PRINCETON — A local microbrewery and tap room is poised to expand its business by putting its brews into cans and getting those cans on the shelves of local stores.
Sophisticated Hound Brewing Company, located in the Grassroots District of Mercer Street, has canned its products in the past, but the process was slow and time consuming. New equipment will make the process much more efficient, more productive and less complicated, Manager Shane Goodman said.
“We had this small machine,” he said. “We were basically doing (cans) one at a time: filling, putting the top on by hand and labeling. It was very labor intensive.”
Improved equipment will help production, Goodman said.
“This new machine, as far as the sealing process goes, can do two cans at a time. And as far as the filling side, it’s fully automatic and it seals the can itself,” he explained.
Using the single-can machine slowed production. Goodman said that when he and Sophisticated Hound owner Matt Barnett used it to fill cans, it could take as long as an hour and a half just to prepare 10 cases containing 24 cans apiece.
“So that’s 240 cans,” he said.
The new two-can machine increases production “10 fold,” Goodman said. Now about 100 cases can be prepared in the same time it took to get 10 cases ready.
Sophisticated Hound will be canning three different brands.
“The first three are going to be our Rye Rebellion, our 1863 Pale Ale and the Tail Chaser Blond,” Goodman said. “The Rye Rebellion is a brown ale. The Tail Chaser is a blond ale. The first set of cans are going to the Walmart in Princeton and Kroger on Stafford Drive, and we’re going to branch out at other local stores, too. It’s going to allow us to push our product further out. It will be more statewide. We push cans a lot more than we will the kegs.”
Like other businesses, the Sophisticated Hound had to close when the COVID-19 pandemic started, but local customers have been supportive since the doors reopened.
“The local community support has been overwhelming during the COVID thing, so we’ve been very fortunate,” Goodman said.
And now the improved canning operation is ready to move forward.
“This Monday, we’re going to hit it hot and heavy,” he said.
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