Brew Review: Old-School Beer Gets Canning Upgrade — Georgetown Brewing​

​When fans ask for a certain beer to make a comeback or get more production, sometimes it’s a vocal minority, and satisfying their needs may not make financial sense.

However when a draft-only favorite for the Georgetown Brewing stopped getting sold because many accounts couldn’t sell draft beer anymore, the requests for Manny’s Pale Ale, the brewery’s second-best seller, couldn’t fall on deaf ears.

​”We were still filling growlers at the brewery, but obviously growlers or stopping by the brewery is not an option for everyone,” said Georgetown’s Ingrid Bartels. “We got a lot of calls from customers [for us] to can Manny’s. We have [gotten requests] for years, but the requests really seemed to ramp up when quarantining started.

“We talked about it, and decided we really couldn’t can it in good conscience and not somehow use it to give back to our community.”

So the Seattle brewery got to work in canning the class Pale Ale with 100% of the profits from the sale of cans would go to support bar and restaurant workers throughout the state. That includes Big Table in Seattle and Spokane, The Plate Fund, We Are Yakima fund, and other non-profit organizations helping to support employees in the food and beverage industry in Washington State.

It was not a fast process, Bartel said. Cans were printed cans (stickers wouldn’t have given it justice for such a well-known brand) and the brewery thanked  Crown Beverage and Packaging and Westrock publically in a release because of their ability to fast track this project in their facilities, especially during a time when they are already slammed due to increased demand. The generosity of Great Western Malting, Hollingbery & Son Hops, Hopsteiner, and Roy Farms was vital to this project as well. ​

“We had a lot of partners in all areas — ingredient suppliers, distribution, packaging — really step up to make this happen,” Bartel said. “Because of them, we can donate 100% of the profits from sales.”

As far as ​Georgetown’s employees, ​the brewery didn’t have to lay anyone off.

​”​We participated in our state’s Employment Security Department’s Shared Work program when employee hours were reduced for a few weeks, but everyone maintained their benefits during that time​,” Bartel said​. Currently, everyone is back to ​full time.

​Bartel said she still thinks of Manny’s as the brewery’s flagship beer.

“It was the first one we sold when we started in 2002, and it continues to be popular with a really wide range of people,” she said. “I think it was originally a gateway beer for a lot of people who didn’t drink craft beer or didn’t think of themselves as craft beer drinkers, but wanted something a little more flavorful than a macro Lager.

“When IPAs veered wildly to the bitter side, Manny’s was a nice malt counterpoint for people just starting to try craft beers. In those days, IPAs could be really extreme and I think there are still a lot of people that don’t think they like IPAs because they remember that time. Manny’s was a good introduction to what craft beer could be.”

She added that it’s still a solid choice in the tap lineup for retailers around the area

“You are getting a well crafted and ‘dependable’ beer, but it still doesn’t fail to delight,” she said. “It’s amazing.”

Right now ​Bartel said that the canning of Manny’s ​this is a limited​-​time event​ with the last canning possibly being this week​​.

“​We are really looking forward to a safe reopening where people can start going out again and enjoy a pint of draft Manny’s at their favorite local bar or restaurant​,” she said​.​ “I would be surprised if we decided to can it again, but hey, never say never!​”​

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