Rogue Ales Enters Can Market by Celebrating Crater Lake National Park

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With National Park Week and Earth Day in April, along with a seasonal change which brings more outdoor activities, Rogue Ale got to work over the winter months to honor one of Oregon’s iconic Crater Lake National Park.

The end product became the brewery’s second canned product, the first of significant production and first in a 12-ounce can, with a possible in-road to a series of cans that could honor other national treasures down the line.

Teaming with fellow Oregon business in Pendleton Woolen Mills, a company widely known for its blankets and other woolen clothing, Rogue introduced Pendleton Pale Ale to its Pacific Northwest home state. It was not a nation-wide release, but Rogue president Brett Joyce said that the brewery has enjoyed working with Pendleton in the past, the two worked on a pilsner last summer, and wanted to tie them into the process of honoring Oregon’s national park.

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“The response has been great,” Joyce said. “We are optimistic of the response and we will continue to monitor it and if it makes sense to expand it to the other national parks across the country. If there is a Phase II, [it would be] in the form of some other park cans.”

Those could include cans to honor parks such as Yellowstone, the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon and more.

Joyce said Pendleton came to Rogue with the idea and once the ball started to roll, the can basically created itself. Blue with the Crater Lake badge and a stripe to showcase Pendleton’s iconic blanket was meshed together.

The hardest part of the process was actually getting the colors on the can. Joyce said that most canning companies don’t work that many colors onto one can.

“They aren’t used to printing so many colors on a can,” he said, “so we had to go through a lot of work to get the pattern just right and to get it reflected in the can. That was a challenge.”

Rogue marketed the beer via social media and had fans send in pictures of the beer in outdoor settings. Three of the pictures were posted to Instagram and it asked for votes on the best one.

Not the usual Rogue profile of a beer, the Pale Ale suits what it’s for though, Joyce pointed out, saying it has great balance.

“It’s got some hops and a nice malt backbone,” he said. “It was something to enjoy on a warm summer, outdoor national park kind of day. It’s on the lighter side for us and isn’t a hop bomb. I think it was a beautifully structured Pale Ale.”

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