Rhinegeist adds new 32 oz. canned 'crowler' to lineup

CINCINNATI -- Do you ever find yourself wishing that growler from your local brewery lasted a little longer? Rhinegeist may have the answer.

The Over-the-Rhine-based brewer unveiled its new “crowler” cans.

The product was officially launched Tuesday but made a surprise appearance during the brewery’s first anniversary party.

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The crowler is a 32-ounce can that is filled, labeled and capped right there at the taproom. The crowler cans are first filled with carbon dioxide, then filled from the bottom off the tap line at the bar before being lid sealed via the seam machine.

The brewers said they believe the crowlers have a shelf life of about a month but testing is ongoing. The team said some breweries have quality-tested the crowlers up to three months.

The crowlers provide the serving size of a mid-size growler with the portability and ease of use of a can.

The new product comes courtesy of the Ball Corporation . Ball makes Rhinegeist’s 12 oz. cans, as well as beer cans for much of the rest of the beer industry.

Rhinegeist’s Vice President Bryant Goulding said they had heard of crowlers before but shrugged off the concept at first because it seemed rather silly.

That all changed when his team went to Fort Collins, Colo., for training and took a tour of the Oskar Blues Brewery.

He said the tour was excellent and at the end, they were given a crowler to take home with them.

While the crowler was being filled, Goulding and company got to see how the process all came together and they were sold on the concept.

Goulding said Oskar Blues developed the concept along with Ball. He said the brewers reworked an old canning machine to work with new beer can lids.

Once they got the crowlers home, the rest of the team was sold on the idea too.

Goulding said the crowlers are cool for beer fans because part of the fun is seeing the can get "made."

"You get to see a can become a can,” Goulding said.

In addition to the help from Oskar Blues and Ball, Rhinegeist partnered with a local company to do the labels. Goulding said the labels are printed up in Hamilton by Innovative Label Solutions.

"It's the perfect serving vessel for the summer,” Goulding said.

Rhinegeist also likes the crowler concept because the larger vinyl labels allow them more room to write about the beer.

"You see a thousand beer cans in your life, and then you come across this and it's just on steroids," Goulding said.

One patron purchased 34 crowlers already for a party. Goulding said their size, uniqueness and shelf life also make them perfect to give out as gifts.

The brewery is the first to bring the crowler to Ohio. Currently Oskar Blues Brewing (Colorado & N. Carolina,) West Sixth Brewing in Lexington, Ky., and Cigar City in Florida use the crowlers.

Rhinegeist said the crowlers can be filled with any beer currently in rotation for $8 per can.

Fans can also still get their Rhinegeist beer in 32 oz. or 64 oz. glass growlers, or the current 12 oz. canned options: Truth IPA, Cougar blonde ale or Zen pale ale.

The brewery is located at 1910 Elm St. and the taproom is open Monday-Thursday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight and Sunday noon to 7 p.m.

For more beer stories go to wcpo.com/beer .

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