We were! We are! When we started canning, we signed on with a mobile canning company called State 64, which is run by a group of downright great people. And mobile canners, for those of you not "in the know" basically just roll up to our digs with their own canning line (and cans, and trays, and - in the case of State 64 - a kitchen sink that's supported by milk crates) and hook up some hoses to our tanks and can our beer for us and go about their merry way. We thoroughly enjoyed working with State 64, but at some point over the summer we decided it was Time To Move On, and we started the oddly-arduous process of ordering a piece of equipment.
What made you switch from State 64?
Honestly? 90% of it was scheduling. They're busy folks (unsurprisingly, a lot of breweries leaned pretty hard into canning once that whole pandemic hit) and we can only schedule them for two days per month, which can do a pretty mean number on our production schedule. Plus, State 64 is doing a pretty big service to the industry by making canning accessible to hella small breweries (like us), and if we can free up some of their schedule then that makes way for somebody else to be able to get their beer on shelves.
The most obvious side-effect is actually tangentially/confusingly related to the pandemic (and maybe the ongoing trade war with China and/or the tariffs on imported metals? Unclear) and anyway the point is that we'll be temporarily switching to plastic four-pack holders. Long story short, cans are super hard to get right now* and our current can supplier (one of the few suppliers who is willing/able to supply us) only sells cans as a "package deal" sort of thing (cans, lids, trays, pakteks), which means our hands are tied for a bit. But never fear! We're gonna keep the ol' "ear to the ground" and figure out a way to get back to the old cardboard/environmentally friendly carriers that we all know and tolerate.
Anything else we should know?
Probably! Most importantly, this also means that we're no longer tied to our previous twice-per-month can release schedule, which means we're able to release new cans all the time! We won't, but it's exciting to know that we could.