Abbie Speer and Amanda Mead, founders of Spokes Mobile Canning of Spokane, Washington, recently made a pilgrimage through Montana to visit some of the state’s craft breweries and inform them about their business, which offers canning services and solutions.
“We put out a call to over two dozen Montana breweries,” says Speer, “and over a dozen responded with interest in meeting us.” Over a week the duo met with breweries as far east as Red Lodge, hitting breweries all along I-90, then north and south of Missoula and Helena.
Launched in February 2014, the mobile canning system, with its four-head filler capable of canning eight barrels an hour, is a relatively newer trend in the craft beer community.
“It’s great for breweries that want to can regularly, seasonally, or need emergency canning services,” says Mead.
Montana is not new territory for Speer and Mead. Mead is originally from northeastern Montana (Speer is from Pittsburgh), and the two met while teaching in Bozeman. After relocating for work reasons into the Spokane area, Speer found herself with some unplanned extra time when her job ended. Looking for work and while having a beer one afternoon in the Iron Goat Brewing Co., Mead and Speer were chatting with an employee there who mentioned needing a keg washer. Speer jumped at the opportunity. She quickly moved up the ranks and now brews beer at Iron Goat Brewing Co.
“We the only mobile canner in the nation with an actual brewer owner,” says Speer.
|Abbie Speer and Amanda Mead, left to right|
Everything that is needed for canning shows up at the brewery’s doorstep in the company’s 18-foot trailer, which includes cans, lids, rings, or Spokes can fill a brewery’s own cans.
From the looks of it, Spokes Mobile Canning won’t be out of Montana for long, which means more cans of Montana craft beer could be hitting the shelves sooner than later.