Canning: The Blanc Stare
Grand River Brewery recently had a canning run for one of our seasonal beers, the Blanc Stare, just in time for deer hunting season. The Blanc Stare comes in four packs of 16 oz cans, which our brewing team and distribution reps fill in house with the GRB canning machine. Available from September to November each year, this beer tells the story of driving down a winding forest road in Northern Michigan when suddenly a deer appears up ahead. Frozen in time, blinded, and staring blankly back, the deer is as stunned as you will be when you try this delicious witbier for the first time.
Three hours of labor, a hardworking machine, and a lot of time spent crafting, that’s the recipe for canning the Blanc Stare. The head brewer at Grand River Brewery told me “as long as your beer is cold
and carbed, you should be ready to go” with canning. It can be a challenge to keep everything cold and to ensure proper sanitation, but the brewing team always gets it done right. Using the canning machine makes the process relatively swift, just time and labor consuming.
Being the GRB staple witbier, there are some traditions that are followed in the brewing process. Though this witbier is thicker in body and flavor than most other witbiers in the US, we still use traditional ingredients such as coriander and orange peel. The Blanc Stare is light enough to take out on a hike, but thick enough in body to hold its own out there in the wild. Equally at home indoors and at the dinner table, this flavorful brew is excellent for beer dinners and makes a great food pairing beer. It’s light enough not to overpower the meal, while still flavorful enough that it holds its own on the dinner table.
Whether you’re out on the trails, out hunting deer, or at the brewery, the Blanc Stare is an excellent beer to choose. With the recent canning run, our four packs will be sent primarily to the east side of the state, but with some good reach in the west and central/northern parts as well. The head brewer, Wyatt, reflected on how it can be difficult to find a balance between distribution and brewing. As a brewer, he always has to make sure there is enough for the beer to get out into the world without drying up the taproom supply. Similarly, a good brewer has to make sure enough beer is going out into the world so that the taproom isn’t flooded. It takes a lot of detail oriented thinking and logistical planning to make distribution and brewing work together.
If you go looking for the Blanc Stare in your local store, you might just find it staring back!