Minneapolis, Minn.: Utepils Brewing is pleased to announce the release of two of their mainstay beers in cans. The much-loved Pils Czech-style pilsner and Glocal IPA will soon be available at many area liquor stores.
“These beers were only available on draft because we only had the capacity to keep up with demand at our brewery as well as a select few local bars and restaurants,” explains Utepils founder and owner Dan Justesen. “The Fernweh Taproom has been consuming beer at an incredible rate.” The Glocal IPA has been the best-selling beer in the taproom since it opened to the public Feb. 18, 2017. And while large demand is a good problem for a brewery to have, it takes additional capacity to address. Which is exactly what Utepils did, adding new brewing tanks to expand the brewery’s capacity. Now the Pils pilsner and Glocal IPA will be hitting store shelves starting this week.
The Pils, Utepils’ flagship beer, is a Czech-style pilsner, and it reflects its heritage: it’s brewed with Czech-grown barley and hops and fermented with a Czech lager yeast strain. Head brewer Eric Harper notes, “It’s a clean, bright lager with a distinct bitterness from Bohemian hops.” In fact, the Czech Embassy in Washington D.C. has reached out to Utepils about the beer, indicating it represents some of the best American beer brewed using Czech-sourced hops and malt.
The Glocal IPA is more of a blend of European and American heritage. It’s a Belgian-style IPA that uses Belgian ale yeast and hops from both European sources as well as American West Coast varietals. Harper says “The Glocal has a refreshing dryness paired with its enticing hop flavors and aroma.”
Because of the time involved, the brewery knew that selling all their types of beer in cans was something they'd have to grow into. “You don’t see a lot of lager-style beers in craft breweries, because they take a lot longer to ferment,” explains Harper. That fermentation process occupies the tank for as long as the beer takes, which means it can’t be used to make something else, or more of the same beer for cans, until that batch of beer is done. The Pils, a pale lager, requires six weeks of tank time. It’s a big difference compared to Ewald the Golden hefeweizen, already available in cans, which needs just two and a half weeks in the tank.
The expansion also spurred Utepils to hire another brewer to assist Harper. “We have greater capacity now,” says Justesen. “Not only with equipment but with people. We’re going to be able to brew more beer, but also more kinds of beer, and including some special limited releases,” he finishes with a sly smile.
Look for Utepils Pils and Glocal IPA to start arriving in stores this week and Utepils’ first limited release beer later this month.