CO:built – A Colorado Collaboration
Business partnerships can be the key to unlocking innovation. And when leaders from diverse industry sectors come together, the outcomes can be transformative. CO:built explores the collaborative nature of discovery by looking at relationships that began with a need for invention and have resulted in the development of new processes, products and partnerships
In 2012, Infinite Monkey Theorem became the second winery in the United States to put their wine in cans. This was a result of a developing relationship between IMT: Denver’s first urban winery, Ball Corporation: one of the largest manufacturers of aluminum cans in the United States, Wild Goose Canning: a company that helped birth the mobile canning industry. The results of this collaboration are ones you’re likely to see more and more in the coming years.
With a $200 loan from their Uncle George, five brothers founded what would become the Ball Corporation in Buffalo, NY, in 1880. In 1884, the brothers began making glass home-canning jars, the product that established Ball as a household name. Although Ball no longer produces glass jars, in 1969 they began manufacturing aluminum cans. Today, Ball is the world’s largest producer of metal beverage cans and operates nearly 60 manufacturing facilities worldwide in countries spanning Argentina and Brazil to France and Poland. Ball is headquartered in Broomfield, CO. Their first aluminum beverage packaging facility is in Golden, CO, and remains in operation today.
Ball Corporation moves its headquarters from Muncie, IN to Boulder, CO.In the same year Oskar Blues brews its first batch of beer in the basement of their restaurant.
Ben Parsons moves to Grand Junction, Colorado from London, England on September 9, 2001, to begin his wine making career at a small winery in Palisade, CO
Oskar Blues introduces Dale’s Pale Ale, its flagship beer, in a can.
The Infinite Monkey Theorem (IMT) opened their doors in a Quonset hut in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe in 2008. Today, IMT makes their wine in a 15,000 square foot urban winery in the River North Art District of Denver. Under the principles of, “No vineyards, no pretense,” IMT Founder and Winemaker, Ben Parsons, kegs and cans his high-quality wines, which are produced predominantly from grapes sourced from Colorado’s Western Slope. In 2015, IMT will produce 30,000 cases of wine in cans, shipping to 42 states, and will open a second location on South Congress Avenue in Austin, TX.
It all started with 5-cans-a-minute, a brewer who needed a little help, a couple of beers and two engineers with a big vision. In 2009, Wild Goose Engineering was tapped by then neighbor Upslope Brewing Company to build a mobile canning line. In 2011, Wild Goose premiered their first system at the nationally renowned Craft Brewers Conference and helped birth the mobile canning industry. Wild Goose Canning lines are manufactured entirely at their Boulder, Colorado headquarters and can be found in service today canning beer, wine, water and spirits in countries around the world including the U.S., Australia, Canada, the U.K., and soon to be in Tasmania.
The first cans of The Infinite Monkey Theorem wines come off the line. IMT canned wines are filled in-house, on a Wild Goose Canning line, in recyclable aluminum cans produced by Ball Corporation.
The wine industry is 4500 years old. There's only one industry that's older than that...and I think we know what that is... Ben Parsons / Founder / Infinite Monkey Theroem
“There’s no industry like it. There are over a million brands competing for the same shelf space, and there’s no brand leader in the wine industry, there’s no Coca-Cola of the wine industry,” Pasons explains. “Gallo owns less than 1% of the world’s wine industry, and it’s the largest producer. So, you’ve got so much competition…how are you going to differentiate yourself? Well, alternate packaging makes a lot of sense, so kegs, cans, tap wine.”
We loved Oksar Blues, we always have... Ben parsons / infinite monkey theorem
In 2001, Oskar Blues Brewing became the first U.S. craft brewer to put their beer in a can.
A large part of that was a partnership with the Ball Corporation.
We wanted to support not only the craft beer industry, or the beer industry, but we also wanted to help support Colorado as well. John Hayes / Ball Corporation
You're willing to break out of your comfort zone in the same way that some of these producers were willing to break out of theirs, and be successful and take these risks. Roger Walz / Wild Goose Canning
“I’m a believer that risk is important, I believe that if you’re not taking risks, you’re not learning,” Walz states. “I think it’s great when someone sees a product in something unexpected – like in a can – on a store shelf and it catches their eye. It’s a victory to get someone to do a double take…because we’re shifting perceptions.”
In the United States alone, we make over 100,000,000 cans per day... John Hayes / Ball Corporation
“I think the more curious you are, the more willing you are to take a risk. Taking risks is part of business,” Hayes states. “We have one set of experiences…when you get someone like a Ben Parsons that asks, ‘How do you scale me up with wine, which is a very sensitive product…how do we do it?’…it opens your mind to a different way of thinking.”
Everyone thought we were crazy to put wine in a can, and only this year I would say, has it started to be recognized and the growth has been very significant... Ben Parons / Infinite monkey theorem
“What’s the least pretentious thing you can do with any drink – in my opinion, it’s put it in a can,” Parsons states. “Have fun with it, and hopefully more people will drink it.”
Certainly, I think it was easier for people to accept craft beer in a can than it has been for some people to accept good wine in a can... Roger Walz / Wild goose canning
Something from Ben... -Ben
PLACEHOLDER TEXT: something about they built us a custom line…they embraced it…they’re beer guys…engineers…think they’ve had a few glasses of wine…happy to have them around
From Hayes' video below... John