Brewer Ryan Hilliard and his business partner Adam Merkl are about to receive a truckload of aluminum cans bearing the label Hilliard’s. They will fill these cans with two brews: a hoppy, American-style amber and a saison farmhouse ale. This will happen at the automatic canning line they have set up in a retired service garage at 1550 NW 49th Street in Ballard, near that bar called The Shelter.
Hilliard’s should be in the can and ready for retail stores by September, around which time Hilliard and Merkl hope to open the tap room as well. Tasting hours have not been set but Merkl says the tap room will likely be open Thursday through Sunday only, for a few hours on each day, until things start humming along and Hilliard’s can hire more staff.
Why cans? Cans cost less, are better for the environment, protect the beer from light, and are easier to take camping, boating, etc.
In addition to the amber and saison, Hilliard’s will do limited quantities of other beers. These limited releases will be available by the quarter- and half-barrel at the brewery, on tap in the tasting room, and at local bars and restaurants.
The amber and the saison will be sold in four packs of 16-ounce tallboys, and will cost about $10 per pack. No word yet on which stores will carry them, I’ll check back in a few weeks for updates, and you can follow the brewery’s progress on its blog.