Buckeye Beer now available in cansWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Dave Kubacki
For the past 42 years, cans of Buckeye Beer have been found in display cases more often than refrigerators. But amid renewed interest in canning in the craft beer industry, Maumee Bay Brewing Company has brought the historic pilsner back to its canned roots with the help of Buckeye Canning.
Buckeye Beer, characterized as a Czech pilsner according to the magazine and website BeerAdvocate, is known for its sparkling dry taste and rich in Toledo tradition, dating back 175 years. The light craft beer has an alcohol by volume of 5.2 percent.
Oliver House General Manager Neal Kovacik said Toledo and Buckeye Beer have been together since the beginning.
“Buckeye Beer has been in Toledo since 1838,” Kovacik said. “In 1971, Miller Brewing came and bought out Buckeye Beer to produce it. It was reported that they bought it for the recipe and that the recipe somehow figured into the base recipe for Miller Lite. In 1994, Oliver House owner Jim Appold bought back the label from Miller and starting producing Buckeye again. It is a product of the second oldest brewery in the country. The brewery doesn’t still exist, but the beer does. It actually started being brewed the year after Toledo became a city.”
With nationally renowned breweries like Avery Brewing Company, Bell’s Brewery, Brewery Vivant and The Alchemist at the forefront of the canning revolution, more and more breweries are looking at starting or returning to canning.
According to Kovacik, cans are gaining momentum because of some important identifiable advantages.
“Some breweries are actually exclusively using cans,” Kovacik said. “In a lot of ways, it is a better way to package the beer. The light will never get into the can to deteriorate the beer. A can seems to keep the beer cooler. The new cans also have coating on the inside where the beer never touches the metal. It’s nothing against glass whatsoever. We will always put beer in bottles, but there is a certain segment of the public that wants to have cans.”
Maumee Bay Brewing Co. Brewery Manager Shannon Mohr agreed, citing even more global advantages to canning beer.
“Canning is really the trend in craft beer right now,” Mohr said. “There are obvious environmental benefits and administrative benefits as it is a lot less expensive to ship.”
For the first run of Buckeye Beer cans in 42 years, Maumee Bay Brewing Co. worked with local mobile canning company Buckeye Canning. To can the product, Buckeye Canning rolls a 300-pound unit into the brewery, hooks directly into the brewery’s hoses and starts running cans. Kovacik said Maumee Bay Brewing Co. may eventually look into doing its own canning.
“Our intention is to buy our own canning system eventually, but we hired a local canning operation to come in and do it one, two or three times,” Kovacik said. “First, we wanted to see how canning was done and, second, we wanted to gauge the acceptance of cans locally. So far, it is going very well.”
With a name like Buckeye Beer, this may have been the perfect time of the year to release the craft beer in cans, Kovacik said.
“Buckeye Beer for Ohio State fans is really catching on,” Kovacik said. “There is a lot of interest out there for this beer. I have had people calling me to tell me that they have seen it in the newspaper or on the television. I know that I have to have it available in the brewpub if I know there is an Ohio State game the coming weekend.”
Buckeye Beer is currently available in six-packs at the Oliver House’s Maumee Bay Brew Pub, but Kovacik said Maumee Bay Brewing Co.’s distributor recently started picking up the beer, which means it should be available at retail outlets soon for around $6.99.
It’s been a big year for Maumee Bay Brewing Co. Earlier this year, the company released three of its brewpub favorites in bottles: India Pale Ale (IPA), Amarillo Brillo Double IPA and Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout.
Tags: Amarillo Brillo Double IPA, Avery Brewing Company, Bell's Brewery, Brewery Vivant, Buckeye Beer, Buckeye Canning, Czech pilsner, India Pale Ale, Maumee Bay Brewing Company, Miller Lite, Oliver House General Manager Neal Kovacik, Oliver House owner Jim Appold, Oliver House’s Maumee Bay Brew Pub, The Alchemist, Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout