Bleeding Buckeye Red Ale is now available in 16-ounce cans. Elevator Brewing Co., playing off the popularity of Ohio State University football, recently released the cans and they are now showing up in the Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton and Akron markets.
Elevator, the first brewery in Columbus to put its beer in a can, used Buckeye Canning, a new mobile canning operation.
“I wanted to be the first one to do it in town,” Elevator owner Dick Stevens said Tuesday. (Oct. 8) “I didn’t want to be the second.
“I would have done [cans] some years ago, but didn’t have the capital to invest in a line,” he added. “When these guys walked in, I said, ‘You don’t need to sell me. Let’s go.’ ”
Elevator chose to put Bleeding Buckeye in a can first because of the interest in college football. The red, black and silver-colored can — think Ohio State colors — features an image of rooting fans below an outline of the state of Ohio. The beer is sold in a four-pack and retails for $8.99 in Columbus.
Of course, Stevens remains unsure whether Ohio will embrace canned craft beer.
“Are Ohioans ready to drink craft beer out of a can?” he asked. “We’re going to answer that question.”
At this point, Bleeding Buckeye won’t be available year-round in a can. “I’d love to keep it in the can year-round,” Stevens said. “But is it going to die after football season? The market is going to let us know whether we hit a home run or didn’t.”
The response also will determine whether Elevator pursues putting other brands in a can. Stevens said he would target the brewery’s pale ale next.
The Elevator crew teamed up with Buckeye Canning to complete a two-day canning run in mid-September. The brewery hosted a kickoff party at its 13th Floor Taproom in downtown Columbus on Sept. 28, featuring an appearance by former Ohio State defensive tackle and 2002 BCS National Champion Tim Anderson.