Mobile canning continues to grow in popularity as the number of craft breweries in the U.S. draws closer to 10,000 in 2023. According to World Atlas, California ranks No. 1 for the most microbreweries, while Colorado ranks first for the most breweries per capita. It only makes sense that a mobile canner from California would wind up getting a canning line from a Colorado manufacturer.
Chris Hazel and his wife, Jordana, started their mobile canning company — aptly named Case By Case Canning in 2017. It was a brand-new endeavor for both of them. Chris started his career as a Los Angeles Producer in television and film, but to him, the leap from Producer to Mobile Canner just made sense.
“I enjoy working with machines, and I like good beer,” said Chris when asked about why he made the career move. “But I knew I lacked experience, and that meant overcorrecting on a lot of stuff.”
Chris explained that his biggest concern when kicking off the new business was the cleanability of the equipment. He knew he needed something that could be heavily washed down between breweries and not suffer wear and tear at an accelerated rate.
A Cross-Country Shopping Spree
Chris made the trek to Washington D.C. for the Craft Brewers Conference in the Spring of 2017. Like many of us in the industry, he knew that the show would offer him a one-stop-shop to quickly compare every can packaging manufacturer in the industry. He perused the aisles of equipment, grains, glassware, and merchandise, but didn’t find exactly what he was looking for.
It was after the show, perched at a nearby bar casually sipping on a local craft beer, that he got the advice he had come for. A brewer pointed Chris in the direction of the CCL-45 from Codi Manufacturing.
“I knew I needed something sturdy, but I didn’t know how robust the [can filler] would actually be,” he explained.
Happy Canning, Happy Customers
The Codi CCL-45 Can Filler was the first counter-pressure inline can filler to hit the market in 2013. Now available in two sizes, the three fill-head version runs up to 45 cans per minute, while the ever popular six fill-head version runs up to 55 cans per minute. The CCL-45 comes standard with the highest-grade stainless-steel components and HMI controls to operate the filler from your phone or other electronic devices. It seamlessly pairs with infeed and can discharge components, and comes standard with a built-in buffer tank for C02 pressurization before filling that keeps carbonation in the beer.
But those are not the only specs that gets Chris pumped. “It’s the consistency —– the look on our customer’s faces when they see the foam on the beer right off the bat, perfectly topped on every can.”
The consistency extends past canning day, too. Chris has had multiple customers report that their yields have improved due to the lack of waste. “When brewers openly discuss their quality checks with me so they can tell me how the beer tastes better in the cans even over the kegs —- that is just a cool feeling. It means we can have confidence knowing we’re doing right by our customers, and you can’t beat that.”
The Hazels have canned for over 50 customers in the Los Angeles area in just six years. Their biggest rush was during the pandemic when everyone suddenly needed to get their beer in cans — and fast. Chris and Jordana fielded dozens and dozens of calls from new customers throughout 2020 and 2021 alone. “We proved the craft beer industry was recession-proof in 2008, but now we know it’s pandemic-proof, too,” he said.
The original Case By Case Codi CCL-45 Can Filler is still running strong today. The highest quality stainless steel components have been a dream, and Chris has definitely met his original goal of cleanability without accelerated wear and tear.
Saving the Best for Last
After a solid 30-minute chat, I knew I had to let the Hazels get back to their incredibly successful mobile canning business. As I motioned the conversation to the end, he abruptly stopped me to say, “You forgot to ask the most important question...”
What Chris wanted to tell me was important — he wanted me to know that he is, in fact, “spoiled.” He went on to explain that when he walks into a brewery, he knows he will be able to accomplish the job, and that’s not always a mobile canner’s story.
The Codi CCL-45 Can Filler can easily fill a wider range of temperatures and carbonation levels compared to other fillers in the same canning space. “You can run on hot beer, over carbonated beer, all of it. Meaning, I never have to give my customers bad news.” He was right. That is important.
The Hazels look forward to expanding their business with many new Case By Case projects in the near future, and Codi Manufacturing will continue to be their go-to can packaging equipment supplier.
“Whether you’re a brewery or a mobile canner like us, if you’re shopping for can packaging equipment, you have to look at Codi,” Chris said. “They just know what they’re doing over there.”
If you're in the Northern LA area and want to learn more about what Case By Case Canning can do for you, visit their website at www.casebycasecanning.com