Get out. Explore. Bring beer.
That’s the motto of Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co., and the addition of its latest product line will help customers do just that.
The company will be the first West Virginia craft beer provider to sell its product in a pop-top can.
There are lots of advantages to canned beer versus bottled, co-owner David Kucera said.
Cans block out beer-spoiling light. They’re also lighter, easier to ship and stack, and better for the environment (the Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority no longer recycles glass).
For Kucera personally, the biggest appeal is a can’s portability. A lover of the outdoors, Kucera, 39, knows that bottles just won’t work on a hiking trip.
“The can is ideal for outdoors enthusiasts,” he said.
Greenbrier Valley will begin selling two of its popular brews — Mothman Black IPA and Wild Trail Pale Ale — in 12 oz. cans starting this week.
Customers have been asking Ted Armbrecht, owner of the Wine Shop at Capitol Market, when the cans will be available.
“We are eagerly awaiting our distributor to get them to us,” Armbrecht said, adding that he promoted the cans on social media and received a strong response. The cans could hit shelves in Charleston as early as this weekend or early next week, Kucera said.
Charlottesville, Va.-based Okay Yellow designed the cans. Kucera said he was pleased with the look. One features a sasquatch walking on a trail, the other depicts the mysterious Mothman.
The initial design for Mothman Black IPA, which featured a cracked bridge in the background, worried Kucera a bit.
The legend of Mothman is often intertwined with the infamous Silver Bridge collapse of 1967, which killed 46 people.
“The Mothman design had a little more work to do,” he said. “We didn’t want to shed light on the disaster, just the mysterious Mothman.”
Greenbrier Valley is a young brewery in a state with a young craft beer industry.
West Virginia didn’t even allow brewpubs until 1991. Kucera has heard the Mountain State was the last with a brewery selling cans.
He and co-owner Wil Laska met two years ago through a mutual friend. They shared an interest in home brewing at the time and decided to join up.
Their Lewisburg-based brewery began filling its first kegs in July and business has been booming ever since.
He has lots of ideas for the future, including more can designs and more West Virginia-centric themes.
They’re working on a session IPA, a variety that packs the hoppy goodness of a regular India Pale Ale, but with a lighter body and lower alcohol content. They plan to name it after Devil Anse Hatfield, the notorious patriarch of the Hatfield clan during its feud with McCoys in the 1800s.
“We are planning it to be a session IPA, but every time we design a beer things change at the last minute,” he said.
Another variety that is the works — the Insane IPA — could be the company’s first to be sold in a cardboard six pack. Kucera has a clever theme in mind for the packaging.
“The carrier will be the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum,” he said.
Reach Life editor Billy Wolfe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4830.