Chad Melis is the spokesman for Oskar Blues, the Longmont, Colo.-based brewery that launched the craft beer in a can revolution in 2002. That's when the brewery, which had opened in 1999, released Dale's Pale Ale in a can. Thanks to Oskar Blues, craft breweries around the country now can their beer. This month, Oskar Blues enters the Ohio market.
Question: Why did Oskar Blues decide to enter the Ohio market?
Answer: Heavy Investment over the past 3 years and the addition of the Brevard, N.C., brewery have allowed Oskar Blues to proactively enter new markets for the first time in those three years. Ohio has proven to be a strong and growing craft beer market and aligns itself well geographically with the new location in North Carolina.
Q: The brewery is famous for being the first craft brewery to put beer in a can. Step back in the time machine for a second and describe what it was like making that decision in the early 2000s. How confident were you that craft beer in a can was going to be a success?
A: We weren’t confident at all, hell we had no idea if people would get it or not….that’s was most of the risk and the draw. Once we learned the advantages of the can as a great vessel for beer we simply HAD to do it, it makes so much sense. It’s better for the beer, better for the beer lover and better for the environment.
Q: Oskar Blues is opening a new brewery in North Carolina. What are the major differences between East Coast and West Coast beer drinkers? Or aren’t there any?
A: Not much as far as we can see, we all love to have a good time. We’ve continued to do what we love and have found a great connection with beer lovers from coast to coast.
Q: What’s your best-selling beer and why do you think it’s so popular?
A: Dale’s Pale Ale is our flagship without question. The first American beer to be brewed and canned by a craft brewer set us on the journey and has an assertive hoppy aroma and well balanced character. I think the beer drinkers tastes have continued to lean towards a beer like Dale’s Pale Ale as hops have continued to become more prominent.
Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you invented/brewed and why?
A: Ah hell, we’re proud as CAN be about Dale’s Pale Ale and what we’ve done to continue to push the boundaries of what people expect from a canned beer……..we’ll keep on doin’ what we do, we love it.