Slumbrew Is Now Canning its Beers
Somerville Brewing Company is the latest craft brewery to meet beer fans’ insatiable thirst for 16-ounce cans. Three of their Slumbrew beers—the flagship Flagraiser Double IPA, the big and boozy Trekker Trippel, and the formerly brewery-only Luma Luma IPA—are now on shelves at their Ward Street brewery and Assembly Row taproom.
Just over a year since the husband-and-wife company opened the American Fresh Brewhouse Beer Garden and seven months after debuting their American Fresh Brewery + Taproom, the can release marks another exciting development for Somerville Brewing: It’s now “completely running on [its] own steam,” said cofounder Caitlin Jewell.
Though Iron Heart Canning, New England’s first mobile canning company, is helping: its box truck will return bi-weekly or monthly—that remains to be seen—to fill fresh Slumbrew tallboys. Today’s run offers 2,900 cans of each of the three brews, hand-labeled by the brewpub staff. Next year, look for cans of Slumbrew’s blood orange hefeweizen Hoppy Sol and its roasty Porter Square Porter, too.
Since launching in 2011, Jewell and partner Jeff Leiter brewed and bottled Slumbrew at Mercury Brewing in Ipswich. Production ramped up this summer at Somerville Brewing’s 1,500-square foot brewery, and the company ended its contract brewing relationship around October, Jewell said. Last month, they installed a four head bottle filler on Ward Street, but the aluminum format is replacing the 12-ounce, glass four-packs it has offered since the beginning. Seasonal and limited-release beers will continue to be packaged in 22-ounce bottles.
“Cans are easier to deal with: They’re more portable, people recycle them better, and they’re 100 percent light-blocking. Light is your biggest enemy,” Jewell said.
Slumbrew makes about 2,000 barrels of beer annually. “That’s about the same amount Harpoon makes in five days,” Jewell said. Now that they have their own home, the company is working to maximize production and grow their output. Expect more barrel-aged beers this winter, including a barleywine called Snow Emergency, she said.
The initial release will also help drive expansion: Luma Luma, which hit the taprooms in October, has been “super popular,” she said. “We’ve had great success with Flagraiser IPA over the years and it has a big following, but Luma Luma serves a different desire for a big and juicy IPA.” Jewell is expecting the cans will put additional demand on that beer, and she said they’ll modify and adjust its availability based on how they are received.
After this weekend, whatever cans remain will be distributed among Slumbrew’s retail clients, but Jewell said the best place to find their products to-go is at their two facilities. Four packs of Flagraiser retails for $11.49, and Luma Luma and Trekker Trippel are $13.49.
American Fresh Brewhouse Brewery + Taproom, 15 Ward St., Somerville; 1-800-428-1150 x. 6 or slumbrew.com.
American Fresh Brewhouse Beer Garden, 310 Canal St., Somerville; 1-800-428-1150 x. 5 or slumbrew.com.