Early next month, Birmingham-based craft beer will continue its gradual takeover of supermarket shelves with the release of Cahaba Brewing Company’s newest canned offerings, Oka Uba IPA and Oktoberfest. The new offerings will join the brewery’s American Blonde, which was previously the only beer the brewery offered through retail outlets.
Oka Uba, which takes its title from the indigenous name for the Cahaba River, will serve as one of the brewery’s “core” offerings and will be available year-round; Oktoberfest, meanwhile, we see a limited, seasonal release.
“We knew since the beginning that Oka Uba would be our next core beer going into cans, and that is because it is such a good IPA and the IPA style is one of the hottest-selling styles in the craft beer market,” said Eric Meyer, a partner and brewmaster at Cahaba Brewing. “Oktoberfest was introduced into the lineup because of timing. With the arrival of our aluminum cans in August, it was a perfect time to bring an awesome seasonal beer to the Birmingham market.”
It’s been a long time since Cahaba Brewing released a new canned offering; the American Blonde first hit shelves in early 2015. That’s because the recent boom in craft beer production saw many suppliers of aluminum cans unable to meet the demands of the rapidly expanding market. The release of these two beers is an indicator, Meyer says, that the shortage “has been resolved.”
“We had planned on Oka Uba hitting the shelves by June 1, and now it will be happening three months later,” he said. “We now hope to have another core beer in cans into the market before the holidays and more varieties soon thereafter.”
Unlike more established breweries, Cahaba lacks an on-site canning machine; instead, it employs Toucan Mobile Canning, a Kentucky-based service which rents out canning machines that can be transported directly into the breweries. “It’s a really cool thing to see happening,” Meyers said of the process, which started on Monday.
Meyer says that he hopes the release of the two new beers into cans will be a major step for the brewery, particularly in getting consumers excited about their product. “The rollout of the Oka Uba and Oktoberfest into cans is huge,” he said. “With the fact the Okoberfest will only be produced for two months out of the year, the anticipation of it hitting shelves and draft lines has already been building.”
Oka Uba IPA and Oktoberfest are both slated for release in early September.