Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery in Athens will begin canning three of its beers when it opens its new production brewery later this year.
 
“Cans are kind of fun and are definitely catching on across the country,” brewer Brad Clark said.
 
Jackie O’s – now just a brewpub – is in the process of opening a separate production brewery. Clark said he hopes to have the new brewery producing draft beer in early August and cans to be rolling out for distribution in early September.
 
Chomo-Lung-Ma Organic Honey Nut Brown, Firefly Amber Ale and Mystic Mama IPA will be available in cans at first. Jackie O’s – rated as the 56th best brewery in the world, according to Ratebeer.com -- bought an automatic canning line that can do a case a minute. The machine was purchased from Upslope Brewing Co. in Boulder, Colo. (There also are plans down the road to put special brews in 750-milliliter bottles.)
 
It makes sense to offer cans given the rural Athens community, where there is a lot of hiking, camping and other outdoor activities, Clark said. The initial plan is to start distributing from Marietta in southeastern Ohio to Columbus in Central Ohio, and later focusing on the Cincinnati and Dayton markets.
 
Jackie O’s is the second craft brewer in Ohio to announce plans to can its beer. Earlier this month, Fat Head’s Brewery in suburban Cleveland said it had bought a small manual canning line. Craft brewers in other parts of the country -- particularly Colorado -- have embraced cans, but the trend has been slow to catch on here in Ohio.