Adapting to new circumstances is essential to keeping the craft community afloat. Two area cideries, Capitol Cider House and ANXO, are doing just that.
Starting this week, ANXO will begin offering contract canning services at their production facility located on Kennedy Street NW. Sam Fitz, co-founder of ANXO, explains that, “We’re looking to diversify the revenue stream for ANXO. If you have a winery, cidery, spirits; and are looking to get into canning in DC, we are open for business.”
For his part Jared Fackrell, of Capitol Cider House (CCH), explained that they were moving into canning as response to the limitations of on-premise sales. Previously, Jared would use a small one-barrel brite tank to carbonate and package 32 oz crowler cans of their various ciders. However, the increased demanded for packaged product has caused CCH to venture further into providing to-go cans for their customers. Partnering with ANXO allows Capitol Cider to move into cans in a quick and affordable manner. Fackrell simply drops off a large plastic tote of the fermented cider at ANXO, it is then transferred into brite tanks for conditioning and carbonation, and within 24-72 hours CCH picks up finished cans of their product.
The first canned cider from CCH is their anniversary Capitol Cuvee. A blend of several varietals, the Cuvee features a mix of both wild and controlled yeasts, and is available for sale for $15/4-pack at CCH starting on Wednesday, July 8. Moving forward, Fackrell is also planning canning runs of their peach and apple cider, a couple of single heirloom varietal ciders, and several featuring fruit or herb adjuncts. Those will be available at closer to $12/4-pack, depending on production costs. All will be canned at ANXO’s Kennedy Street facility.
Fitz hopes that this initial partnership with Capitol Cider House will be the first of many. According to Fitz, ANXO has a high-end canning line, which provides several advantages. “We can carb to a higher level [than mobile canneries], have low dissolved oxygen, and can counter pressure the cans ensuring greater shelf stability.” Another advantage of working with ANXO is that unlike many other canning services, they can package all manner of naturally and wild fermented products. Fitz hopes that the service will be used by wineries, cideries, and even spirit manufacturers looking to can cocktails.
In addition to providing the canning service itself, ANXO will also allow clients to get in on their bulk purchases of cans and packaging materials and offer shipping logistics. Fitz’s pitch is that this will allow businesses around the DC metro area to get in to new revenue streams without having to learn a new business, and many area companies should be interested in that.