HooDoo Brewing Co. Brings Its Craft To Cans

HooDoo Brewing C. Fairbanks Alaska Cans

We are pleased to announce today that our German Kölsch will now be available in cans, our first canned offering!

Brewmaster/Owner Bobby Wilken announced the development to a crowd of patrons at the brewery today. This is exciting news as we have been planning the canning project since opening, and began implementing over a year ago.

HooDoo Brewing C. Fairbanks Alaska Cans


More and more breweries, large and small, are canning nowadays. Logistically, it’s ideally suited for Alaska for a number of reasons. Cans are lighter than bottles, chill faster and are more readily recyclable. Cans also require less fuel to transport so getting them to Fairbanks for filling is more cost effective for a small operation like HooDoo. Plus, cans complement an outdoorsy and active lifestyle that’s common in Interior Alaska, since cans can go where bottles can’t.

“I’m really looking forward to moose camp this year,” Wilken mentions, “I actually get goosebumps thinking about being in the middle of nowhere, up river, with a super fresh beer in my hand.”

Compared to bottles, canned beer also stays fresher, longer. Since cans do a great job of blocking UV light and maintaining a great seal, the beer always tastes how intended.

“Plus cans just make an awesome sound when you crack one open,” adds Wilken.

HooDoo Brewing C. Fairbanks Alaska Cans


HooDoo will release the cans in packs of four 16-ounce cans. The “tallboy” can is simple in style and features a vintage 1916 panoramic photo of the downtown Fairbanks waterfront, continuing our goal of focusing on Fairbanks first, our hometown. The can design is also unique in versatility and functionality.

“A minimum order for empty can production at Crown or Ball is enormous, which, when you look at the numbers and amount of space you have to dedicate to the project can be quite daunting for a small, new brewery like ours,” says Wilken. “We knew we wanted to can the Kölsch first, but we didn’t want to be locked into a single can design which would limit our ability to release other styles of our beer.”

Wilken worked with his sister, Karen Wilken, and Seattle-based agency Mint Designs, to develop a packaging solution for the young brewery. The design incorporates a colored label that can be altered and produced based on the beer style within. This allows the brewery to release seasonal brews or special one-offs as needed, without having to produce a brand new can.

“I am really happy with the work we did on this and the final product,” Karen Wilken says, “We didn’t want the label look like an afterthought. It was important for it to be incorporated into the design, yet nimble enough for us to take a market-based approach to canned releases. It’s a perfect match for our business and marketing goals.”

The cans also feature a fully removable lid. The design is called “360 End®” and is manufactured in Virginia by Crown Cork & Seal. The entire lid of the beverage can is removed, turning the metal can itself into a drinking cup and eliminating the need for separate glassware. This type of opening allows the full flavor and aroma of the beer to hit the drinker’s senses.

The cans also feature a fully removable lid.

The cans also feature a fully removable lid.


HooDoo’s canned offering may now be purchased directly from the brewery’s Taproom at 1951 Fox Ave. in 4-packs to go. Sorry, available in Fairbanks only for now…

Beer review: A look at HooDoo’s brews

Review HooDoo brewing Co. Fairbanks AlaskaBy Glenn BurnSilver, For the News-Miner. Published June 25, 2014

FAIRBANKS — A local brewery is a great thing, offering the constant availability of fresh beer, and a frequently changing number of palate-pleasing options rotating through to the tap handles. At HooDoo Brewing Co., this has allowed the fledgling brewery to develop a loyal following.

HooDoo continues to turn out creative offerings with a particular interest in German-style brews. Most are brewed in small batches, allowing for that regular rotation, but if there is one complaint, it’s that there are rarely more than four beers available at a given time. A wider-selection would be a bonus, especially if the rich, dark, chocolaty stout remained a regular featured brew. There’s no denying HooDoo’s limited by space, but keeping several flagship beers on tap and rotating through new brews would end such disappointments. “That’s a beer for cooler weather,” the barkeep said of the stout. Oh well.

It was cloudy and cool before the coming storm, but I started with the perfect summer quencher in the form of German Kölsch. Get a growler to go for the next German World Cup match and enjoy the soft, fruity punch found in this lightly golden beer. The beer pours with a light head that’s just strong enough to give the beer legs. Spicy old world hops zip about the tongue, despite this affect, this centuries old traditionally-styled brew finishes clean and dry.

Those enamored with fruitier styles will enjoy the Belgian Saison. Saison is a classic “farmhouse” style ale, a type developed in Southern Belgium and Northern France using wild yeasts. Now “under control,” that yeast imparts flavors as diverse as cloves, old bananas, mango, apple and peppercorn. These flavors, which stand out strongly, create an overall earthiness, almost mustiness, but rolls into a spicy and cloyingly — surprisingly — short finish.

Another great summer brew, HooDoo’s Bavarian Weissbier is crisp and refreshing with a tart mouthfeel, mild banana and clove hints, and fresh bready finish. While American wheat counterparts tend to feature more earthy or grainy flavor profiles and a pure yellow color, Weissbier’s have a heavier malt bill — not a lot, just a touch — for a richer burnt gold color and that broad overall flavor. This beer feels surprisingly heavy in the mouth, yet is light on the palate. Hops in weissbiers are incredibly mild as well (American versions less so), and this offering was no exception, with the lightest hint of bitterness balancing out the malt.

Rounding out what’s on tap is another brewery favorite, the American IPA. The Indian Pale Ale was originally developed in England when beer destined for troops stationed in India was “overloaded” with malt and hops. Americans took this style one-step further, powering up the hops (frequently Cascade, Citra or Centennial) while instead favoring medium-bodied Crystal malts. HooDoo’s offering is spot on. Clocking in at a reasonable 73 IBU’s (International Bittering Units) this brew is packed with hops for an aural and tongue-wagging delight, but is also well balanced with rich and slightly nutty endnotes.

And that’s what’s on tap.

Glenn BurnSilver is a former Daily News-Miner features editor now living in Arizona who is visiting Fairbanks for the summer.