It was a big week in the life of Pine Street Brewery. Since the company was established in 2011, their beer has only been available on draft. On Wednesday, Atom Splitter Pale Ale went into cans for the first time, and should be arriving in San Francisco stores and restaurants over the next two weeks.
If you’re not familiar with Atom Splitter, Pine Street co-owner Jay Holliday describes it as an “aggressively hopped pale ale that contains a blend of centennial and cascade hops, which create an intense citrus flavor. It has a lighter body for easy drinking at 5% alcohol by volume.”
Holliday enlisted a few friends to assist in the packaging process, which was operated by a mobile canning company called The Can Van. From start to finish, it took a better part of a day to load a pallet with 130 cases.
The mobile canning unit doesn’t take up an enormous amount of space. Five people worked various stations throughout the process.
Sterilized cans ready to slide down the conveyer belt towards the filling unit.
Four cans are filled at a time.
After the cans are filled, lids slide into place and are sealed.
Once the cans are sealed, they’re rinsed in a bucket that’s also used to determine if the cans are filled properly. If a can floats to high in the water, then it wasn’t filled enough and the system needs to be calibrated.
If the can is filled properly its hand dried and sent to the labeler.
Then each can is pushed into a plastic six-pack holder.
Each six-pack gets a “canned on” date sticker.
Jay Holliday holding the first can of Atom Splitter.
Photos © Brian Stechschulte