“Why zero cans in our first 5 years? At the 2016 Brewers Association convention in Philadelphia, [during] the very first seminar, speaker Scott Rudich, head brewer of Round Guys Brewing, told a group of over 500 in the brewing industry that “canning is vanity,” New York Beer Project Owner Kelly Krupski says, explaining why the brewery waited half a decade to can their beer.

“We really thought about that, and it’s kind of melded into our concept at NYBP. That concept is to make interesting and uber-fresh beer for the people and community who choose to come and visit with us. Our beer is always served hyper-fresh, right over the counter, and direct to table. This way, we can brew smaller batches, and provide new creative liquids every week.”

Well, the wait is over, as NYBP will release their first ever canned beer, perhaps their most important beer release yet, on March 1 (5pm). And the first beer up to hit cans is Irish Coffee Stout, a 7% stout brewed with Irish coffee and lactose for rich coffee and cream flavors. The beer is part of the Buffalo Beer Geeks’ CollaBEERation 1.5 event. 4-packs of 16oz. cans will cost $14.99 (limit 2).

While Krupski admits that canning their beer doesn’t really fit their current business model, it was hard not to make a special exception when the Beer Geeks came calling. And, as she puts it, Irish Coffee Stout is a pretty special beer, so it was a logical choice to can.

Crossett shares in the excitement, adding that canning their Irish Coffee Stout made sense for a few different reasons. They were able to test the waters of the packaged beer world with a limited can run, and their friends at West Shore Brewing in Clarence gave them a spot on their canning schedule to make this happen.

“We were excited to be a part of the Buffalo Beer Geek CollaBEERation 1.5 project as we had so much fun last year!” he said. “It was also a way for us to test out the market with our first canned beer with committing to only a small volume. With the help of our friend Josh [Dziomba] at West Shore Brewing Company and allowing us to be part of one of their canning runs, it made this process a breeze.”

It might sound cliché, but the stars aligned for the brewery, and the timing was perfect for this beer release, so they made the decision to pull the trigger and pop their can cherry. And having an Irish Coffee Stout in cans this close to St. Patrick’s Day was an added bonus.

“We chose Irish Coffee Stout for a couple of reasons. It was a beer we’ve done a couple times in the past in small batches and had lots of success [with], and we were already planning on increasing this year’s batch size. It also lined up perfectly for us with our scheduling and the timing for this project. In addition to the can release being only a few weeks before St. Patrick’s Day, it seemed almost like it was meant to be.”

The obvious question is, now that the can seal (beer pun!) is broken, will we be seeing more New York Beer Project beer flooding the market? To that, Crossett says, ‘maybe.’

“Will we do more canning in the future? It’s certainly a possibility. We’re just excited to be part of this fun project and to see our first beer in a can!”

For more information on the release, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/261975981994094.

Brian Campbell is co-founder and Brand Manager of the Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at brian@buffalobeerleague.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).