Montana was ranked fourth nationwide for craft breweries per capita in 2015, with 6.5 breweries per 100,000 adults over the age 21, according to the Brewers Association’s latest data. That ranking was based on 49 breweries throughout the state, which generate an economic impact of $328 million. The latest figures tally almost 60 breweries operating in Montana. Much of their beer is consumed outside of the tasting rooms, and cans are increasingly popular for customers on the go. Some breweries can or bottle their product in-house, but this requires a significant investment and takes up valuable space. Otherwise, to meet the demand from customers and distributors, breweries have to ship their beer out of state for packaging, or outsource the brewing and packaging altogether.
Fortunately Livingston-based Montana Canning Co. arrived on the scene in early 2015 to provide a solution:
A mobile canning assembly line that can arrive at a brewery’s doorstep and produce 36 cans a minute. Inspired by his own desire to purchase cans to go from a favorite local brewery, former electrician Tony Reindl began looking into how to start the first mobile canning service in Montana. In 2014, he was referred to Prospera for help crafting his business plan and developing cash flow projections. Prospera also brought in the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center to assist with calculating unit costs and establishing an appropriate price structure. When the business plan and cash flow were solid, Prospera then partnered its revolving loan funds with Opportunity Bank financing to help Tony purchase equipment and inventory and to provide working capital for his startup phase.
A year and a half later, Montana Canning Co. works with eight breweries and a cider house, and has established a strong market presence against their nearest competitor, based in Spokane, Washington. No longer relying on family help, Tony now has two part-time employees and one full-time employee. He is focused on growing and evolving with the industry, potentially expanding his market into Idaho and adding a second canning line. Tony is thankful for the help he received to make what was once just a good idea into a viable business that can grow and evolve along with the thirst-quenching industry Montana Canning Co. supports.