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Churchkey Can Co. Launches in San Francisco and Soon, Nationally!

For the first time in nearly 50 years, craft beer lovers can once again experience beer from the original flat top can. Launching today in San Francisco and available nationally later this summer, Churchkey Can Co. – a new craft beer company based in the Pacific Northwest – is on a mission to reinstate this forgotten beer experience, offering a unique, handcrafted Pilsner-style beer in authentic 12-ounce steel cans. First introduced in Seattle and Portland in April 2012, Churchkey will be making its way across the country, coming to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Austin, as well as available on the brand’s website, starting in August 2012.

“We are here to bring you a beer we are proud of in a can we are honored to share,” said Co-founder and Creative Director Justin Hawkins. “It’s all about the joy of drinking good beer – from the people you drink it with to where you drink it and, now, how you drink it. To us, it’s worth putting a little extra effort back into our modern-day lifestyle. We didn’t make these traditions, but we are keeping them alive with Churchkey.”

Co-founded by Portland-native Justin Hawkins and actor Adrian Grenier, Churchkey Can Co. began as the desire to experience a great beer in a simple can as the generations before had. Quickly realizing the flat top can – introduced in 1935 and a standard in the beer industry until the pull-tab came to market in the mid-1960s – was all but a memory, Hawkins and Grenier set the wheels in motion to found Churchkey Can Co.

To get the flat top can just right, Churchkey turned to the Ball Corporation, the largest supplier of beer cans in the world and a company that played a key role in the evolution of the beer can. Made from highly recyclable steel, protecting the beer from both light and oxygen, the Churchkey flat top can provides an airtight seal and must be opened with a churchkey. This opener, which obtains its name from its similarity in style to the large old fashion keys formerly used to open a church, is used to punch two small triangular holes into the top of the can allowing for aeration and pouring of the beer.

Inside each can, craft beer lovers will find a delicious Pacific Northwest-brewed Pilsner-style craft beer. The recipe for which was originated by Portland-based home brewers Lucas Jones and Sean Burke – who have been crafting home brewed beer in their garages for many years, and are passionate about their beer and the community they cultivate with it – the Churchkey Pilsner is made using only the highest quality ingredients. This Czech-style Pilsner features notes of citrus, bread, grass and spice, leaving the palette with a dry, crisp finish. The Saaz hop taste and aroma featured in the Churchkey Pilsner make for a uniquely complex, yet sessionable beer at 4.9 percent ABV and 29 IBUs. Click here to meet the Churchkey brewers and hear more about the unique brewing process.

To bring the beer to market, Churchkey Can Co. turned to Joel VandenBrink, a skilled craft brewer based out of Seattle and head brewer at Two Beers Brewing Co. As part of a unique partnership and friendship, VandenBrink fills the roll of head brewer and director of production for Churchkey Can Co.

Announced on June 5 in San Francisco, Churchkey will be available in the market by June 11, 2012. Beginning in August, Churchkey Can Co. Pilsner will be available nationally at a variety of retailer locations and drinking establishments in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Austin. It will also be available for purchase online at  Churchkey retails at $9.99 per six-pack – with a churchkey opener included – and between $3-$5 at bars and restaurants.  Churchkey Can Co. Pilsner is currently available in Portland and Seattle areas. For a full list of bars, restaurants and retailers carrying Churchkey cans, visit

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