Small Brewery Ships Big Beer to BC Market

May 1st Cans of Fernie Brewing Company Hand-Crafted Premium Ales will be hitting the BC Market

(Fernie, BC) – On Monday, May 1st 2006, Fernie Brewing Company, the East Kootenays only microbrewery, will begin shipping their Premium Ale Cans to all of British Columbia.  The cans will be available to all BC Liquor Stores, Golf Resorts and Restaurants throughout the province.

“We are sad to see them leave, but we know they will go to good British Columbian homes, to people who appreciate premium handcrafted ales as much as we do”, says Brewmaster Don Moore of Fernie Brewing Company, a 20 year micro-brew veteran.  “The fact that Microbrews are available in cans is great for the industry.  Europeans have been drinking craft beers in cans for decades,” adds Moore.

Fernie Brewing Company is a local family based brewery located in Fernie, in the south eastern corner of British Columbia.  “Being a small brewery, we had been focusing our sales locally”, says Lenka Kosmak, Sales & Marketing Manager with Fernie Brewing Company, “but after attending the Okanagan Fest-Of-Ale, in April in Penticton, we realized how much demand there was for our canned product throughout BC,” she adds. “And now for our little brewery to expand beyond the Kootenays – it’s fantastic!”

Cask Brewing Systems has really revolutionized the Micro Canning Industry in Canada.  “The only reason micros didn’t can before was simply because it cost too much”, says Kersten Kloss, of Cask Brewing Systems, the Alberta-based maker of microcanning gear.  “Canned beer is the best way to get the freshest beer to the consumer.  After filling, we purge the cans with carbon dioxide, so there is nothing but beer in there.  Canners typically have less air pick-up than bottlers, resulting in a fresher product.”

Canadians do love their cans – “60% of beer in Canada is consumed in cans”, says Kosmak, “and the numbers in BC are even more promising at 69%, it’s an entirely new market for BC Craft Brewers”.  The debate between cans and bottles has always been a hot one, as some consumers are concerned about taste.  However, aluminum cans are lined with a water-based polymer.  So there is no need to worry about the beer flavour being compromised.  Cans keep beer fresh by completely eliminating light-damage, which is the root of “skunkiness” in beer.  Cans are lighter to carry, lighter to ship, and less prone to breakage.  Cans take less energy to recycle and are the beer industry’s most environmentally friendly packaging.

And British Columbians love Craft Beers – the Craft Brewer Industry has seen strong growth in recent years in British Columbia.  Since canning production began last fall – Fernie Brewing has seen incredible growth.  “Regionally our packaged product sales increased by 250% this winter”, states Murray Pask, Fernie Brewing Company.  “Generally beer consumption increases in the Summer, and with expanding our distribution to the rest of BC, we might be running our machine at full-throttle just to keep up with demand”, grins Pask.

Griz Pale Ale (the company’s first brew) is a traditional pale ale brewed with a soft malt accent produced by using the finest imported malts and hops. Its deep amber colour is accentuated by a soft hop nose and balanced finish. Truly an ale lover’s ale for every occasion.

First Trax Brown Ale is soft, well rounded, and brewed with British specialty malts and hops.  It is a balanced malty brew with hints of chocolate and nutty undertones.

Fernie Brewing Company is located in Fernie, British Columbia (pop. 5000), a small mountain town situated in the BC Rockies.  This coal mining town has long been known for being an adventurer’s dream, with skiing, mountain biking and world class fly-fishing at your doorstep.  The brewery was established in 2003 and is a small batch brewery driven by passion and pride about quality beermaking. All of our handcrafted ales & lagers are brewed locally, using Rocky Mountain spring water and premium all-natural ingredients with no preservatives.

The 6-pack cans will now be available throughout British Columbia Liquor Stores and in select Alberta Retailers.

For Immediate Release April 24, 2006 – Lenka Kosmak