When Austin Beerworks opened two years ago, they released their four flagship beers in cans. In addition to those staple beers, every seasonal release since has been sent to bars as draught-only.
Earlier this spring the brewery launched a new seasonal rotation — the Heavy Machinery IPA series.
The first beer, a Black IPA, came out in March. Because the cans weren’t quite ready at the same time the beer was, the beer went out to bar accounts only. Now that the cans and subsequent packaging has arrived, the second brew in the series, a Double IPA, and all future releases will launch in cans and be distributed primarily to local grocery accounts (although the occasional keg will also make its way out into the world as well).
I stopped by the brewery to check out the cans and get more specifics on the series. Co-Owner Adam DeBower explained that each IPA will come out approximately every other month, to balance out the brewery’s normal seasonals, which also come out approximately every other month. So between the two rotations, a new seasonal will be released every month.
Co-Owner Michael Graham explained that after the Double IPA, we can expect to see a Half IPA, Belgian-style IPA, Wet Hop IPA, English-style IPA, and another Black IPA (in order of release) over the next year. While each release will be a different exploration of the style, Graham says "they will all be loaded with really fancy hops. We have a new hop contract which gives us access to stuff we’ve never been able to get before. That’s what made the whole series possible."
The 16 oz. cans will all look the same, design-wise (thanks to local design wizard Christian Helms), but each new release will be packaged in a different box with stats about the specific beer inside, so customers know what they’re buying at the store.
Expect to see the new series hit shelves in early June.