants this,” Patterson said. “We’ve found that people really do want something that is made locally, and they are willing to try something new with that in mind.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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