Adrian Grenier is bringing back flat top beer cans

Colin Joliat Alcohol & Food Editor

7256176190 6b60338bcc z Adrian Grenier is bringing back flat top beer cans

Paul Zimmerman, Flickr

I typically don’t like to post press releases. I’d much rather extract the essential info and get straight to the point for you. This beauty about Adrian Grenier wanting to drink from flat top beer cans and making it happen is just too good to pass on though. Welcome back, Vince.

SEATTLE, Wash. – (March 20, 2011) – Back to simple times with simple tools that change an interaction into an experience. For the first time in nearly 50 years, craft beer lovers in Seattle and Portland can once again experience beer from the original flat top can. Offering a unique, handcrafted Pilsner-style beer in authentic 12-ounce steel cans, Churchkey Can Co. – a new craft beer-can company based in the Pacific Northwest – is on a mission to offer this forgotten beer experience once again.

“We are here to bring you a beer we are proud of, in a can we are honored to share,” said Co-founder and Creative Director Justin Hawkins. “It’s about the joy of drinking good beer – from the people you drink it with to where you drink it and, now, how you open it. We didn’t make these traditions, but are keeping them alive with Churchkey.”

Co-founded by Portland-native Justin Hawkins and actor Adrian Grenier, Churchkey Can Co. began as the desire to someday experience a great beer in a simple can as the generations before had. Quickly realizing the flat top can – introduced in 1935 and a standard in the beer industry until the pull-tab came to market in the mid-1960s – was all but a memory, Hawkins and Grenier set the wheels in motion to found Churchkey Can Co.

To get the flat top can just right, Churchkey turned to the Ball Corporation, the largest supplier of beer cans in the world and a company that played a key role in the evolution of the beer can. Made from highly recyclable steel, protecting the beer from both light and oxygen, the Churchkey flat top can provides an airtight seal and must be opened with a churchkey. This opener, which obtains its name from its similarity in style to the large old fashion keys formerly used to open a church, is used to punch two small triangular holes into the top of the can allowing for aeration and pouring of the beer.

Inside each can, craft beer lovers will find a delicious Pacific Northwest-brewed Pilsner-style craft beer. The recipe for which was originated by Portland-based home brewers Lucas Jones and Sean Burke – who have been crafting home brewed beer in their garages for many years, and are passionate about their beer and the community they cultivate with it – the Churchkey Pilsner is made using only the highest quality ingredients. The body of the beer comes from the light, grainy pilsner malt taste, accented by a smooth clean bitterness. The Saaz hop taste and aroma featured in the Churchkey Pilsner make for a uniquely complex, yet sessionable beer at 4.9 percent ABV and a 29 IBU.

To bring the beer to market, Churchkey Can Co. turned to Joel VandenBrink, a skilled craft brewer based out of Seattle. Head brewer at Two Beers Brewing Co, the first Washington brewery to produce 12-ounce cans, VandenBrink and his team embody the Churchkey philosophy. They love what they do and work hard to bring true craft beer to their community. As part of this unique partnership and friendship, Churchkey Can Co. works together with Two Beers Brewing to produce and package its Churchkey Pilsner.

Beginning April 15, Churchkey Can Co. Pilsner can be found at a variety of retailers and drinking establishments throughout Seattle and Portland, available for $9.99 per six-pack – with a churchkey opener included – and between $3-$5 at bars and restaurants. For a full list of bars, restaurants and retailers carrying Churchkey cans, visit www.ChurchkeyCanCo.com (launching April 1).

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