The move into packaging for a new brewery is a big one.  It’s a special moment in the timeline of that brewery, and one that I feel should be celebrated.  Gone are the days where you can only get your beer into places that offer draft sales.  No more are you confined to drinking your local breweries offerings only where you can pour yourself a pint from a growler.   Packaging opens up a new world of opportunities for a drinker, as well as a brewery.

We’re getting really close to adding to the list of local places that offer beer in cans or bottles and I want to update you guys on West Side’s move into cans!

How Close Are They?

I’ve been hearing rumblings about this for a little while, so I reached out to the brewery to get an idea of how close they actually were.  They are hopeful that it’s around 6-8 weeks before they’re ready to start stocking the shelves of stores across Cincinnati and NKY with West Side beer, but are still waiting on a couple of things to fall into place.

The contract with the mobile canning company that will be facilitating the canning process is good to go, and they are working currently on some extra cold storage to support the new inventory that will be popping up.  They’ve also ordered some more tanks to help them put out a larger volume of beer to fill those cans.

Things are swiftly moving along, and it looks like as we start diving into warmer weather, you’re going to have a couple new staples to choose from in your beer fridge.  That brings up another question: What’s going to be packaged?  I thought you’d never ask!

What’s Coming, and What Do The Cans Look Like?

The brewery’s can designs are colorful and follow the same motif throughout the lineup, which should make them simultaneously pop, while also blending together as a brand on the shelf.  I really look forward to seeing this “in the wild”.   Each can carries a standard description of West Side:

Located in Westwood on the West Side of Cincinnati, we aim to brew traditional beer styles Exceptionally well.  We’re proud to call the Cincinnati region and the West side home, and we’re excited to add to Cincinnati’s rich brewing heritage.  We hope you enjoy drinking our beers as much as we enjoy brewing them.  Cheers!

The cans also carry all the other information you’d expect like, the beers description, abv and IBU statements – as well as that now important Independent Beer seal.

West Side Common Ale

This is one of the definite West Side flagships.  At 4.7% ABV with 21 IBUs, it’s definitely designed to be “drinkable” or sessionable.  The description reads:

Clean, crisp and refreshing.  A slightly sweet, lightly malty aroma fades into a dry, snappy finish.  The perfect beer for those looking for lighter, more subtle flavors.

The can is bold purple colored and should stand out fantastically on the shelf.  I don’t want anyone to think that West Side’s Common Ale is nothing more than a gateway beer, or something for people who don’t know craft beer yet to dip their toes into the pool.  This beer is a great example of lighter beers with complex and subtle flavors.  It’s an absolute joy to sip away on during warm months.

West Side Session IPA

While West Side definitely has a strong IPA game, sometimes you don’t always want a big Double or Imperial IPA that will knock you on your ass after a couple glasses.  Sometimes a session IPA is exactly what hits the spot. This blue can should be a standard one in your rotation if you agree.  The description reads:

Our Session IPA packs all the hop punch of an IPA at a lower alcohol content.  Hop aroma balanced between pine and citrus fruits bursts forth, lightly supported by clean, crackery malt, and a dry finish with a touch of lingering bitterness.

That lower ABV they refer to?  It’s only 4.3%, while the IBUs still keep cranking at 56.  This is a good one!

West Side Hefeweizen

Rounding out this first trio of labels is a fun one.  Hefeweizen is an underappreciated style here in Cincinnati (considering our German Heritage and how much we’ve locked onto Bock beer, and Oktoberfest beer).  I love a good Hefe in the summer, it’s hard to beat the way the sun comes through a tall glass of it!  The brewery’s description of this beer is:

A traditional German-style Hefeweizen loaded with aromas of clove, spice, and just the right amount of banana character.  Our special German yeast is left unfiltered, so expect a softly golden, cloudy appearance.

The beer is 4.9% and 19 IBUs.   While I’m really excited about all three of these cans, this one tops the list for me and I can’t wait to get one of these orange colored cans into my beer fridge!

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