I just walked over to the new canning facility here at NBB to witness and document the progress of the building, and take it from me, it's all happening! The outside and the inside are being built at the same time and both are mere weeks (less than two months) from completion. I also got a new panoramic camera app on my phone, so here is a look at the building through the panoramic eye of the beer-holder (yes, a beer based pun).
Pretty sweet looking so far...
The completed building on the left of the photo is the Thunderdome (the bottling hall) and where the plastic covering starts is the new can line building, and that new part (the can line building) is attached to the Thunderdome (and will inevitably be called (wait for it...)), beyond Thunderdome! The trucks parked out front are the contractor's vehicles, you can tell because they're big and dusty and backed in rather than pulled in (a trait little recognized as that of the American Contractor).
The hundreds of feet of conveyor and all the machines needed to fill cans of beer are on the inside and looking bright and shiny (if not fully assembled). Here is a quick peak at some of that equipment:
The second picture looks like the chutes at a horse track, but instead of ponies lining up it's going to be delicious cans of beer. And let me remind you that this line is bigger and badder than our old one. Instead of 60 cans a minute, that then have to be hand packed into 12 pack boxes, the new line is more like 360 cans a minute (!) and then automated boxing and palletization follows. No more "little can line that could," this is hitting the big time (at least the moderate time). The new line (as previously mentioned) will also fill 16oz cans, tall boys. We are going to put Fat Tire, Ranger and Shift into those gigantic, glorious beauties, and Shift (a pale lager) will be a 16oz only offering (also, previously mentioned).
Also, I have to (quickly) talk about the greatest byproduct of this bigger and badder can line: MORE CANS IN MORE PLACES! With the new, faster line we will be able to send more of these wonderful little (and also gigantic) aluminum offerings out to our larger drinking audience, so get ready because this thing is scheduled to be up and operational soon (ish) and shipping beer for an April 1 release... Get thirsty and stay thirsty and look for a full write up of the new can line operation once it is fully operational.