Resurgence Brewing Company Buffalo NY

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By in News Comments Off on Crosspost: Brew Your Own RBC Oktoberfest

Crosspost: Brew Your Own RBC Oktoberfest

The air may still be balmy, but a few trees are starting to turn, and we’re getting ready to roll out our Resurgence Oktoberfest next week. Check out  this article that goes over (in detail!) how to make our signature Oktoberfest brew.

And don’t forget: Our third annual RBC Oktoberfest bash is Sept 17, from noon until close. We’ll have Wayno’s BBQ, live music from two different bands, a dessert truck in the evening, stein-hoisting contests for men and women, lederhosen and dirndl contests, yodeling contest, and so much more. You won’t want to miss this.

Summer may be winding to a close, but there’s so much to look forward to. Prost!

 

By in News Comments Off on WNY Cucumber Saison is a taste of Buffalo summer

WNY Cucumber Saison is a taste of Buffalo summer

At Resurgence Brewing Company, we’re dedicated to using local ingredients whenever possible, especially when those ingredients taste even better than what we can find elsewhere. The latest example of our dedication to helping our neighbors is the freshly tapped WNY Cucumber Saison, now available in our Niagara Street taproom.

Historically, saisons were first brewed in Wallonia by farmers during the cooler, less active months. The farmhouse ales would have been a lower ABV than modern saisons, and were served to farm workers who were entitled to up to five liters each day as part f their pay. After brewing, the beer was stored until the summer, when those seasonal workers (also called saisonniers) were the main consumers. Each farmer made his own, distinctive version, and were usually made with pale or pilsner malts, often with a robust spice character due to the production of esters during fermentation.

Our WNY Cucumber Saison is made with malt from New York Craft Malt out of Batavia, a small, artisanal malt producer who makes malt for local brewers. We also hand-peeled and chopped more than 30 pounds of Niagara County cucumbers and pitched those right into the tank, for that signature dill pickle flavor. While the beer-soaked cucumbers can be eaten after production (trust us, we tried), the flavor is best enjoyed in the beer itself.

On the nose, our WNY Cucumber Saison has hints of lemon zest and dill with a slight yeasty zing. Its taste is reminiscent of our classic Summer Saison, but with just a hint of the vegetable and juice. There are remnants of the Belgian yeast we use to round it out, creating a nice, fresh and light summer backyard sipper.

We pride ourselves in working with our neighbors to bring you the best of what we all have to offer. Summer in Western New York means farmer’s markets, fresh fruits and vegetables warming in the sun, and biting into a crisp taste of our best time of the year. WNY Cucumber Saison captures that feeling in your glass, for enjoying the last few sips of summer before Autumn’s cooler days are upon us. Stop in to the taproom to pick up a growler or a crowler for your own deck or beach day, or have a pint in our taproom or under an umbrella in the biergarten. WNY Cucumber Saison is the perfect complement to our beautiful, lazy days of summer.

By in News Comments Off on Looking back at Buffalo’s brewing history

Looking back at Buffalo’s brewing history

Beer in Buffalo has a long and storied history, starting with its first drinking establishment – the Cold Spring Tavern – opening in 1805.

Joseph Webb opened the first brewery in Black Rock in 1811 and by 1831, more than 173,000 bushels of wheat passed through Buffalo to become beer. In 1826, Rudolph Baer’s brewery produce the first home-brewed lager in Buffalo and in 1830, Jacob Roos Brewing opened between Church and York Streets. It later became the Iroquois Brewing Company. Magnus Beck Brewery and Downs Brewery joined it in 1840, followed by the Born Brewery (later renamed the Gerhard Lang Brewing Co.) Lang was also one of the first local breweries to reopen after Prohibition, before shuttering in 1949.

In 1849, the German American Brewing Company opened as a center of German-American culture in Western New York, and in 1850, the Ziegele Brewing Company and tavern opened. It later burned to the ground and was reopened in 1887 as the Phoenix Brewery, next door to the current Ulrich’s Tavern. In 1853, John Schusler Brewery opened, which later become the William Simon Brewery and one of Buffalo’s longest-running breweries. It closed in 1972.

A pamphlet distributed at the 37th Annual Convention of the United States Brewers’ Association in 1897 read “The breweries and malting-houses centered in Buffalo taken in the aggregate rank third in the city’s long list of industrial enterprises. Not only in the aggregate of their output, but in the quality of their product have they established Buffalo as a successful rival of any city in the Union, both in home and export trade.” The U.S. Brewmasters Association held its 12th annual convention in Buffalo in 1900, and by 1919 Buffalo had 29 functioning breweries and by 1922, there were 8,000 locations in the city where alcohol could be purchased.

Prohibition took its toll on Buffalo’s brewing scene, as did labor disputes in the 1930s and 40s. By the 1950s,Genesee, Utica Club, and others in Canada and out West began to appear in Buffalo. By 1974, there were only 69 breweries left in the country and by 1975, there were 2,000 taverns in Buffalo or one for every 550 residents at the time. In 1986, Buffalo Brewpub in Williamsville became the first microbrewery in the area since the early 1970s and by 1990, is ranked in the top 20 microbreweries in the country.

By 1995, Ellicottville Brewing Company had opened south of Buffalo and Breckenridge Brewing Company opened on Main Street. It closed in 1998 and the same site became Empire Brewing Company and Ya-Ya Bayou Brewhouse before shutting down in 2005. In 1997, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery led the revival of microbrews downtown, followed by Flying Bison Brewing Company opening in Riverside in 2000.

In 2004, the first annual Buffalo Brewfest took place and in 2012, Community Beer Works opened on Niagara Street. We followed in 2014 and the rest, as the old saying goes, is delicious, hoppy history. Buffalo has been a beer town just about since its inception, and with two handfuls of new breweries opening this year alone, we’re well on our way to getting back there again.

By in News Comments Off on What are low fills?

What are low fills?

If you’ve stopped by the brewery lately, you may have seen a sign advertising “Low-Fill 6-Packs” for a reduced price. Low-fills are a side effect of the canning and packaging process in which sometimes, cans do not fill quite up to New York State Liquor Authority standards. According to the SLA (and costumer service common sense) all cans and bottles must be filled to the same level to ensure consistency. That means whether you grab a sixer from the grocery store, gas station, specialty beer store, or taproom fridge, you’re getting the same amount of beer, no matter what. The single exception to that rule are low-fills.

How does the low-fill phenomenon happen? AT RBC, our canning line is semi-automated, meaning it does require a team of employees to operate, but also features moving parts that that keep the machine running at a standard rate. With every packaging line, the machine takes some time to calibrate. Low-fills occur when the machine’s pressure is still calibrating, whether that has to do with the temperature of the beer, how often the machine starts and stops, or other variations due to operator error or machine malfunction. Since beer-making is both an art and a science, every brewery that packages its beer ends up with some cans that are lower than the SLA will allow us to sell, so here at RBC, we pass those along to our customers!

So what’s different about these cans? The amount of liquid inside can vary, but it’s usually barely noticeable. This does not affect the taste or carbonation level of the beer, just the amount that may end up in your glass or goblet. Next time you’re in the taproom and want to take some beer home for yourself, don’t shy away from the low-fill stack. They may be a teeny bit under 12 ounces, but the price is right to try a new style or just pick up a few for your barbecue or backyard enjoyment.

By in News Comments Off on Celebrating two years at RBC

Celebrating two years at RBC

experience

Two years ago, Resurgence Brewing Company opened its doors on Niagara Street and served the first pints of Sponge Candy Stout, Resurgence IPA, and Loganberry Wit to hundreds of people who streamed into the taproom. At the time, RBC was one of just a small handful of breweries in the area, and the only one with the spacious taproom and award-winning biergarten Jeff Ware envisioned when he first decided to open the brewery. It was also the only place in town serving unique, Buffalo-style flavors like Sponge Candy Stout and Loganberry Wit, and Buffalonians were ready to experience it all for themselves even before the taproom officially opened. On opening day, Ware said the crowds surpassed his wildest dreams.

“We were not expecting the response we got,” he said, laughing. “I was throwing my friends behind the bar, my family, anyone who could pour a beer, just to get everyone served!”

Since those first crazy days, RBC has continued to surpass expectations. With more than twice as many tanks as Ware and head brewer Dave Collins installed to start, the brewery is now producing more beer than they had projected for the five-year mark, and keeping up with market demand is still a challenge. The brewery started canning Resurgence IPA last August and Blood Orange Saison in May and both styles are now sold at grocery stores, beer stores, and some gas stations across Western New York. Once a quarter, specialty beers such as Imperial Sponge Candy Stout, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sponge Candy Stout, Vanilla Cappuccino Pumpkin Ale, and the brand-new Anniversary Ale hit the shelves, as well.

To date, Collins and brewer Eric Greiner have made more than 150 unique beers since the first handful of styles. Some of the most popular options include Resurgence IPA, Blood Orange Saison, Cosmic Truth Session Ale, and the specialty Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sponge Candy Stout, an aged, higher-proof version of Sponge Candy Stout. In keeping with RBC’s commitment to helping drive the local economy, several of RBC’s beers are made in conjunction with local purveyors. Sponge Candy Stout features Watson’s Sponge Candy and RBC has also worked with New York Craft Malt and several local hop growers to help support our neighbors. Elle Pea Tee soap company and Silo City Soaps have partnered with RBC to create soaps and candles, and all of the spent grain used in production goes to local farms for livestock to enjoy. Now that’s what we call farm to pint!

At RBC, it’s all about community. Almost every weekend, the taproom plays host to events, parties, and get-togethers from the popular Bhakti, Beats & Brews taproom yoga on select Sunday mornings to paint nights, fundraisers for local charities and causes, birthday parties, and even wedding receptions. The taproom has become a go-to hotspot for events of all kinds, and RBC’s annual Oktoberfest party is the largest brewery Oktoberfest in the area. Rumor has it, participants in last year’s stein-hoisting contest have been training their arms for a rematch all year long.

Two years has gone by quickly for Ware, Collins, Greiner, and crew, and RBC shows no signs of slowing down.

“We’re so grateful to our community for welcoming us and supporting us from the very beginning,” Ware says, reflecting on the last two years on the West Side. “If it wasn’t for our customers, we wouldn’t be here, and that’s why we’re throwing our anniversary party: To say thank you to our friends, families, and the many people we’ve met along the way for helping us grow and thrive so far!”

RBC’s Second Anniversary Party will be celebrating all day and all night long, starting with doors at noon and a special Anniversary Ale release at 1. O.G. Woodfire Pizza, Black Market Food Truck and The Cheesecake Guy will be on site for chow, the Black and Blues Trio will take the stage at 2, and Electric Watermelon will follow at 7. Silo City Soaps will be selling their handmade beer candles, and bottles of Anniversary Ale will be on sale all day, with a free pair of RBC sunglasses to the first 200 visitors to snag a bottle. Commemorative goblets will also be available for $7 (including the first fill), with $.50 off every fill after that. Throwback beers will be tapped throughout the day and there are a few surprises on tap too (think free stuff!).

It’s been a wild ride, and with two years under our belt, RBC is just getting started. Thank you to all of our loyal customers for helping us get this far, and welcome to our new friends who are discovering us for the first time. Join us on Sat. to celebrate our success, look forward to our future, and experience great beer together.

By in News 1

Growlers: A History

Today, many of us carry a growler around with us, so we always have something to fill with good beer at our favorite breweries, specialty stores, and more recently, groceries and even gas stations. Most of us probably never give a second thought to the growler’s origin, but the almighty beer vessel actually dates all the way back to the 1800’s. Back then, fresh beer was carried home from the local pub in a small, galvanized pail. The term “growler” is rumored to have grown out of the sloshing noise it made as CO2 escaped through the lid. Water Street Lake County Brewer brewmaster George Bulvas III contests that the name actually came from the buckets of beer factory owners used to give to workers when their stomachs began to “growl” from hunger, but either way, the name stuck.

As World War II approached, the process of bringing draft beer home for lunch or dinner was called “rushing the growler” and was a common way to quench the thirst at home. During Prohibition, the growler was technically outlawed, but the device stuck around. After Prohibition was repealed, and into the 50’s, waxed cardboard containers that looked similar to Chinese takeout containers were used to take beer home from bars and pubs. By the late 1960’s, most bars had switched to plastic and eventually, many were allowed to sell packaged beer after hours, so the demand for growlers died out for a time.

In the 1980’s, Newman Brewing in Albany used to sell soft plastic gallon containers of their beer, which they would replenish with more beer if customers brought them back. Shortly after, in 1989, Otto Brothers Brewery faced a similar dilemma. Charlie Otto and his father wanted to offer “beer to go,” but had not reached the point where they were ready to package. Since they were not yet ready to bottle, his father suggested they use a similar vessel to the “growler” of his younger days, but Charlie knew an update was in order. He purchased a small silkscreen machine, set it up on the patio, screened his logo onto half-gallon glass bottles that resembled moonshine jugs, and the modern growler was born.

Today, a growler is a half-gallon glass jug that can be sealed and resealed to carry beer home from your favorite purveyor. There are larger and smaller growlers, some with clamp-down ceramic tops and metal handles, growlers made of aluminum to keep light out, and fancy cooling packs, complete with carrying straps. Growlers come in clear, green, and amber glass, but the darker the glass, the better. That keeps as much light out as possible, to ensure the beer inside remains fresh for as long as possible. Growlers can last about a week when sealed, but should be drank quickly once opened, since the seal doesn’t hold carbonation for longer than a day or two once cracked.

Many brewpubs and breweries – including our own – sell growlers, and they’re a great way to get a shareable serving of your favorite brew to enjoy back home. If you’ve never bought a growler, give it a try as a nice alternative to cans or bottles. If you’re an old fan, no time like the present to bring yours in! The beer is always here waiting.

By in News Comments Off on Cocktails join the family at RBC

Cocktails join the family at RBC

 

This week, Resurgence Brewing Company launched our new cocktail program, in partnership with local distilleries. Working with Lockhouse, Tommyrotter, Black Squirrel, and Niagara Distilling, bar manager Brandon Woodcock has worked with our team of bartenders to create a small, curated cocktail list that will give our visitors yet another option when looking for something to sip on in our taproom. Thanks to our new Tuesday hours, you can do that any day but Monday, all summer long.

The decision to add cocktails to the menu came about the same way all decisions do here at RBC: With our customers top of mind. Since opening two years ago, we have served a rotating list of 12-15 of our own craft beers, as well as local cider, local wines, and recently, kombucha and mead. By adding local liquor to the list, we felt we could serve our customers even better, and showcase our bartenders’ abilities even more, all while helping out our neighbors. Because that’s what it’s all about, at the end of the day. Here in Buffalo, we’re boostrappers, but we’re also rising tide folks. We believe that if one of us succeeds, we all succeed, which is why we deliberately choose to sell products from our friends down the street or the next town over. Buffalo has made it this far because we take care of our own, and our new cocktail list helps us continue to do just that.

So what are we serving? The Squirrely Ginger is made with rum from Black Squirrel and ginger kombucha from Bootleg Bucha, and true to its name, it has that characteristic ginger kick to balance out the sweet rum and slightly spicy kombucha. A little citrus lingers on the back end, to tie it all together. This one is perfect for Dark and Stormy or Moscow Mule fans.

Our Fitzgerald is made with Tommyrotter Gin, lemon juice, agave, and bitters for a citrus-forward flavor that’s the perfect balance of sweet and umami. Tommyrotter has a floral character that really shines in this one, and the bitters kick that flavor up a notch. Gin and tonic fans will love this easy sipper.

The Green Tea Gimlet is made with cold-brewed green tea with mint, Lockhouse Gin and lemon juice, with just a touch of agave for sweetness. Martini drinkers will love our twist on the classic, which highlights the gin’s slightly confectionary taste with herbal tea and just enough mint to keep it cool. Sip this one on the patio for a classy evening!

Our menu is intentionally small, since we want to make sure we’re highlighting our local purveyors and fresh ingredients to the best of our ability. We don’t make call drinks or do shots, since we want to stay true to the family-friendly, relaxed atmosphere we’ve worked so hard to cultivate. The newest hot spot for slamming down drinks we’re not, and we wouldn’t want to be. The experience of RBC’s taproom always has been and always will be a savoring one, and these new offerings are intended to keep it that way.

Our bartenders have worked hard to learn and perfect our new recipes, and we’re proud of how the new offerings have been received so far. Stop in and try one for yourself! Cocktails are just one more way we’re dedicated to the resurgence of Buffalo, and the experience of enjoying it right in our taproom.

By in News 5

Get ready to grow: Hops are a great backyard plant

By now, most beer fans know that fresher is better when it comes to your ingredients, and what could be fresher than hops grown right in your own backyard? Not only do these fast-growing plants make delicious beer, they also look great climbing trellises in your backyard, as a natural screen for your porch or covering unsightly pipes or fences. Before you set out to grow your own though, here are a few hop facts you’ll want to know.

Start from rhizomes, not seeds
When grown for beer, hops must be started from rhizomes, or short, underground stems. Plant the rhizomes horizontally, with the roots pointed downward and starter shoots up toward the sky. Hop rhizomes usually run about $3 a rhizome, and can be purchased from purveyors online or at some local garden centers, starting in early May. Hops should not be planted until after the danger of frost has passed.

Install a trellis
Hop bines (yes, that’s “bines” with a b) can grow 15-25 feet in a single season, so make sure you plant yours next to a trellis, pole, or fence with plenty of room to climb. If you plant several and have the room, space them several feet apart, since they grown rapidly and need room for the rhizome roots to spread.

Get the girls
Hop plants come in male and female varieties, but only the female plants produce the lupulin-filled cones needed for beer-making. If you plan to make beer with yours, make sure you’re getting female plants. There are over 150 hop plants available, and some are easier to grow than others. Ralph Olson, of Hop Union supplier, recommends Cascade, Chinook or Centennial.

Know your growing conditions
Hops do best in a soil pH between 6-7.5. You can get a soil pH testing kit from a garden center, and if yours is too high, lower the pH by adding compost or an additive containing ammonium. Too acidic? Add sand or lime. Make sure the soil is nice and loose and plant the rhizomes horizontally in a shallow hole with about an inch of soil on top.

Take care of your plants
Watch for pests like aphids, who will show up on the underside of the leaves. Hop bines are also susceptible to mildew, which will look like a white or black powdery cluster of spots. Fungicides should be applied at the first sign of mildew, as it can devastate your bines if let go. Water your hops regularly enough that the soil stays moist and loose, but not so often that water pools at the base of the plant. Once the bines reach 10 feet, trim the leaves from the bottom 3 feet of the plant, to reserve energy for hop production.

Harvest your hops!
Hop cones will show up a few weeks after the small, pod-like flowers appear and will emerge at the top of the plant on short, horizontal branches. If you don’t see any at eye-level, look up! Much like “rose hips” and other fruit, the cones will form at the base of where the flowers grew. Hops are ready for harvest by early August, when the bottom of the cone is yellow and the casting (covering) is crispy, like paper. The cone should feel light and should not be squishy when you squeeze it. Harvest the hops when the base starts to turn, but do not wait until the cones are mostly brown, or they will not be useable. Each plant should about 1.5-2 pounds of hop cones, especially after the plant is well-established after the first 2 seasons. Those can be dried in a dehydrator or on a drying rack in a cool, dark place. Store your hops in the freezer before using, for optimal flavor retention.
Have fun growing hops this summer and with any luck, you can add your own home-grown hops to your home-brew this Fall. When fresh is best, right from your own backyard is as good as it gets.

By in News Comments Off on Friday Factoids: Five Things About RBC

Friday Factoids: Five Things About RBC

Resurgence Brewing Company is quickly coming up on our second anniversary, and as it approaches, we’re looking back on two years of experimenting with new flavors and styles, improving upon our standards, hosting festivals and events, and making our West Side taproom a destination for both Western New York beer-lovers and visitors alike. Whether you’re new to RBC or stop in every weekend, here are a few factoids you may not know about the Niagara Street standard!

1. We’ve made over 100 beers since our first day
While we always have at least 12 beers on tap at any given time, we like to experiment with new flavors and trends, to keep our selection fresh and interesting for new and repeat customers. Our flagship Resurgence IPA, Sponge Candy Stout, Longaberry Wit, Blood Orange Saison and Cosmic Truth Session Ale are always on tap, but our “experimental and limited release brews” change almost weekly.

2. We welcome families with children and dogs in our outside biergarten
If you’ve noticed our giant Jenga, Connect Four, cornhole and bubble hockey, you know the taproom is a great place for big kids to have fun with a beer in their hand, but did you know we’re also a family-friendly environment? We love seeing little guys toddle around the taproom (with parents in tow, of course) and offer high chairs for our smallest customers. We also open our biergarten to well-behaved dogs on leashes, although state law prohibits animals inside.

3. While we love beer, we respect if you don’t
In addition to beer, we also serve all New York State wines from our partners at Arrowhead, Freedom Run and Black Widow (among others) as well as mead from Black Willow and a rotating local cider on tap. We also serve soft drinks and Bootleg Bucha kombucha either alone or blended with beer for a Bucha-Beer. Beer-Moses – a fizzy blend of sparkling wine and the beer of your choice – are a popular choice, especially on weekend afternoons and in the warmer months. Try yours with one of our fruit-forward beers!

4. We love our local partners, and try to use local ingredients frequently
Local ingredients in our beer often include hops High Bines and malt from WNY Craft Malt, and our spent grain goes to the happy pigs at T Meadow Farms. In keeping with our commitment to the circle of life, we even served a T Meadow pig at our Oktoberfest party this year! Almost all of our food is also produced locally, and we work with local wineries and cideries, as well. You could say we’re a real Western New York operation!

5. Outside food is welcome, but not outside beverages
While we want you to enjoy our beer and beverages at the taproom, we welcome outside food like pizza, sub trays, sushi, cake – the only limit is your imagination, and the FDA. Because of food service regulations, we ask that outside food be purchased from a licensed purveyor, and that you have a receipt handy just in case. Many local restaurants have delivered here before, so feel free to order “(tap)room service!”

So there you have it, folks. Now you’re five times smarter than when you started this post, and that’s a successful Friday if we’ve ever heard one. Stop in for a cold one to celebrate. We’ll be here waiting for you!

By in News, Uncategorized Comments Off on Nice cans: Why we can our IPA

Nice cans: Why we can our IPA

Years ago, canned beers were considered subpar, the stuff of mass-production and cheap, frat party fare. Those days are over. According to an article by Tom Acitelli in the September 2013 issue of All About Beer, the number of craft breweries canning at least some of their beers has increased at least 28,400 percent in the last decade. Just last month, Resurgence Brewing Company became one of those breweries, releasing our popular Resurgence IPA in cans for the first time. Here are a few reasons why we chose cans over bottles.Oxygen is beer’s enemy No. 1, causing it to spoil more rapidly. There is always some dissolved oxygen in beer that is introduced during packaging, but cans do not let unwanted oxygen into the beer, reducing the risk of oxidation. In bottled beers, liners in the caps can cause oxygen to ingress over time. Some breweries use special cap liners to minimize this effect, but cans eliminate it entirely.

Hops are also sensitive to light, and too much light can cause the isohumulones – the compounds responsible for that sensitivity – to break down, creating a “skunky thiol” which is similar to the compound in a skunk’s glad that gives their spray that signature smell. Skunking can occur when beer is exposed to between 400-500 nanometers of light and ultraviolet light, which has an even shorter wavelength. Brown bottles block out light under 500nm and green under 400nm. Clear glass provides zero protection (ever wonder why Corona tastes better with lime)? Cans, on the other hand, offer 100 percent protection.

While there is some debate over whether cans are more environmentally friendly than bottles, they are certainly more practical for many drinkers. Cans are lighter and easier to carry than bottles, and more practical for picnics, beaches, backyards or anywhere consumers may not want glass around. It’s also better for packing in and out of campsites and hikes: Who wants to pack out six bottles when you could crush six cans in the bottom of a backpack? Cans are also easier to store and stack, take up less space in both breweries and home refrigerators and don’t require openers.

Then there’s the question of taste. While a 141 response-long thread on Beer Advocate’s online forum is still debating the point, many users agree that IPA’s taste better out of a can and many beers’ canned and bottled versions are virtually indistinguishable, allowing for batch variations. You may have heard the myth that beer takes on an aluminum taste from a can. Since all cans are lined to prevent beer from literally eating through the metal, that taste most likely comes from the close association between our sense of smell and taste. When a person’s nose is shoved into a can, some of that metal scent may trick the brain into tasting that way, especially if the beer doesn’t have a strong nose of its own. Simple solution? Grab a glass.

Here at Resurgence Brewing Company, we offer all of our beers in crawlers (think giant cans), growlers and right from the tap, as well as our Resurgence IPA in traditional cans. As time goes on, we hope to can more varieties, allowing you to experience our great beer by the single-serving can, whichever that one may be.