Written by Nick Burke, Packaging Team
It was a brisk July morning, there was a slight dew left on the chinook leaves in our hop garden, the sun was peeking through the trees, and in the distance a 12-ton hunk of steel with 18 wheels came to a screeching halt. As the dust eventually settled we could at last see it. The FedEx truck had finally arrived with our first ever can line. John Stewart, our Production Manager and fearless leader, can recall the day vividly. “We were hopping with glee for about 15 minutes. Our Head Brewer, Bill had to change his pants multiple times for various reasons” John remembers. After the excitement settled and Bill had on a fresh pair of slacks, they got straight to work installing their new machine, and nothin’ has been the same since.
Shortly after installation, Perrin cans seemed like they were just about everywhere. Week after week our Brand Manager, Jarred, kept us updated with distribution news. In a short we we’re in most of the southern half of the Lower Peninsula. To take over the state of Michigan we needed more can power. Can you guess what we did? Yup, canning line number two was on its way.
After our 2nd friend arrived in late October, we never looked back. And to be honest, I don’t think we even had the time to do so. Ever since the 2nd line was installed we’ve been taking over the state of Michigan, county by county. Before you knew it, our cans were everywhere from Detroit to Lansing to Traverse City and everywhere else in between. At our weekly meetings, Jarred went from naming off counties in the state of Michigan, to states in the country. Colorado was first, shortly followed by Ohio and upcoming in July, Indiana. We’ve even added a new addition to the family recently, The Box Director 9000 aka the box director. She’ll be able to delicately place our beautiful cans into already folded boxes, which is great because I need a break. Although the canning line isn’t the most glamorous job in the brewery, it can definitely be considered as one of the most important. Just ask one of our newest crew members, Daniel about it and he’ll tell you “this is the most crucial part of the brewery, in my opinion. This is the last place the beer can be completely ruined.” And he’s not bullshitting. There’s quite a few behind the scenes quality checks that we run before, during and after each and every canning run. We check everything from how clean the machine is, to how much of an indent is in that crevice on the can lid. We also cut the seam on the can to check how well the can and lid are sealed together. Our Quality Control Manager, Boomer, will take multiple samples from each batch to run seemingly infinite quality evaluations. He’ll test anything from how much air got into the container on its way from the tank to the can line or how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop. Who knew so much went in to canning beer?
So where are we now, you ask? Well, almost 7 months into 2016 and we’ve already doubled 2015’s numbers. Our cans are on just about every damn shelf in the state. And that makes me one happy canner. The best part about this job is going to work and drinking free beer. Just kidding! The best part about working at a place like Perrin is that you know, whenever you see a can on the shelf, that the beer in that can is made authentically and canned with care.
I CAN’t wait for the day when everyone in the world can enjoy our beer!
Written by Matt Berra, Packaging Team
I’ve been a member of the Perrin packaging team for going on nine months now. Back when I started, we only had one small five head filler to work with. Since then we’ve grown a lot as a brewery, adding a second filling line and most recently a brand new twelve-packer. All growth stems from challenge, something my team and I are quite familiar with. Whether its late night shifts to meet packaging goals, or deadlifting kegs off the line all day, we here at Perrin have shed blood, sweat, and tears to get our fine product to you, dear consumer. (I’ve got the scars to prove it.) No matter what challenges we face in the trenches, it’s all worth it simply for the pride you feel knowing you’ve helped get an amazing array of beer into the hands of the thirsty. I’m reminded of this every time I pass by our six-packs on a shelf, or overhear someone order a round of Black for their table. You can’t help but grin, and stand a little taller.
Written by Cody Dykstra, Packaging Team
I joined the Perrin production team about seven months ago, it seems the time went by as quickly as the brewery is growing. Finishing up last year and going into a new year brought on the goal to double production from roughly 14,000bbl to 30,000bbl. For us on the production side this meant growth in our team, growth in our line, and A LOT more beer coming down the line to be packaged.
The canning line generates roughly 125 cases per hour, which may seem like a lot but not enough in an average day to supply our thirsty customers with some of the best beer in the industry. This put the demand in place for running two shifts five days a week which required more people. It took six months to build our team of three on the line but once we had set our annual goal we doubled the packaging team to six people in the matter of two weeks.
Every day we are finding new challenges, setting new goals, finding and fixing new problems and having a hell of a time. Perrin is an industry leading brewery that is going to continue being one step ahead with some damn good beer, one can at a time.